Kelly Sue DeConnick

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Kelly Sue DeConnick
Kelly Sue DeConnick at Heroes Convention 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina
Born (1970-07-15) July 15, 1970 (age 53)
Columbus, Ohio,[1] U.S.
Area(s)Writer, Editor
Notable works
Avengers Assemble, Captain Marvel, Pretty Deadly, Bitch Planet Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons
Spouse(s)Matt Fraction

Kelly Sue DeConnick (born July 15, 1970)[2] is an American comic book writer and editor and English-language adapter of manga.


Kelly Sue DeConnick was first introduced to the comics industry by writing copy for photos in adult magazines. She eventually moved on to posting her own stories on a message board for fellow comic book author Warren Ellis. He invited her to work on his new website at the time,, where she wrote catalog entries for comic-book issues.[3] Later in life, she got a job adapting translations of Japanese manga comics for Tokyopop and Viz Media.[4]

To ensure the dialogue she was adapting to English still followed the story arcs, she worked with a translator. DeConnick did this for seven years, and estimates she wrote more than 11,000 comic-book pages. About her work in foreign adaptation she said "... when people say dialogue is the best part of my scripts, it’s because I had a lot of practice."[3]

DeConnick's first published comic book story was a five-page text story published in CSI: Crime Scene Investigations – Dominos #5 (Dec. 2004).[5] She wrote the Osborn limited series in 2011 which was drawn by Emma Ríos.[6]

DeConnick began writing DC's Aquaman with issue #43 in December 2018.[7] She was interested in writing the character because he's not as well known as his Justice League counterparts. In a 2018 interview, DeConnick said "Aquaman is [...] considered second-tier. [...] [T]hat makes him an underdog to start with, which is a place I really like to work from."[8] In response to those worried about her changing the character, DeConnick said "I'm writing my Aquaman. I've done my research...Taking an interest in a character is one thing, but crafting your own unique approach is another."[8]

Personal life[edit]

Kelly Sue DeConnick was raised on various military bases because her father was in the United States Air Force. She says that comics were a part of "base culture" and her mother used to buy Wonder Woman comics thinking they were Go Girl books to give to DeConnick as rewards.[9] She earned a drama degree from the University of Texas at Austin.[3]

DeConnick is married to fellow comic book writer Matt Fraction with whom she has two children, Henry and Tallulah.[10][11][12]


DeConnick at BookCon in June 2019

DeConnick is a self-proclaimed feminist and uses her position in comics to promote feminism and feminist ideas. She started the #VisibleWomen movement on Twitter in March 2016 "to disabuse folks of the notion that women comic artists are rare, to get eyes on said artists & to get them work.".[13]

In another effort to support new artists, DeConnick helped found Creators for Creators, a non-profit organization that provides grants and mentoring to new artists.[13] When asked about handling sexism in the historically male-dominated comic industry, DeConnick advised, "Be terrifying."[14]

DeConnick makes a point to break the "damsel in distress" trope in her work. She received backlash from comic fans for several of the changes made to Carol Danvers comics during her time as a writer for Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel, which resulted in accusations of being "an angry feminist" and taking "the character and [inserting] her feminist agenda."[15] Regarding the opportunity to write Carol Danvers, DeConnick said, "Pretty much any chance I get to write female characters I'm going to write them because I want to see more of them."[9] She received criticism over her approach of the character before the first issue was even published because of the worry that her feminist beliefs would become more important than good writing of the character.[16] Using her family background in the Air Force, she was able to "add an extra dimension" to Danvers' character development and "gave it a personal angle."[16] During this time, the character's codename and uniform were changed, although DeConnick noted that plans for these changes predated her involvement.[17] With this new and improved Carol Danvers, DeConnick influenced the story foundation for the 2019 Captain Marvel movie.[16]

According to a 2014 study, the fastest growing demographic for comic readers was young adult women, crediting DeConnick's comic Pretty Deadly as one of the titles capturing this growing demographic's attention.[18]

