Creator Spotlight: Gail Simone

by GregFahlgren

The Life and Career of the Wonder Woman of Comic Book Writers

Gail Simone was once a simple hair dresser that really, really loved Batgirl on the Batman TV show. Today, she’s a simple hair dresser that really, really loved Batgirl on Batman the TV Show who moonlights as one of the very best comic writers in the business today.

If you can’t already tell, I am a massive fan of Mrs. Simone, both as a writer and as a person. She is a wonderful lady who not only writes funny, heart-wrenching, heart-warming, dirty, filthy, and at times downright VULGAR comic books, but she’s also a champion of civil rights, forever striving for equal and fair representation in the medium she loves so much. Her story is a story of triumph, love, laughter, and success in the face of overwhelming adversity in a male-dominated industry. I am going to do my best to tell that story today, but I don’t think anything I say will do this incredible woman justice. She deserves nothing but the best, despite her abject hatred for Gambit (seriously, I get not liking Cyclops, nobody does, but Gambit? HE’S AWESOME!).

Getting the Women out of Refrigerators

Humble Beginnings

Before becoming the world’s leading expert on Smarg’s cup (Twitter joke), Gail worked on a website entitle Women in Refrigerators. This website, whose title has become a popular term in the comic book world, was named for the famed incident in Green Lantern when Kyle Raynor’s girlfriend, the uber-popular Alexandra Dewitt, was murdered and shoved into a fridge for the hero to find. This event sparked a public outcry, but more than that sparked a new of wave criticism towards comic books. The terms “fridging” or “fridged” have become popular since, describing situations like Alexandra’s, where a female character was murdered, raped, or otherwise hurt to motivate a male character. The website railed against the treatment of woman characters in comic books, citing such incidents as the death of Gwen Stacy, the crippling of Barbara Gordon, among a host of others as the evidence of how badly women characters are treated. By doing this, Gail and the rest of those running Women in Refrigerators began a long and hard process of bringing light to the unfair and at times disgusting treatment of women in comic books. There have been women fighting these issues for years within the industry, I don’t mean to discount that, but the WIR was the group that brought it to the limelight like never before.

On the site, Gail would pen a number of comic book parodies and satirical stories of popular books, poking fun at major comic book storylines. The website brought the attention of those within the industry, Comic Book resources eventually hiring her to write a weekly column entitles You’ll All Be Sorry, a column which she ran for two years. This column opened the doors for her to come into the industry, and we all owe Comic Book Resources a debt of thanks for it.

You'll All Be Sorry!

You'll All Be Sorry!
$11.99  $5.99

From Hair Dresser to Comic Scribe

"I was Definitely my own Biggest Stumbling Block."

Getting into an industry like comic books is difficult thing, and something that Gail never thought she would ever be able to do. She had never entertained the possibility of ever becoming a “professional writer”, her friends and family discouraging her by telling her it writing for a living was unrealistic, and in turn, she began to believe it too.

Asking Gail about this on tumblr, she told me, “My writing was for fun, no different than those of you who write fanfic or do little funny posts for friends. I posted some things as jokes, they became oddly popular with editors at comics companies, and a website, You’ll All Be Sorry offered to hire me to write a weekly column. I did that, and then editors started offering me work. I turned them down, it just seemed too impossible, AND I was obsessed by the idea that if I took a writing job, that meant a ‘real’ writer would get less work and it would be my fault.

“A lot of people helped me get over it, but I was definitely my own biggest stumbling block. Adam Hughes was a fan of my column and he told me, ‘Gail, almost everyone worth a damn in this industry is drafted,’ meaning they didn’t come up through submitting for some editor’s slush pile, but were recruited. That helped a lot.

“But the biggest thing was, Emmy-winning artist Scott Shaw liked my columns and told me that Matt Groening’s company was looking for funny writers who knew comics, and that I should try out. I put him off for the same reasons mentioned before. Finally, Scott just said, ‘It’s too late, I already told them about you, they’re calling tomorrow.’

So I thought about it, and when they called, I asked if I could have a day to think about it. I hadn’t even told my family I was doing any of this, because I was so sure it would all go away. When I told my husband, we realized that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that a lot of people would kill to have, and it would likely never happen again. Being offered a chance to write the Simpsons?

