Introducing…Athena Voltaire!

This isn’t exactly “writing” stuff (more like inspiration), but…yesterday I was trying to hunt down this movie that, several years back, I saw either a trailer of or movie stills for (at least I thought I did) which involved either a Chinese or Japanese spy around the WWII era (I know! I can’t remember which)…and she was wearing this pilot helmet, and…that’s all I remember.

Not much to go on, I know.  That’s why I couldn’t find it!  (If it even exists.)

But that’s okay–because I accidentally came across something infinitely more amazing!

She’s a pilot, she’s handy with a pistol, she can kick some Nazi butt… Who is this chick?

Introducing: Athena Voltaire!

Athena Voltaire started out as an online web comic which, after earning a nomination for an Eisner Award and becoming a big success, carried over into print (available here).  In the creator Steve Bryant‘s own words during a Critical Mess interview in 2010, “Athena Voltaire is a book about a 1930s globetrotting aviatrix who fights Nazis and supernatural creatures. That’s the book in a nutshell.”  It was inspired by the likes of James Bond and Indiana Jones, as well as the real-life aviatrix Florence Lowe “Poncho” Barnes, and is described as a pulp adventure.  (Originally she was to be a space ranger, though I, for one, am glad for the change.)

Seriously, what’s not to love!  (Okay, she is portrayed as an obvious feast-for-the(-male)-eyes with a cleavacious 36-24-36 figure, but the concept is cool enough that I can get over this.)

You can check out some of the comics here (just click the images to progress through the story).  To learn more about the comics and the illustrator, check out these interviews on Westfield Comics and The Mighty Crusaders Network, as well as Bryant’s own blog.  (Interested but don’t feel like reading?  Well, check out this MTV Geek! video interview with Bryant instead.)

Lastly, here is a teaser video for Athena Voltaire: Flight of the Falcon when it first came out in ’06:

And if you really love it, you can even “like” it on Facebook. 🙂

In The Meantime…

I should get back to editing.  Though, coming across this while working on a rough spot in the manuscript was pretty inspirational.  A reminder of the kind of thing I’m working towards: good, old-fashioned adventurous fun.  Complemented by moments of introspective character study, of course.  I enjoy a bit of both.  (I also came across some really cool information about earlier aircraft models as well as modern-day fixed-wing VTOL aircraft, but…I won’t go into that.)

How About You All?

Have you come across anything recently that has inspired you with ideas or just provided that bit extra motivation you needed to push through something that wasn’t working out?


10 thoughts on “Introducing…Athena Voltaire!

  1. Hey Tiyana,
    Nice recomendation. I’ll have to check this comic out.

    For me, when I need inspiration, I go back to authors I know and love. If I’m writing heroic fantasy and I get stuck or depressed, I’ll grab some David Gemmell or Robert Howard and read that. If I need inspiration for my new novel, I’ll read some Westlake, Chandler or Hammett short stories.


    • That’s interesting to me because I tend to go to things I’ve never even heard of before! lol

      Can you recommend any good Chandler shorts? 😀


    • Well, as Steve mentions below the actual webcomic itself isn’t available online anymore. (I guess the stories on Webcomics Nation weren’t part of the original webcomic. :/) But you can still buy the two collections he mentions!


  2. That does look like a cool concept, and also right up the lines of what you’re writing! I really wish I could draw… LOL (this one’s giving me the wrong inspiration, but inspiration nonetheless.)


    • At first I was like, “OMG, my heroine is a rip-off of something I’ve never even seen before!” *bawls* But then I realized they were pretty different and the world started spinning again, heh.

      And I also wish I could draw (and render) beautifully like this. It’s quite amazing what artists are capable of. 🙂


  3. Thanks for the kind words, Tiyana!

    A couple of clarifications:

    (1) AV is only an Eisner Award nominee—I didn’t win.

    (2) The webcomic is no longer running, but there are two collections currently in print, Flight of the Falcon and The Collected Webcomics. Both are available through Amazon.

    (3) I’m trying to tone down some of the cleavacious (great word) qualities as I progress in my pursuit of more naturalistic figure-drawing. It’s a long process, but hopefully my work will continue top improve. Don’t get me wrong—I still strive to draw beautiful women and handsome men, but the goal is to work within an idealized—but realistic—framework.

    I’m plugging my way through the next mini-series/graphic novel and hope to have it ready to go in early 2012. I’m handling all of the writing and drawing on the series now, so it can be a bit slow-going at times.

    Your blog is a wonderful read and I look forward to following it!

    Have a great day!



    • Holy moly, haha… Hi, Steve! Thanks for the clarifications and comments. I’ll make sure to get those first two things squared away in my article.

      About the cleavaciousness (lol), I guess I just see it all the time in video games and whatnot, so it makes me wonder, “Why can’t our heroines just be covered up for once?” But for what it’s worth, I do think your Athena is a lovely character!

      Also, I can’t wait to see what other stories you come up with. I plan to purchase them all. 🙂

      Thanks again, Steve, for dropping by (and also for the compliment). I’m quite thrilled that you did. 😀


Comments are closed.