Book Reviews
Dec 1, 1995, 13:05


ACTION GIRL COMICS #3 by Sarah Dyer; Slave Labor Graphics, 1995

In all my years as an unrepentant comic geek and general, all-around nerd, I have always wondered if there were female counterparts to my unreality addictions. My formative years were dominated by male produced comic and gaming visions, so the ventures of women were more ephemeral than my experience could generate. Ah... Action Girl!

Sarah Dyer puts out this femme engineered quarterly through Slave Labor Graphics; mixing the efforts of hard-rendering sisters and a sense of the homespun to effect a friendly small-press product. Issue #3 includes seven different efforts that run the gamut of separate styles and individual efforts; turning you on to other products generated by alternative, female invention.

Slave Labor Graphics produces format that includes an informational page from the publisher/artist so that the small press soap-box can get its shrift. Sarah Dyer takes the stance that the survival of the small press industry depends upon consumers haranguing retailers to carry these homegrown books. She hits it right on the head. Distributors are in business to make money, are ignorant by nature and require a clear demand for a certain product by retailers before they will supply it. Retailers need to know that certain titles must be made available and if they won't serve you then you will move on! That means you won't buy anything from them! No X-men! Nothing until complete satisfaction is confirmed! If they say they can't get a certain title they're full of shit because that is what they are in business to do. If they see your sale heading for greener pastures they'll learn to deliver! Like it or not, small press is grassroots and needs to mobilize from the consumer end. People like Sarah Dyer are putting out the product, you just need to buy it.

So, is Action Girl any good? I really liked some of it and the rest was just all right. The potential is strong and I would like to see further efforts. I will be looking for this comic and similar ones in my local stores, and if I don't see them I'll make a strong case for their presence upon the shelves. That's how it works off the mainstream.

-Mark Ford

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