So when they called back, I said I would try. And it was such a great, fun experience, it made me very happy. And I haven’t stopped since.”

Gail wrote for Bongo Comics for a little while after that. Her most notable story of this time was when she wrote the Simpsons travelling to Scotland with Groundskeeper Willie to meet his family. While there, they ran into Scottish comic creators Mark Millar and Grant Morrison. The two writers, who were famously close friends, introduced themselves, both claiming to the writer of the X-Men. This incited an argument, which led to a fight, which lead to a giant cartoon dust-ball. Gail was so nervous about the panels when she heard that Grant and Mark weren’t friends anymore, thinking she had just offended two industry giants. However, when it was released, both men loved it, and have been supportive of Gail’s career ever since. Having seen the panel, I urge everyone to go out of your way to find it, it’s hysterical.


The Merc with the Mouth... and a Heart

Gail’s column You’ll All Be Sorry had garnered enough attention that it eventually caught the eye of Marvel Comics. Marvel contacted Gail, and brought her in to take over writing duties for Deadpool. The Merc with the Mouth’s popularity was on the rise, the goofy, violent, and chaotic Canadian becoming one of Marvel’s biggest anti-heroes. This would become the first one many great runs for Gail, and her first with a major company.

While not showing Deadpool as a definitive good guy, Gail did show some more human sides to the mercenary, a trend that she would use later in her career with Secret Six. Gail said recently concerning Deadpool that he’s written best when there’s a sadness to his actions, not just some goofball that likes to shoot stuff. This trend was continued by later writers, especially Gerry Duggan, Wade’s current scribe..

Deadpool was eventually cancelled, and then relaunched under a new title, Agent X. Featuring the character of the same name, the book was much like Deadpool in many ways, including Gail’s ridiculous sense of humour. Agent X became another hit, but Gail’s run was sadly cut short, leaving Marvel due to editorial differences.

Despite having such a short run on the book, Gail’s books are considered favourites among Deadpool fans. This sentiment was shared by Marvel, so much so that they brought Gail back for the special Wedding Issue, writing a back issue detailing his ill-fated marriage with Agent X cohort, Outlaw. The story was the funniest of the entire mega-issue, resulting in the single funniest line I’ve ever read in comic book, “OH! OH! MY PELVIS!” I don’t think there are many people that understand Wade as much as Gail...

Birds of Prey

Like the Justice League with More Chaos

After leaving Deadpool, Gail was a contacted by DC to take over as lead writer of the all-female team book, Birds of Prey. Created by Chuck Dixon, the book, which featured former Batgirl Barabara Gordon (Gail’s most beloved character), and Black Canary (the most criminally underutilized female superhero in history), was in danger of being cancelled. Gail was given writing duties, her first order of business adding anti-hero Huntress to the roster. While discussing this new team, Gail had this to say:

 "In this case, Babs and Dinah respect each other tremendously, and each is capable of great things the other is not. Dinah's not just Oracle's legs, sometimes, she's her conscience, or her muse, or just her best friend. And Oracle is far more to Dinah than just the mission controller. They trust each other, and out of that, there's a friendship that they believe in. Huntress...I see Helena as someone who is not a loner completely by choice. Dinah is so accepting and so open that Helena sees an opportunity to be part of something without having to force her way in. There's friction, because once Helena puts the mask on, she's really not very good fitting in. But she likes that they're giving her a chance. Whether she blows it or not, you'll have to keep reading."

Also adding Lady Blackhawk, Gail’s initial run was a hit, driving sales up for the book and bringing in hoards of new readers. Ever a champion for women in comics, Gail added other female characters to the roster such as Big Barda, Spy Smasher, Judomaster, and even Lois Lane, the BOP becoming one of comic books most beloved and entertaining teams. That feeling was only enhanced by the hilarious her Misfit, to date the only comic book character that I feel has ADHD, a condition that I myself live with. Misfit became immensely popular, to the point where it is a wonder why she’s only made one appearance since Flashpoint.

