February FemFest - F C A W - Female Creators Appreciation Week
Jen Van Meter
Ms. Van Meter entered into the world of comics following her graduation from Vassar college and the completion of a Masters in Folklore Studies from The University of Oregon. Her first published works were from Dark Horse comics and an issue of Dark Horse Presents that heralded the first appearance of Buffy The Vampire Slayer in comic book form. This was followed by work for Oni Press where Ms. Van Meter wrote tales for the short-lived ‘The Blair Witch Chronicles.’ Hugely impressed with her talent, Oni gave Van Meter free reign to create her own series and it was from here that Hopeless Savages was born.
Hopeless Savages is a book that has meant a lot to me personally. First published in 2002, It tells the tale of a family of musicians, the parents, veterans from the Punk Rock movement of the 70’s, and their children, seeking to follow their parents’ footsteps while carving out their own paths. Beautifully illustrated by artist, Christine Norrie (along with periodic fill-ins by Chynna Clugston, Andi Watson, Vera Brosgol, and Bryan Lee O’Malley), Hopeless Savages was something of the middle class suburban version of ‘Love and Rockets' (by The Brothers Hernandez). It was also one of the first big hit comics to feature a gay main character depicted in a positive and realistic fashion.
Zero Hopeless-Savage, the youngest of the cast, is my favorite character by far. I wanted to go out with her, marry her, and be her all at once. If any of you out there have yet to read Hopeless Savages, get off Tumblr right now, hit up Amazon or your local comic shop, and rectify the situation at once. ‘Hopeless Savages: Greatest Hits' collects the entire run (with bonus material) and is not to be missed.
Following the conclusion of Hopeless Savages, Ms. Van Meter went on to work for the big two (DC and Marvel). For DC, she wrote ‘Black Lightning Year One,’ a Liberty Belle/Hourman back-up feature for ‘JSA Allstars,’ as well as the Western miniseries, ‘Cinnamon: El Ciclo.’ For Marvel, she completed a run on ‘Solo Avengers,’ featuring Hawkeye along with a wonderful Spidey/Black Cat team-up that appeared in the 700th issue of ‘Amazing Spider-Man.’
What’s next for Ms. Van Meter remains to be seen. Personally, I would’t mind seeing a reunion issue or two for the Hopeless-Savage family… or perhaps an ongoing Black Cat title at Marvel.