If you're like, "Nimona? What's..." Stop! Reading! Go! Now, to the store!
Nimona, written & illustrated by Noelle Stevenson aka Gingerhaze, started as a web comic/senior thesis project in 2012 (sidenote: how f*cking inspiring is that?!). It's a super-cool graphic novel that follows the adventures of Nimona, a trouble-causing "impulsive young shapeshifter who aspires to supervillainy" as she volunteers to join 'villian' Ballister Blackheart as his trusty destruction-causing sidekick - err, show-stealer - and helps him in his attempts to thwart his nemesis, Goldenloin. It's hilarious, and so cleverly written. And I was so excited I found out she was magic. And it's so refreshing to see a complex female character in a comic! It sucks, that that's even a term: 'complex female character'. If you follow Noelle on twitter, you know she agrees. I heart Nimona's general badassery, body shape, and her rad haircut. Truthfully, I'd like to see how she would translate into a jean-vest wearing girl of these not-so-medieval times.
"Halt you villains! Unhand that science!" - Goldenloin
"You're gonna need to put on this beard." - Nimona
I love that Nimona know what she wants, and that she's deep, complex, and has issues like all of us. Only, the issues someone bullied as a 'monster' might have. Also, she has no hang-ups about wanting to be a villian. She struggles with aspects of herself in a real yet accessible and vulnerable way, and - like most teens - has trouble reigning in her reactions when it comes to her emotions. It's just an all-around great, imaginative, laugh-out-loud story that's ageless (the comic store guys suggested it for my 11 year old nephew, and I'm 31, so that's quite a range). I really can't wait to see what happens next. I hope there is a next. Please be a next!
You can read the first few pages where the web comic used to live, right here.
(Also, late to the party again, but: it's being animated?! Yesss.)