The beauty of what Gail did with these characters is two-fold. Number one, she didn’t write them as women in a costume. They were tough, beautiful, sexy, funny, goofy and flawed, but they made no apologies for it in the slightest. Secondly, unlike many male writers, she at no time made the women competitive with each other. Dinah and Babs were best friends, Helena and Dinah were best friends, the whole group were best friends, supporting each other, leaning on each other, and willing to do anything for each other. This sounds simple, even obvious that women like this would genuinely care for each other like that, but the sad fact in comic books is that women were often written as loners, and didn’t like each other at all. Gail doesn’t believe in this idea (neither do I frankly), and wrote the Birds as a group of close friends that loved each other immensely. That’s what made the Birds unique, what made them awesome, and what made them such a gateway book for women everywhere that wanted to get into comic books.

When it came time for her to leave the book, she described writing the last issue as, “physically painful,” her love for the characters so much so that she didn’t want to say goodbye. The fans didn’t want it either, and her run was named as one of IGN’s “25 Best Comic Book Runs of the Decade”, coming in at #18.

Eventually, she would return to the Birds during the Brightest Day even. She’s written them again a few times, in the Batgirl 3 Annual with a new team (awesome issue by the way), describing them as, “Like the Justice League but with more chaos.” Finally, for her final issues of Batgirl, she brought Black Canary, Batgirl, and Huntress together one last time. Even though three characters were VERY different from who she had written before, what resulted was one of my favourite story arcs even in comics, the Birds kicking ass and taking names just like they always should.

Secret Six

Everyone's Loveable Band Freaks and Psychos

In 2005, Gail penned a six part miniseries entitled Villains United, a part of the lead up to the epic company-wide crossover Infinite Crisis. The story followed DC’s Society of Supervillians as they began their march to all-out war with the Justice League and their allies. During all this, they hired a small mercenary group headed by Scandal Savage, daughter of the immortal Vandal Savage, to do some of their dirty work. They thought this little group would make a good, expendable scapegoat. These unlucky few were named the Secret Six, comprised of former A-List villains that have fallen into obscurity.

This mini-series, depicting the group of outcasts fighting both sides of an ever-widening conflict, was so well received that Gail was asked to write a one-shot during the Infinite Crisis event, and then another six-part mini entitled Secret Six. That mini’s success led to an ongoing series that also made the list of IGN’s “25 Best Comic Book Runs of the Decade”.

Secret Six is probably Gail’s most popular work outside of Birds of Prey and Batgirl, the Six a comical group of ragtag villains. Though starting out with Scandal, Chesire, Catman, Deadshot, Ragdoll, and Parademon, their roster changed often, including villains like Mad Hatter, Bane, the banshee Jeanette, and others. Many of these villains, once considered top tier adversaries for DC’s biggest heroes, had fallen by the wayside. Gail has always had a love taking on characters that need a little TLC to get them back to prominence, and in no other book has she done this any better than with Secret Six.

The most impressive thing about this series however is that Gail took characters that weren’t likeable, and made them human. Bane’s fatherly treatment of Scandal, Scandal’s various relationship problems (her girlfriend being killed and all), Catman’s complicated relationship with Chesire and their son were prime examples of this, Gail giving these supposedly evil people hearts and souls, something many writers aren’t willing to do even with their heroes. Through her writing, Gail made them funny, made us love them, and most importantly, made them relatable in way that has never been done before or since with villains.

The series’ ending, just before Flashpoint,is the perfect illustration of what Gail did for these characters. When the series began, they were nobodies, cast off villains that had been beaten and embarrassed. In the final battle, scores of superheroes came to fight them, the Six no longer the nobodies they started out as, the characters meaning something again to the fans and to the world of DC. That final battle is widely considered one of the greatest in comic book history, making IGN’s “25 Best Battles in DC History” at #4, her second of three appearance on that list.

With the original series ended just before Flashpoint, many fans wondered if the Six would ever return. This year, after teasing us for months on end (DAMMIT GAIL!), Secret Six was relaunched with Gail at the helm. Introducing a new team, Gail was back at it again, creating an immensely popular book within the first few issues. Having read a panel here or there, I can tell you that much of the same attitude has gone into the new series. The characters, though not strictly heroes, are shown with hearts, and souls, and capable of so much more than people think they are. Also, from what I’ve heard, the book is dirty and filthy, Gail poisoning young minds with bonereses and Catman butt, but then again, that’s why I love Gail as a writer. She’s not afraid to “go there” when the occasion arises, and writes truthfully and honestly with her characters, no matter how many people can get “offended” by the dirty Secret Six couch sex. (You think I’m joking don’t you? Go pick up an issue or two, and find out for yourself!)

