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Welcome to Tranquility
Gail Simone (aka Gladys Simonetti) is an American writer best known for her work in comics on DC's Birds of Prey, Batgirl, Dynamite Entertainment's Red Sonja, and for being the longest running female writer on Wonder Woman to date. Other notable works include Clean Room, Secret Six, Welcome to Tranquility, The All-New Atom, and Deadpool.
She enjoyed a long-running stint on The Simpsons comics, and has also written for television and video games.
Her work has been nominated for a number of awards including the GLAAD Media Award, and she is the recipient of a 2017 San Diego Comic Con Inkpot Award.
Gail Simone was born and raised in Oregon.
A former hairdresser who studied theater in college, Simone first came to public notice through Women in Refrigerators, a website founded in 1999 by comics fans in response to a scene in Green Lantern #54, in which the titular hero's girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt, was murdered and her corpse shoved in a refrigerator for the hero to find. The site's purpose was to analyze how female characters are written so as to suffer traumatic indignities, a plot device to advance the narrative of male characters. The site brought her into contact with many people working in the comics industry.
Her column You'll All Be Sorry! appeared weekly on Comic Book Resources. Topics ranged from short, satirical summaries of comic books ("Condensed Comic Classics") to fan fiction parodies.
From 2001, Simone wrote Simpsons Comics for Bongo Comics, including an annual Treehouse of Horror special, and regular scripts for Bart Simpson Comics. Simone also penned many Sunday strips for the syndicated Simpsons comic strip.
Simone worked for Marvel Comics' on Deadpool from 2003. After Deadpool was canceled and relaunched as Agent X, Simone continued as writer, but eventually left the project after a conflict with the series' editor. Simone returned to write the concluding arc to Agent X after the series' initial cancellation.
Simone moved to DC Comics, where she wrote Birds of Prey in 2003 from issue #56, which featured an all-female team: Oracle, Black Canary, The Huntress and Lady Blackhawk.
Simone wrote Action Comics with John Byrne as pencil artist. In 2005 Simone wrote the Villains United limited series – part of the "Infinite Crisis" crossover – starring the Catman character. She also wrote a two-issue story arc that focused on Hawk & Dove for a rebooted Teen Titans series with Rob Liefeld as artist. Simone supported Liefeld in the face of public criticism of his art.
Simone's Villains United limited series spin-off Secret Six followed in 2005, which led to an ongoing series in September 2008, and multiple DC crossovers prior to the September 2011 New 52 relaunch.
Other works by Simone include Action Comics, The Legion, Rose and Thorn, Wildstorm's Gen¹³, and an Atom series based on ideas by Grant Morrison and penciled by John Byrne and Mike Norton. She wrote a creator-owned project about a retirement community of super-heroes, Welcome to Tranquility, for Wildstorm, and was a contributor to Tori Amos's Comic Book Tattoo.
In 2007 Simone took over writing duties on Wonder Woman from issue #14. To date, Simone is Wonder Woman's longest-running female writer. In 2010 she took over the writing reins on Birds of Prey.
She returned to Welcome to Tranquility for a second limited series in 2010. In 2011 she collaborated with co-writer Ethan Van Sciver on a revamped Firestorm series. Secret Six was canceled and Simone left Birds of Prey and The Fury of Firestorm.
In 2011, Simone contributed to The Power Within, a Kickstarter-funded comic book that focuses on teen bullying.
As part of DC Comics' New 52 initiative, Simone wrote a new Batgirl title starring Barbara Gordon, which debuted in 2011. Simone introduced a character named Alysia Yeoh, the first transgender character written in a contemporary context in a mainstream comic book.
In 2012, news outlets reported that her exclusivity deal with DC had terminated and she was leaving the Batgirl title as well as DC Comics. In 2012, Simone revealed that she was fired from Batgirl by the book's new editor Brian Cunningham. After fan protests, Simone returned to Batgirl as writer.
In 2013, DC Comics published The Movement by Simone and artist Freddie Williams II, which Simone called "a book about power – who owns it, who uses it, who suffers from its abuse." Also in 2013 Simone wrote a new ongoing Red Sonja series for Dynamite.
Also in 2013, Simone was listed first on IGN's list of the "Best Tweeters in Comics" for the "enthusiasm and thoughtfulness" of her Twitter posts.
In 2014-2015, Simone wrote the Lara Croft series Tomb Raider for Dark Horse Comics, set between the 2013 video game reboot and its sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Oni Press published her graphic novel Seven Days with art by Jose Luis in 2020 as part of an initiative to launch a new Catalyst Prime superhero universe.
In 2005, Simone penned an episode of the series Justice League Unlimited entitled "Double Date", which featured Question, Huntress, Green Arrow and Black Canary. Originally, Simone intended the episode to feature Batgirl but animation rights for the character were unavailable.
In 2007, Simone wrote an episode of GameTap's Revisioned: Tomb Raider, entitled "Pre-Teen Raider".
She also wrote a 2010 episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold entitled "The Mask of Matches Malone!", featuring Black Canary and Huntress from "Birds of Prey".
In 2019, she wrote an episode of the series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic entitled "Between Dark and Dawn".
Simone is notable for being one of the most influential women in the comic book industry. Her blog "Women In Refrigerators" raised awareness of the representation of women in comics. Simone believes most female comic characters are targeted at male audiences through oversexualization, and advocates for the creation of female characters that are as powerful, appealing, and commercially viable as male characters, something she strives to achieve in her own work.
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