EMET Comics is a publishing company started by women who love comics. With half of all the comic book reading and buying audience made up of women, the creators of EMET believe that the industry should reflect that same equality. We talked with founder Maytal Gilboa to get behind the scenes at EMET Comics.
What is the EMET Comics origin story?
Prior to starting the company, I spent four years working as an executive at ReelFX Creative Studios. I left that job because I realized I wasn’t helping women get their stories off the ground. I started EMET in January 2015 and started putting teams of artists and writers together and just let them create. It turns out, when you let women tell the stories they want to tell, you get some- thing really interesting and different. And you get full, well-rounded female characters.
How has your line of comic titles been received by readers and the industry?
Very well! We just got back from WonderCon and Emerald City Comic Con and the crowds were incredibly interested in and supportive of what we’re doing. People seem genuinely excited to see more women creating stories with female characters, and they’re very interested in the different kinds of artwork we’re bringing to the table.
In a male-skewed field, what obstacles have you encountered along the way?
I don’t know if we’ve had gender-specific obstacles yet. The industry has changed a lot in the past few years, so we’re walking into a good climate for creating women-centric stories. There are tons of challenges when starting an indie comics publisher, but once our work gets in front of people they get really excited about it. We have stores all across the country that are supporting our comics and sharing them within their communities. There’s the occasional comic shop that says, “We only sell superhero comics.” And that’s fine, that’s how the business works. We’ve had lots of wins, but you don’t always win with everyone.
Beyond telling great stories, do you see EMET as a force for feminine opinions and issues?
Absolutely, but it comes organically from good storytelling. Women, like men, are going to write about what concerns them, interests them, and inspires them. They’re going to draw in a style that fits who they are and that is aimed at women. There is so much variety in what women care about. We have stories about apartheid, mental illness, breast cancer, the environment, and finding your artistic voice. It’s so exciting to see what women come up with when you just let them do their thing.
Also, part of our online presence involves promoting female creators, webcomics, Kickstarter campaigns, and comics starring female characters. We want everything we do to push women forward in the industry.
Was it difficult finding the writers and artists on your titles or is there a wealth of female creators out there not being heard from?
Definitely the latter. There are so many women writers looking for a break just in Los Angeles, and so many good stories to choose from. The hard part is deciding which ones to develop!
The art side is very interesting. It’s some- times tough to find female artists who are working in the particular style you want, so we look for potential more than experience. We’ve worked with a few artists who pushed themselves very hard to achieve a new style. It’s definitely something more publishers should try as it expands the diversity of the talent pool you’re working with.
There are so, so many talented women working in comics, but they’re working on independent projects or webcomics. They’re out there, you just have to dig a little and make an effort to hire them.
What does the future hold for EMET Comics?
We recently had one of our graphic nov- els picked up by a publisher to be released in 2017, so that’s very exciting. Aside from that, we’re continuing to work on seven comic series and looking for a few more new projects. We’re planning to shoot an indie film this year as well. We’re dipping our toes in a lot of things that will hopefully be at the forefront of launching female creators into comics, film, and TV.
You can meet the creators of EMET Comics at Free Comic Book Day on May 7 only at Hi De Ho Comics.