Wonder Woman

DC's Biggest Badass

After she left Birds of Prey, Gail took over writing duties for Wonder Woman. Diana had gone through a lot of writers over the years, some good, some bad, some downright “Why the fuck would they let this person write her?” It was a dream come true for Gail to write for Diana, the single greatest female superhero in history, and ended up having the longest run of any woman writer on the character in history.

Gail’s approach to Wonder Woman was once again different from those that came before her. Often with Diana, it seemed that no matter the writers did in their run, the new ones were expected to reboot the process, acting as if everything that had happened before didn’t matter. Gail one the other, wrote the book as if EVERYTHING happened, every bit of history, every story, it was all canon, even if she didn’t like it. What resulted from this approach were some of the best years the book ever had, many of the stories considered classics among fans of the character. Her first arc, The Circle, has even been featured in literary discussions at universities, widely considered to one of the greatest Wonder Woman graphic novels ever written. In addition, her run on the book earned her a third spot on IGN’s “25 Best Comic Book Runs of the Decade”, kicking the list off at #25.

Gail’s run wasn’t very long in comparison to others, but her funny, oddball style of writing fit Diana to a T, creating some of the best lines in the Amazon’s long and storied history. Simply put, Gail GOT Diana, understood her better than almost anyone I’ve ever seen. In fact, when DC was launching a new digital series for Diana, entitled Sensation Comics Presents Wonder Woman, she was asked to write the first two issue story, where Wonder Woman literally fixes Gotham City. You heard me.

Gail also helped pen the script for the Wonder Woman animated film. Even though it was heavily re-written after the fact, I can still see a few Gail Simone-isms in there, Diana being hilarious by just being completely badass, coupled with Steve Trevor putting his foot in his mouth again and again. 

Action Comics

The Man of Steel and his loving wife Lois

Also in 2005, Gail was given the honour of writing a short run on Action Comics. She was excited, especially about writing Superman and Lois Lane as a couple, as well as the Daily Planet staff. Describing the situation as a “weird deal”, she was brought in with legendary artist John Byrne during a time where the Superman editorial team was in a state of flux. The run gained immediately acclaim, sales went up, and Action became the most talked about Superman at the time. However, after asking Gail about this run, she revealed to me that she and Byrne were a “filler team”, to hold the fort until Superman editorial brought in their desired creative team. Gail and Byrne were never told this, so when they were taken off the book, it was a shock to both. I can’t find out who took over, but the sales dropped significantly.

Despite the short run, Gail described the experience, “I had WAY more fun than I thought I would.” Like with most of her projects, Gail took a different approach to the book, deciding to break away from tradition and write Lois and Clark as a happy married couple. This has long been a point of contention with old time comic book fans and editors that superheroes can’t be happily married, but Gail respectfully (or not) disagreed. Deciding that the whole idea that Superman and Lois Lane can’t work as a married couple was total BS, she wrote them as a happy married couple that loved and took care of each other. What a terrible thought!

The run not only gained commercial success and critical, acclaim, it also afforded one of my best stories about Grant Morrison. Telling the story on tumblr, she describes being at con with Grant to do a panel. Grant had just been put on Action, and had been reading up on some of the previous runs. Right before panel, Grant took Gail aside and told her that he had just read her run and called it, “Bloody brilliant!” Grant went on to declare how much he loved how Gail had written Clark and Lois as a happy married couple instead of the normal status quo. Gail of course was really choked up as they went onstage, praise from a legend like Grant Morrison no small thing.

Gail Simone's Action Comics

Superman: Strange Attractors
$14.99  $11.45

All-New Atom

Small Hero, Big Stories

Another one of Gail’s books from the mid-2000s, All-New Atom followed Ryan Choi, the new Atom after Ray Palmer had disappeared after the event Identity Crisis (a book Gail has described as the ultimate Women in Refrigerators book).

