LaSalle, Ont.'s Meredith Finch brings authentic female voices to comic books

LaSalle, Ont. comic book writer, Meredith Finch, says women want their female characters to be authentic.

Finch made a name for herself, writing for DC Comic's Wonder Woman series

Meredith Finch, comic book artist and writer (Arms Bumanlag/CBC)

Meredith Finch has made a name for herself in the comic book world as a writer for several comics, including DC Comic's Wonder Woman series.

She's also a mother of three boys who lives on a quiet LaSalle, Ont. street with her husband, renowned comic book artist David Finch.

Meredith said she got into comic books because of her husband.

"When I first met Dave, I didn't know comic books still existed," she said, adding she read Archie comics as a kid, and thought by comics he meant comic strips or the "funnies."

That all changed when she saw her husband's elaborate drawings. She started managing his career and wrote in her spare time while taking care of the kids.

David was the one who recognized her talent and encouraged her to start writing for comic books.

Comics still male dominated

Finch said she was drawn to writing female characters early on.

Wonder Woman comic written by Meredith Finch and illustrated by her husband, David Finch. (DC Comics)

"I really tried to think about bringing a feminine perspective to it because comics are still largely written by men," she said.

"I hadn't really read anything that resonated with me, personally, so I wanted to try to make the comics I was writing feel like it was written by a woman, for women."

She also put her experience as a mother to good use.

"With Wonder Woman, I really took the idea of being a mom and tried to apply that to that story line," she said, playing on the character's many responsibilities. "I tried to play off the idea of feeling pulled in different directions, just like I do sometimes."

Authenticity is paramount

Finch said she uses what she's learned from the women in her life, including her mother and grandmother, and incorporates it in her writing. 

"I think that as long as you put something that is authentic and true and a part of yourself into what you're doing, it always finds its audience."

In 2017, she created her very own comic book series called Rose. She said she wanted to get away from the super hero genre and had always been interested in fantasy fiction, and she had already come up with a character with her husband. And, Finch points out, 75 per cent of the people who work on it are women. 

Meredith Finch's comic book series, Rose. (Arms Bumanlag/CBC)

Pointing to the huge success of last year's Wonder Woman movie blockbuster, Finch said female characters are starting to resonate more with people because "she actually felt like women. She didn't feel like a male construct of what a woman should be."

Scott St. Amour owns the Windsor comic book store Paper Heroes. He acknowledged that comics have been traditionally male-based, but he's seeing more and more customers who want to read female voices.

"That's grown so much, so it's nice to have a voice for another demographic in the market. People coming in wanting to be represented and having these strong female characters is the way to do it."

Scott St. Amour, owner of Paper Heroes, says the people want to see themselves represented in the comic books they buy. (Arms Bumanlag/CBC)