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While Marvel and DC Comics have recently renewed their focus on superheroines with the likes of Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Gwen and Wonder Woman and Batgirl, independent publishers and creators have been enjoying a bumper crop of superpowered women and girls — including Pix, created by a former Marvel editor turned cartoonist.
Gregg Schigiel has recently launched Pix: One Weirdest Weekend, a graphic novel about a fairy princess who has to deal with real-world issues like first dates. The cartoonist describes Pix as “what if Spider-Man were a Disney princess?” and mixes the classic superhero formula he learned from his time at Marvel with more modern storytelling gleaned from working at Nickelodeon and on SpongeBob Squarepants.
“People are constantly in communication and sharing with each other. But they physically want to meet each other in the flesh. There’s obviously a tactile element, but also a craft element in the production of the object, that’s lacking when you see it on the Internet. It’s the difference between seeing a Coca-Cola commercial on TV, and going to buy one.”
— Bill Boichel, owner of Pittsburgh’s Copacetic Comics, talking about this weekend’s PIX: The Pittsburgh Indie Comix Expo, which is sponsored by his store and the Toonseum. Boichel’s point is particularly apt for small-press comics shows, where many of the works are handmade or have an artisanal quality that doesn’t necessarily come across on the Internet.
While PIX is drawing in a number of out-of-town guests, including Trina Robbins, Boichel notes that Pittsburgh has quite a comics scene of its own, with seven out of the 10 bestselling graphic novels in his store being local products.