I asked Gail about her coming to this book on tumblr, which she was gracious enough to answer. Grant Morrison, whom we’ve mentioned before, was incredibly popular at the time. About to start his famous Batman run, DC asked Grant to think of some directions for books that he was interested in, but didn’t have time to write, one of them being All-New Atom. Gail was approached to do the book, which she was reluctant to do, stating to me, “I would not normally participate in anything like that, it’s not really what I’m good at (following someone else’s vision)". However, when she heard that the lead character was going to be Asian, she came on board. There weren’t any Asian lead comics at the time, Batgirl starring Cassandra Cain having been cancelled just before Infinite Crisis, and Gail wanted to give the legion of Asian comic book fans someone to cheer for.

Though Grant had written an outline for what he had wanted for the book, Gail didn’t read more than a few paragraphs, deciding to take things in her own direction, keeping only two things from Grant’s notes. This might seem strange, but Gail said to me, “I didn’t really feel the need to follow another writer, I felt like it would not work if I did.” She went on to say that her writing in the book was a tribute to legendary writer Steve Gerber.

With her on the book, Ryan Choi became immensely popular, DC telling her that the book sold “about four times that we figured it would.”  However, that didn’t mean the situation was joyful and full of smiles. Gail described it as, “a tough situation…I wanted a fresh, new-feeling book, but the editor wanted something much more traditional and we argued a lot.” This often happens with writers and editors, and unfortunately, it usually leads to one or the other leaving the book. The biggest point of contention for Gail, as I’ve said earlier, was not getting an Asian artist on the book. John Byrne is a legend, and one of comics greatest artists, but Gail felt that an Asian artist, with so many talented ones out there, would have made the book more important. This and other issues with editorial eventually lead to Gail leaving the book, which was cancelled after 25 issues. More than that, Ryan Choi was killed a little while later to fan outrage, only recently coming back during Convergence.

I haven’t had a chance to read this run beyond a few panels here and there, but from what I HAVE read, it was filled with Gail’s signature weirdness and oddball sense of humour, which makes me seriously want to check it out (if only to see the pages where Ryan Choi meets Wonder Woman... classic).


Badass Red-Headed Chick

Post-Flashpoit, Gail was asked to write one of the more controversial decisions made for the New 52: taking Barbara Gordon out of the wheelchair, doing away with Oracle, and making her Batgirl again. This decision, along with many in the New 52, elicited massive outrage from fans, especially those that are handicapped, losing their most prominent hero. Gail took the book, intending to write the story as respectfully as she could, knowing how important it was to get it right.

The approach was the exact opposite of what fans had thought. The events of Alan Moore’s controversial graphic novel The Killing Joke still occurred, as grotesque and horrible as they were, leaving Barbara crippled. An experimental procedure healed the damage, giving Barbara the ability to walk again. However, it wasn’t a simple of her just putting the cowl back on and being happy crime-fighter Batgirl again. Barbara went through some serious suffering under Gail’s direction, suffering from a massive amount of Survivor’s Guilt, as well as PTSD. Flashbacks to that horrible night and aftermath were common in the early stories, Gail making us feel Barbara’s pain, and making us cheer for her as she strove to overcome it. The book was hit with fans, Gail’s writing taking Barbara to the darkest places she’s ever gone. Gail had Babs face her worst fears and demons, and grow beyond that horrible night, not letting the event define who she is.

One of the many highlights in this book was the introduction of Ailica, Babs’s activist, and somewhat crazy roommate. Throughout the series, we are treated to this funny, energetic, and loveable young woman who became Barbara’s best friend. However, none realized how important she was until one night, Barbara pours her heart out to Alicia, all the while not telling her the full truth in over to protect her from whatever Barbara was dealing with (the return of the Joker and her psychotic brother the most prominent). Alicia very calmly takes it all in, and then replies that she has been hiding something from her as well, and declares, “I’m transgender Barabara.” That show of trust made Barbara love her forever, and introduced the first transgender character in a major comic book publication. It might not seem like a big deal, it wasn’t to me at first, but now I realized that how important it was.

