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What to Read After Watching the Barbie Movie

By Alex Arata

Like so many others before me, I have become obsessed with the (as I write this) upcoming Barbie flick, to an almost obsessive degree. To that point, I figured: why not channel this unhealthy fixation into something productive… and thus, a list of comics to check out post Barbie movie was born! Full disclosure: I’m slated to watch the movie (again, as I write this,) later tonight. But I just know these books pass the Barbie vibe check. With that… let’s begin!


Girl Juice book coverGirl Juice by Benji Nate
Fine, Barbie the doll is for children and Girl Juice the book is strictly for grownups. But what else so accurately represents the legion of adult women lining up to watch this hot pink flick that joyfully celebrates Ken’s uselessness, than Nate’s iconic character Bunny, decked out in rabbit-themed BDSM gear, walking around men she just met on leashes? Trust me, it works. Plus, no one illustrates cute outfits like Benji Nate, and her celebration of feminine imperfection fits super well alongside a story about Barbie being flung into the oh-so-disappointing real world.


Coyote Doggirl book coverCoyote Doggirl by Lisa Hanawalt
One of the first comics I ever fell in love with, Coyote Doggirl may evoke a similar nostalgia within me as the Barbie movie does for others, but its spot on this list goes beyond that. Just like Girl Juice, this book is a masterwork in crafting a complicated protagonist of the girl variety, as opposed to the overdone and often comparatively hollow strong female character trope. This pick is funny and surprisingly affecting, and will bring out your inner horse girl in a way that–I think–fits perfectly alongside Barbie fanaticism.


Brazen book coverBrazen by Penelope Bagieu
Maybe this one is a gimme, but an obvious choice still belongs on the list! Brazen is an honest and funny collection of biographical tales uplifting the stories of famous women throughout history. Stylish, silly, and oozing “girl boss” vibes, Brazen kind of feels like the many Barbie careers coming to vibrant life. Reading it makes me feel like yelling “You go, girl!” in a way I assume I’ll be screeching after I finally feast my eyes on this cinematic masterpiece.


F*ck Off Squad book coverF*ck Off Squad by Nicole Goux and Dave Baker
Okay, so, first of all: the illustrations in this book are entirely inked in shades of pink. Like, duh. Of course it belongs on the list. But even beyond its aesthetic Barbie-isms, F*ck Off Squad feels like a perfect Barbie companion for those that lean more tomboy than girly-girl. It follows a trio of skate-boarding scoundrels trying their best to come of age amidst ollies, relationship drama, and the ever present Los Angeles sun.


Woman World book coverWoman World by Aminder Dhaliwal
Barbie Land is essentially a version of what one would imagine as a woman’s world, but Aminder Dhaliwal takes it even further, depicting a post-apocalyptic land in which men are long gone. Dhaliwal’s take on this kind of idea, which at this point is almost a trope, with self-aware humor that results in a frothy and affirming read, much like I ASSUME the Barbie movie will be…


Sailor Moon book coverSailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi
Here we have another “duh” pick in my opinion, but I find a lot of people who know Sailor Moon still haven’t read it! Let me tell you: It’s so worth it. This manga has everything: adorable clothes, a hilarious girl protag who’s central trait is bursting into tears, a mysterious love interest, and, above all else, GIRL POWER! Reading this manga is so fun and refreshing, a perfect companion to Ms. Barbara Mattel (yes, I know that’s not her real name).


Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow book coverSupergirl: Woman of Tomorrow by Tom King, Bilquis Evely, and Matheus Lopes
Okay, I have an admission to make. In the middle of writing this post, I had to take a break and am now living in a post-Barbie movie watch world. Having been made privy to the wonders of Greta Gerwig’s hot pink adventure, I can confidently say this comic fits the theme perfectly! Just like Barbie, Supergirl suddenly has a crisis of meaning. Just like Barbie, Supergirl finds herself needing to prove her worth, despite overwhelming evidence that she’s already awesome. And just like Barbie, Supergirl ends up navigating an epic journey outside the world she knows. So, yeah, I nailed it picking this one.