Book Review: “Nimona” (2015) by Noelle Stevenson

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I first became aware of Noelle Stevenson through Tumblr, about five years ago. At the time, she had gained an online following for the comics she drew about movies she’d watched (Thor, The Lord of the Rings, X-Men) and general fandom experiences, like this one. She was funny and relatable, but what kept me coming back were her comments on the depiction of female characters and general misogyny in the comics industry. For example, she drew this comic about her experiences with “self-appointed gatekeepers” who make many would-be comic readers feel unwelcome. Stevenson also started the Hawkey Initiative, where she pointed out the trend of unrealistic and sexist “strong female character” poses in superhero comics and suggested that they could be fixed by replacing the character with Hawkeye doing the same thing. She invited artists to send in their creations, and the results were both hilarious and deeply uncomfortable,

At twenty-five years old, Stevenson is now working as an industry professional, and in 2015 her popular web comic Nimona was published by HarperTeen.

I’m very pleased to say that there is not a single boobs-and-butt panel to be found.

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