I was asked on one of the Vertigo panels at SDCC the other week why it is I write about female protagonists so often, and the answer is simple, really. It’s because I have the tastes and interests of an eight year old girl. Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll confirm it. (And Nickelodeon’s iCarly really is one of my favorite shows on television.)
I also share a house with my wife and daughter, who are both strong female characters in their own right. It’s actually easier for me to put myself in the mindset of a female protagonist in many cases than it is for me to get my head around the motivations of some macho gun-toting dude.
I’ve been extraordinary lucky in getting to work on two Vertigo series with strong, independent female leads: Cinderella and iZombie. Cindy the fairy-tale superspy and Gwen the zombie girl detective are from two very different worlds, and are very, very different characters, but I think at their core they have a lot of essential traits in common. They’re both as likely to respond to a bad situation with humor as with rancor, they’re both aware of their own strengths but aren’t afraid to seek help from their friends, and they both have killer fashion-sense. I like to think that if Cindy fell through an interdimensional portal and wound up in the world of iZombie that she’d feel right at home at Dixie’s Firehouse, and by the same token I like to think that if Gwen got caught up in a superspy mission with Cindy that she’d serve with distinction.
The main reason I enjoy writing these two strong female characters (I keep using that phrase… would anyone mind if I called them “kick ass chicks,” just once?) is that they are so much more FUN than writing about some serious, brooding dude. These are women that can get the job done and still have a good time. And who doesn’t love that?