Decrypting Rita

Here’s a cool-looking new webcomic: Decrypting Rita by Egypt Urnash.

According to my old pal Thomas Blue (a visually striking artist in his own right), Egypt has an animation background, did some work at Spumco, and she might include some NSFW scenes later so be warned […or maybe not; see correction in comments].

I like the fact that Egypt does all her artwork in Adobe Illustrator. Haven’t seen many artists do that since Demian5’s legendary When I Am King.

I also appreciate the screen-shaped pages, but, y’know… We won’t go into that rant right now.

Just wondering, those of you who watch these things like me: Have we passed the point where new interesting cartoonists are now more likely to be women than men?

If the ranks of comics pros ever get to 50% is there any chance we might just keep going?

I, for one, wouldn’t mind a bit.

Update: Found Egypt’s personal site and at least one of her biographical details sheds an interesting new light on my crossing-fifty-percent comment above. Needless to say, Egypt’s case is not typical, though not unique either.

Discussion (9)¬

  1. Kat says:

    You know, you bring up an interesting point. The majority of the new comics I’ve been reading are all by ladies, over half of what I read total (online anyway, not feeling like checking out my offline stats, haha) and that’s not including the folks that don’t have on going stories/ do short stories

    Maybe we’re finally hitting that point where us girlies have realized the stories we have to tell can be told with more then just words…or something XD

    • Scott says:

      Yeah, my readings have already passed 50% I think; at least online.

      BTW: See update above, regarding Egypt’s more distinctive personal trajectory.

  2. Frank says:

    My theory is that what we’re seeing is the new generation (the post-MTV generation, if you will) growing up. When these people were kids, it was no longer “cool” to be good at drawing, and everything around them told them that what they needed to succeed was to be accepted.
    Those who decided to keep drawing anyway, went with the established traditions they could find, rarely experimenting on their own. The only ones who really went all out and broke the rules, writing new ones for themselves, were the girls who had given up on trying to be accepted by the much fanfared mainstream (maybe it’s just the way I’ve come to see things, but it seems that boys just don’t give up on things like this, because they are not put down as crushingly)

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, why bother to experiment with something out of the norm, unless you’re already out of the norm?

  3. Egypt Urnash says:

    Rita’s definitely going to be SFW; that’s one of the decisions I made at the outset. I save the NSFW for the currently-on-hiatus Five Glasses of Absinthe and the porny short stories collection I’ve been thinking about for a while.

    The pages are quite specifically iPad-shaped; my templates are designed to remind me to keep important information out of the very center of the page so I could print each of them as a spread, but the target environment is mostly screens, and especially the Cool New Piece Of Future Magic Tech that I got a few weeks before starting to actually draw pages of Rita.

    As to the gender stuff, well, in my case it’s obviously kind of complicated. In general though I think it’s a pretty even split these days, at least in the stuff I find worth following. Hell, I think the furry scene has more female pros than males these days.

    (In general I presenting myself more as Female Cartoonist Who Happens To Be Trans, rather than That Transwoman Cartoonist; I try to be the role model I wish I had: openly trans without it being the whole of their identity. Lengthy discussions of gender theory are hard, let’s go on an adventure instead!)

    Anyway, thanks a brazillion for the link and the kind words; your books were a big influence on the way I approach comics!

    • Scott says:

      Thanks for checking in, Egypt! And congratulations on the stylish new work — and the thoughtful screen-wise design.

  4. Max West says:

    It looks pretty cool. And Egypt is pretty cool too; I was on a panel with her at I-Con 2010.

  5. […] may be familiar with the name Egypt Urnash because of the recent post by Scott McCloud.  However after reading the few pages of Decrypting Rita (the story McCloud […]