A comics anthology
edited by Sarah Dyer
, showcasing female cartoonist
s. Most pieces in the book are self-contained, though several of the artists have contributed ongoing stories and/or characters. There are also stories featuring Action Girl
herself, as well as her friends and foes. AGC has an all-ages sensibility and a strong DIY
philosophy stemming from Sarah's involvement in the punk
scenes. The overall tone is girl
-positive and female-friendly, yet never anti-boy
. Published by Slave Labor Graphics
"Action Girl" was originally a superhero version of Dyer herself, and a newsletter she started in 1992 was named for the character. The newsletter's purpose was to draw attention to zines and comics produced by girls and women, but also featured the adventures of the title character in comics form. The project evolved as Dyer became interested in collecting the work of the artists she was reviewing, and so Action Girl Comics was born.
Action girl is a highly motivated seventeen-year-old girl named Erica. Blonde and athletic, she fights crime and generally stands up for the underdog while sensibly clad in a red jacket with gold buttons and "AG" embroidered on it, a knee-length green skirt, and knee-high laceup black boots. Her best friends are Flying Girl and Ultra Girl, with whom she frequently battles a female gang of thieves known as the Go-Go Gang.
Better-known contributors include Elizabeth Watasin, Patty Leidy, and Chynna Clugston-Major. Like any anthology series, AGC is hit and miss at times. Some of the stories are amateurish. But in this it remains true to its mission, providing exposure for works that might otherwise never be noticed beyond the mini-comics scene or even the artist's friends and family. And it is also worth remembering that "amateur" refers to someone who does a thing just for the love of it, and this obvious passion on the part of its contributors has earned the comic its following. A reader will find stories of incredible humor, poignancy, and beauty in its pages.