This move, in a climate where transphobia is running rampant, is so understated, and so perfect, that it may well be the greatest thing Gail has ever done. Gail let us get to know Alicia, realize what an awesome and loveable person she is, long before she revealed her as a transgender woman. If she had done so right off the bat, there would have been criticism from the conservative crowd, might have even endangered the book’s sales given how transphobic society is right now. But by revealing it later on, after we got to know her, by then I didn’t care that she was transgender. I only cared about how good a friend she was to Barbara, and how funny and loveable she was. In fact, her bravery at telling Barbara this, made me like her even more. It was my first real exposure to transgender persons, and I will admit that it completely changed my view on the subject for ever. Such is Gail’s brilliance, and why she is such an awesome force for good in comic books. Her writing showed me that trans people are human beings just like the rest of us, and should be treated with the same respect, an idea that unfortunately many people still don’t understand (assholes).

Gail’s run on Batgirl unfortunately ended after having a series of disagreements with the editing staff, Gail leaving the book so that those problems wouldn’t affect it. But Batgirl will always have a special place for those of us who are big fans of Gail’s work. For me, it was my firstly monthly title, and the book that made me love comic book fans. Besides that, it was some of her best and made me love Barbara Gordon forever. Just wish she could have gotten her and Nightwing to stop being idiots about their relationship. What?

The Movement

Bunch of Oddball Weirdos out to Save Their City

During her Batgirl run and after her short stint on The Fury of Firestorm, Gail helmed a new DC title, The Movement. The Movement was a new concept for a book, taking place in a Coral City, a place that makes Gotham look like nice vacation town. Following a group of “tweens”, the strange group of heroes fight against the corruption that has taken hold of the city. The book was a unique entity, as all the main characters were of different ethnic origins, sexual orientations, political views, and disabilities. They were an odd bunch, even odder than Secret Six in some ways (that’s a tight race however), but they were fun, loveable and badass.

The Movement was Gail’s attempt to bring more diversity in DC’s comic book line, which was heavily criticised at the time for its lack thereof since the New 52 relaunch. Gail has always been a champion for this cause, succeeding more often than not. Despite getting some positive acclaim, the book didn’t sell as well as she and DC had hoped. DC, seeing the importance of the book, kept it going for a while, promoting heavily and hoping that it would catch on, but it was not to be, canceling the book after issue 12. Despite fan outcry and harsh criticism towards DC, Gail has maintained that they had been the books biggest champions, keeping it alive longer than they should have considering the sales. Gail has expressed great interest in bringing the characters back, even having them come in for her Batgirl finale.

The trades have performed well, so hopefully Gail’s band of oddballs will back someday. The industry NEEDS a book like The Movement.

Red Sonja

Stinky, Horny, VULGAR She-Devil

I asked Gail to tell me about how she ended up on Red Sonja, and she told me, “Nick Barrucci, publisher of Dynamite Comics, had been asking me for years to write a book for them, but I was always exclusive with DC. When my exclusive ended and we had been butting heads at DC for a bit (water under the bridge), I had no idea if I was actually going to be asked to do work elsewhere, no idea at all.”

Her exclusive deal with DC over, many publishers were calling her up to work on something. I remember vividly her telling fans on Tumblr and Twitter that she had been offered so many projects that she wanted to do that she had had to turn more than a few down, one of which was the She-Hulk book that ended up being written by Charles Soule (great book by the way).

Gail went on to tell that, “Nick was THE first person to call. He knew I loved pulp characters, he said I could have any character I wanted to write. I asked him to give me a list. The first name on the list was Red Sonja, and I said, ‘Okay, stop right there.’

We never got to the rest of the list. I love sword and sorcery stories, I love badass women, and more importantly, my mother for some reason ADORES Red Sonja. She was calling me and texting me, ‘Are you going to take Red Sonja? You’re going to take Red Sonja, right?’

I agreed to do six issues but loved it so much that I ended up doing a lot more. One of my favorite assignments ever.”

Legends of Red Sonja became a massive success (I have my copy sitting in my bookshelf right now), Gail falling in love with the horny, vulgar and violent red-heard Devil. She signed on for even more issues, including a crossover with Conan, and a company-wide event entitled Swords of Sorrow.