DeConnick also proposed the "Sexy Lamp Test" adjunct to the Bechdel test.[17][19] In a 2012 interview, she said "If you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft. They have to be protagonists, not devices."[17] In response to male fans' criticism of Captain Marvel, DeConnick created her series Bitch Planet. She explained, "If you want to see 'angry feminist,' then I will show it to you."[15] Bitch Planet is a dystopian series where "non-compliant" women are sent to a "correction facility" on another planet.[20] DeConnick cites Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and RoboCop as influences in the creation of Bitch Planet.[21] In Bitch Planet, women who do not follow the rules of the patriarchy and are put in jail are given “Non-Compliant” tattoos. Many fans of the comic have gotten these same symbols tattooed on their bodies because they connect with the women in the comic. She brought it up in a 99U talk and said "You don't get that tattoo to celebrate something in the book, you get that tattoo because the book celebrates something in you."[22]

In 2012, DeConnick attended Dundrum International Comics Expo as a guest. When an associated Irish comic news site referred to her only in relation to her husband, fans and fellow professionals created a "not the wife of Matt Fraction" meme in response. Following the attention, the website amended their listings.[23] In 2014, Graham Crackers, a Chicago-based comic shop jokingly referred to DeConnick as "Mrs. Matt Fraction" when reviewing her series Bitch Planet, referring to Matt Fraction as "Mr. Kelly Sue DeConnick" in the same set of reviews. Fans accused them of underestimating the complicated history of referring to a woman by her husband's name and demanded she receive proper recognition for her work. The comic shop later issued an apology and revised the names of the couple on the reviews.[24]

At a 2013 convention panel, she stated that "I am willing to make people uncomfortable so that my daughter doesn't have to!"[25] Following up in an interview the following year, she explained "I don't think it's a goal to make other people uncomfortable. It's something I'm willing to do. I do purposefully try to push myself out of my comfort zone. Which is fairly cliché, but one of those clichés that got there for a reason."[26]

About using her full name Kelly Sue DeConnick, she said "I didn't grow up Kelly Sue. I was Kelly. I use Sue and I insist on using Sue so that when someone sees a book with my name on it, they know it was written by a woman. I want a little girl who sees that to know that that's something she can do."[9]





  • British Fantasy Awards win for Best Comic/Graphic Novel – Bitch Planet, Volume 1.[28]




Image Comics
  • 24Seven Volume 1 (graphic novel, with other artists, tpb, 225 pages, August 2006, ISBN 1-58240-636-7)
  • 24Seven Volume 2 (graphic novel, with other artists, tpb, 240 pages, August 2007, ISBN 1-58240-846-7)
  • Comic Book Tattoo Tales Inspired by Tori Amos (graphic novel, with other artists, hc, 480 pages, July 2008, ISBN 1-58240-965-X)
  • Pretty Deadly (with Emma Ríos, October 2013–present)
  • Bitch Planet (with Valentine De Landro, December 2014–present)
IDW Publishing
Marvel Comics
BOOM! Studios
DC Comics
Dark Horse Comics


  • Killing Demons (2003) graphic novel

Manga adaptations[edit]

Other work[edit]

DeConnick served as a consultant on the film Captain Marvel. She also makes a cameo appearance as a train passenger who bumps into Carol Danvers.[30]


