New documentary She Makes Comics aims to chronicle the vast contributions of women in the comic book industry, and in a CBR-exclusive clip from the film, the impact of women on the X-Men get the spotlight.
Specifically, the clip focuses on writers Louise Simonson and Ann Nocenti, who were editors at Marvel on the X-books during Chris Claremont's prolific run as writer on Uncanny X-Men. As Nocenti discusses in the clip, she didn't quite know what she was getting into at first.
"I didn't have a history of reading comics," Nocenti says in the clip. "I didn't even know what a comic was when I got hired. I answered an ad in the Village Voice that said they were looking for writers. I called up and I said, 'What would I be writing?' And she said, 'Oh, I can't say over the phone.' I thought, 'Well, porn, OK, I'll try.'"
Speaking of the male-dominated climate in comics at the time, Claremont comments in the clip that Nocenti and Simonson "provided a perspective that was rarely available elsewhere."
That perspective had a lasting effect, as not only are the X-Men known for featuring multiple female characters at a time -- as opposed to one token woman on a super-team -- the X-Men have also historically counted more women as fans than many other long-running superhero franchises.
"The X-Men expressed real emotion: sorrow, anger, love, lust," comic book writer Marjorie Liu, who has written multiple X-books including Astonishing X-Men and X-23, says in the clip. "Their lives were just so turbulent. When people call the X-Men a soap opera, it's not really a joke. And I was totally enthralled."
Directed by Marisa Stotter and funded via Kickstarter in 2014, She Makes Comics will be available on VOD and iTunes on July 11 from XLrator Media, and also includes interviews with major comics names including Trina Robbins, Karen Berger, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Becky Cloonan and Jenette Kahn.