Gail wrote Sonja as a noble, violent, randy, and somewhat smelly heroine. Breaking again the normal status quo in sword and sorcery books, Gail made her stories deep that the usual “warrior quest” tropes. The subtext of her stories touched on multiple social issues, including women’s sexuality, trans identity, drug use, sex worker rights, mental health, child abuse, and tons more. Having read more than a few of the issues (little behind at the moment), Gail’s writing was fun, hilarious, and unlike anything I’ve ever read.

The biggest thing that I love about Gail’s writing of Sonja is the fact that she gives Sonja a sex drive. Many writers refuse to do this with women, and if they do, make a negative. The stupidity of this is insane. Why shouldn’t women have a sex drive and like to have sex? Gail’s depictions of this warrior woman, wandering around, trying to find ale and someone to roll in the hay with is some of the most fun I’ve ever had reading a comic book. Some of the scenes with horny (and more than a little stinky) Sonja were so goddamn funny I was laughing about them for days.

Gail recently announced that she was leaving Sonja. It is a sad thing, but that's the nature of the comic book industry, and hopefully the next team will get Sonja a little less stinky...

Other Notable Work

Around the Universe

Gail has worked on many other titles, most notably on the book Welcome to Tranqulity. Taking place in a small town in Oregan, Tranquility is filled with retired superheroes. I haven’t had a chance to read it, but it was by all accounts hilarious, a definite add to my already massive list of books I want to read.

Other books one her resume include The Fury of Firestorm, Rose and Thorn, Gen 13, the Tomb Raider tie-in comic, and Leaving Megalopolis, the latter of which is a story where the heroes of the city suddenly turn into homicidal maniacs (sounds fun right?) She also wrote a JLA story entitled The Hypothetical Woman, and helped pen Superman: Sacrfice as part of the lead up to Infinite Crisis.

In addition to comic books, she has also scripted an episode of Justice League Unlimted entitled “Double Date”, and also wrote “The Masks of Matches Malone” for Batman: The Brave and the Bold. She has also expressed interest in writing for video games, giving me the hope that she will write a Tomb Raider game one day.

My Favourite Writer

I’ve talked a lot through this blog about Gail’s work and accomplishments, but right now I’m going to talk about why she is my favourite writer. In addition to being an amazement talent, making me laugh, cry, cringe, and everything in between whenever I read her work, Gail Simone is an awesome human being.

She entered into a male dominated industry, one that had treated women badly for years, and instead of just playing her role and keeping quiet, she has vocally called out the industry at large for its BS. She has championed diversity in comic books her entire career, calling out publishers and creators that refuse to see this as a priority despite the data she has to support it. She has also never shied from criticising her peers no matter the consequences. Many women in comics are told to keep quiet in fear of being censored or held down, but Gail doesn’t give a shit, fighting for the causes she believes in no matter what happens.

Following her on social media and reading her work has positively impacted my life. Because of her, I began to see the common tropes and misguided BS that I was writing into my female characters in my own work, and have striven to change that with every page. I have endeavoured to create more diverse characters in my work, not caring that I’m going against the “traditions” that the fantasy genre apparently demands.

I know I sound like I’m blowing smoke, but I’m just telling you all how I feel about this wonderful woman. She is so open with her fans, so giving, so caring, that I wish more creators were like her. Sure, she hates Gambit, but I can forgive her for that because of who she is as a writer and person, both earning my undying respect.

Wonder Woman Channeling Gail

What's Next?

Not Done Yet

So, what’s Gail up to these days? Well, she’s finishing up her Red Sonja run, in addition to continuing her work on Secret Six. There are a few other projects she’s working on, one of which is apparently going to feature the (YAY!). Beyond that, she’s on social media being hilarious, and still hating Gambit (Why Gail? Why?), and for the former, we should all be very, very thankful for.

On a personal note, I would like to thank Gail Simone for helping contribute to this article, and taking the time to answer my questions on tumblr and Twitter. This was an important post for me, and I wanted to make sure I got things right. Thank you Gail, I appreciate it.

Well, this has been fun guys, and I hope you check out her work in the links I’ve given. You won’t be disappointed. Until next time, as always, HAPPY READING!

Updated: 12/29/2015, GregFahlgren
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Kholland on 08/05/2015

Great article

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