Shelly Bond’s Femme Magnifique Anthology Gets a Softcover Second Life at IDW Publishing

Plus: Contributor Robin Furth Reflects on her Ursula K. Le Guin Entry

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Shelly Bond&#8217;s <i>Femme Magnifique</i> Anthology Gets a Softcover Second Life at IDW Publishing

Before longtime Vertigo editor Shelly Bond founded the Black Crown imprint at IDW Publishing, overseeing titles like Kid Lobotomy, Assassinistas and the upcoming Punks Not Dead, she assembled Femme Magnifique, an impressive hardcover anthology tribute to women empowerment. Curated along with Brian and Kristy Miller and sporting contributors like Kelly Sue DeConnick, Tee Franklin, Gail Simone, Gerard Way, Mike Carey, Peter Gross, Tess Fowler, Tini Howard and dozens more, Femme Magnifique blew through its initial Kickstarter goal of $40,000, ultimately raking in nearly $100,000 to tell the stories of female role models like Sally Ride, Michelle Obama, Harriet Tubman, Carrie Fisher and many more. On November 4, 2018, IDW Publishing will help Bond spread Femme Magnifique far and wide with a new softcover collection, and Paste has an exclusive first look at the trade dress, which spotlights the diverse interior art.

Femme Magnifique Softcover Cover Art Courtesy IDW Publishing

“There’s nothing more gratifying for an editor than pairing up artists and writers who never met to collaborate on empowering stories,” Bond said in a statement to Paste. “Following through on the original vision means getting Femme Magnifique to the widest audience possible. We want it in every bedroom, boardroom and library to educate and empower. And there’s no publisher that has the grand passion and commitment to global outreach like IDW. We wrangled talent from such diverse places as India, South Africa, Greece, Denmark, Singapore, Scotland, France, the UK, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and stateside from coast to coast, all eager to contribute to this anthology. The directive was simple: write a tribute to your favorite female trailblazer and make it part mini biopic, part personal angle. The end result is magnifique.”

In addition to the new cover art, Paste is proud to share writer Robin Furth, artist Devaki Neogi and colorist Hi-Fi’s tribute to legendary science-fiction/fantasy pioneer Ursula K. Le Guin, who passed away last month at the age of 88. Find the full story, along with Furth’s reflection on Le Guin’s legacy, below.


Robin Furth on Ursula K. Le Guin:

Ursula K. Le Guin changed my life. Her varied and beautiful body of work showed me that a writer does not have to narrowly define herself or himself as either a poet or a novelist, an author of literature or of fantasy and science fiction. Le Guin was a poet, a novelist, a short story writer and an essayist, and she excelled in all of these areas. But most important to me personally was her magnificent output of fantasy and science fiction. I grew up in a world that dismissed these types of stories as throwaway, somehow less valuable than “realism.” But in the realms of the heart and the soul, isn’t it the symbolic and mythic—in all their forms—that speak to us most clearly? And in the end, whether devotees of straight realism want to admit it or not, speculative fiction is the oldest literature on earth.

Le Guin’s work remains astounding, no matter how many times I reread it. It has the vision, profundity and beauty of the very best art. She taught me that the imagination is a subversive force, and that stories can change the world, one reader at a time.

My goal in writing my Le Guin piece for Femme Magnifique was to honor a writer who has meant so much to me. I was overwhelmed and honored that, after reading it, she took the time to send a note via her agent, saying that my story had touched her. I had no idea that in just over six months, she would be gone. Was she already ill when she wrote? I don’t know. But it makes me even more grateful that she took the time to reach out to me. Thank you, Ursula.

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Femme Magnifique Interior Art by Devaki Neogi & Hi-Fi

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Femme Magnifique Interior Art by Devaki Neogi & Hi-Fi

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Femme Magnifique Interior Art by Devaki Neogi & Hi-Fi

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Femme Magnifique Interior Art by Devaki Neogi & Hi-Fi