  1. ^ @kellysue (April 17, 2017). "@girlgutters Is cbus Columbus, Ohio? Because I was born there and I'm back for an event in the fall" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ DeConnick, Kelly Sue (July 7, 2010). "First Ten Lists". Archived from the original on November 2, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Parker, Laura A. "Kelly Sue DeConnick Is the Future of Women in Comics, and She's Terrifying". Vanity Fair. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  4. ^ "". Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  5. ^ Kelly Sue DeConnick at the Grand Comics Database
  6. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "2010s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. Dorling Kindersley. p. 335. ISBN 978-0756692360. Picking up where Siege had left off, this five-issue limited series, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and drawn by Emma Rios, started with Osborn as a prisoner. {{cite book}}: |first2= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "Kelly Sue DeConnick explains how her upcoming 'Aquaman' comic is like Led Zeppelin". Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "The new Aquaman will be more Wonder Woman than Superman". Polygon. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Stotter, Marisa (December 9, 2014). "She Makes Comics".
  10. ^ "Conversations with GoD: Matt Fraction". Geeks of Doom. September 29, 2008. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013.
  11. ^ Richards, Dave (April 6, 2010). "DeConnick On Sif, Rescue and Girl Comics". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  12. ^ Truitt, Brian (November 12, 2012). "Family fuels Matt Fraction's Fantastic Four". USA Today. Archived from the original on April 18, 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Prescott, Gina H. (May 4, 2016). "Women and Comics: Kelly Sue DeConnick". Threadless Blog. Archived from the original on January 9, 2018. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  14. ^ Parker, Laura A. (July 8, 2015). "Kelly Sue DeConnick Is the Future of Women in Comics, and She's Terrifying". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on July 9, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Saraiya, Sonia (November 18, 2015). "If you want to see 'angry feminist,' I will show it to you". Salon. Archived from the original on November 18, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  16. ^ a b c Century, Sara (October 8, 2018). "Kelly Sue DeConnick's Captain Marvel and why she matters". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  17. ^ a b c Hudson, Laura (March 19, 2012). "Kelly Sue Deconnick on the Evolution of Carol Danvers to Captain Marvel [Interview]". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on November 11, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  18. ^ O'Leary, Shannon (March 21, 2014). "Despite Early Sales Slump, Comics Retailers Remain Upbeat". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on September 10, 2014.
  19. ^ Kelly Sue DeConnick (April 21, 2014). Strong Women & the Creators that Empower Them. WonderCon Anaheim 2014. Event occurs at 0:37. Retrieved November 23, 2018 – via YouTube. I'm looking for agency. What that means is, I want the character to be a human being. ... They have to have something that they want. They need to have an interior life. What can happen with female characters,... you can rob them of that. You can make them into a plot device, or a motivating factor for another character. Some of you have heard me describe 'the sexy lamp test'. If you can take a female character out, and replace her with a sexy lamp, and your plot still functions,... you're a hack. When I'm looking for a strong female character, I'm looking for a character that has a purpose in that story. ... I don't want them to be props.{{cite AV media}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  20. ^ DeConnick, Kelly Sue (2015). Bitch Planet. Image Comics.
  21. ^ Foxe, Steve (September 7, 2016). "Margaret Atwood & Kelly Sue DeConnick in Glorious Discussion: Sci-Fi, Tattoos, Angel Catbird, Bitch Planet and So Very Much More". Paste. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  22. ^ Inc., Behance (August 14, 2015). "Kelly Sue DeConnick: How To Make People Uncomfortable (And Still Make a Living)". 99U by Behance. Retrieved November 29, 2018. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  23. ^ Johnston, Rich (August 2, 2012). "Bleeding Cool Is Not The Wife of Matt Fraction Either". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on February 10, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  24. ^ Cox, Carolyn (December 11, 2014). "Chicago Comic Shop Chain Calls Kelly Sue DeConnick 'Mrs. Matt Fraction' In Bitch Planet Listing". The Mary Sue. Archived from the original on December 20, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  25. ^ ZF, Christopher (October 16, 2013). "The Women of Marvel 'make people uncomfortable so that my daughter doesn't have to!'". The Stake. Archived from the original on December 20, 2014.
  26. ^ Zumski, Christopher (January 29, 2014). "'So My Daughter Won't Have To': Why Kelly Sue DeConnick Fights to Make Women Welcome in Comics". Yes!. Archived from the original on March 31, 2014.
  27. ^ locusmag (July 26, 2022). "2022 Eisner Awards". Locus Online. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  28. ^ a b c "sfadb : Kelly Sue DeConnick Awards". Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  29. ^ Sims, Chris (April 15, 2014). "2014 Eisner Award Nominees Announced: Image Leads, Strong Showings From Dark Horse And Vertigo". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014.
  30. ^ Nemiroff, Perri (January 8, 2019). "'Captain Marvel': 28 Things to Know About the Marvel Cinematic Universe Prequel". Collider. Archived from the original on January 8, 2019. Retrieved January 8, 2019.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Avengers Assemble writer
Succeeded by