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Posts tagged "lady creator profile"

Black History Month ProFile Friday

Natashia McGough is a working writer and editor in all facets of the entertainment and literary industry.

McGough started off as a staff writer for her elementary school’s newspaper “The News.” She later wrote for the creative publications of her high school’s advanced English classes. While attending Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, she had internships with local newspapers and magazines in Atlanta, Houston, Texas, Atlanta, and London, England, as well as being the campus and local editor for her college’s newspaper, The Spelman Spotlight.

She has written comic strips for local comic magazine Cee Somefun in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as written two comic books, God Drug and Danity Kane, both published by Eigomanga Anime Multimedia Company and Devil’s Due. Danity Kane was co-written with Dawn Richard, member of the band of the same name, about “a teenage girl from a faraway planet who comes to Earth to save her people, fighting a secret war between her klan and the tyrants that oppress them.”

McGough has written several feature screenplays and two TV spec scripts. She has produced and written her own short films, which have received great recognition as the Organ Mountain Rio Grande film festival’s Governor’s Hall of Fame winner, Audience Choice Award Winner at the Holly Shorts Film Festival, and Myrtle Beach International film festival’s top seven finalist. She has been an apprentice to several professional writers of the industry, as well as worked as an Assistant on several TV shows; such as a TV Series, Night Stalker, produced by ABC/ Touchstone Television, a one hour comedy, The Underground, produced by Showtime and Damon Wayans Productions, and an animated TV series, The Goode Family, produced by ABC Television Network.

In 2010, she co-produced V.I.P.s: Very Important Professionals, which “profiles minority professionals who achieved their dreams of success through hard work and the pursuit of higher education despite their troubled upbringings”.

She has written, directed, and produced a well received play Shadow Faces, which opened at the Space Theatre in Hollywood, CA on June 16, 2006. She has also edited a published self help book by savvy businessman Mike Roberts Sr. and has performed professional ghost-writing for a literary publishing company, Arborbooks. She has ghost-written several authors’ books.

A native of Houston, Texas, she currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

ProFile Friday

Cynthia Martin is an artist best known for her work on the Marvel Comics Star Wars title during its waning years in the mid-1980s. She was one of the few women working in mainstream American comics during that time.

Martin’s clean lines and strong sense of movement during action scenes set her apart from other Star Wars artists of the time. Her work displayed the influence of Japanese manga long before it became common in American comics.

Martin was born and educated in southern California, and became a professional comic book illustrator at the age of 22. The first comic Martin worked on was the Ms. Victory Special #1 (AC Comics, 1985).

In 1985, she met Mary Jo Duffy at the first convention she attended, in Los Angeles. Ann Nocenti, the editor, called her about a week later and offered her the Star Wars assignment. She first she did the covers for issues 92 and 93, and then the pencils for most of the issues between 94 and 107. Besides AC and Marvel, Martin has worked for DC Comics, Eclipse Comics, First Comics, Topps Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and a number of other small presses.

In recent years, Martin has been illustrating early-reader “graphic biographies” for Capstone Press. She also illustrated Edge Books: How to Draw Comic Heroes. According to her bio on Silver Phoenix Entertainment, Martin’s currents projects include books for ABDO Publications and the graphic novel Shadowflight. She contributed to Marvel’s Girl Comics anthology and penciled the first two issues of Honey West, written by Trina Robbins and based on the novel and television action heroine of the same name.

On May 1, 2010, Cynthia was inducted as an Honorary Member of the 501st Legion international costuming organization in recognition of her contributions to the Star Wars saga.

She currently resides in Omaha, Nebraska.

With the recent news about the Star Wars license moving back to Marvel, I’ve been thinking about Cynthia Martin’s work on the series in the late ’80s. Thought I’d share it and more!

ProFile Friday

Emanuela Lupacchino is an Italian artist best known for her work on X-Factor for Marvel.

She was a biotech researcher before deciding to follow her passion for art and comics, and she attended an Italian comics art academy for three years. Her work appeared in the Italian series L’Insonne as well as some short stories in anthologies. She also worked as a character designer for role-playing game books and as an illustrator.

Her first big break into American comics was in 2009, when IDW hired her to pencil Angel: Only Human. In 2010 Marvel hired her to pencil X-Factor with writer Peter David. She has since penciled a Castle tie-in graphic novel (Storm Season) written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, a run on Valiant’s Archer & Armstrong written by Fred Van Lente, and covers on various DC titles such as World’s Finest and Ame-Comi Girls, as well as IDW’s Star Trek.

She cites The Rocketeer creator Dave Stevens as a strong influence on her approach to sequential art.

Find Emanuela’s books on Amazon!

ProFile Friday

Catherine Muller, known as Catel, is a French writer and artist.

When she was 12, Catel discovered the works of Claire Bretécher, one of the first female cartoonists in France, sparking her ambition to become a comics artist. She graduated from the l’École supérieure des arts décoratifs (School of Decorative Arts) in Strasbourg. She began her career children’s books, published by Hachette, Epigoni, Nathan, and Dupuis Hatier. Her work includes about fifty illustrated books, some of which were selections of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. She also illustrated L’Encyclo des filles (The Girls’ Encyclopedia) published by Plon.

Catel first branched into adult media in 2000 by writing scripts for the television show “Un gars, une fille” (“A guy, a girl,”) while continuing with the series Luciewhich she calls “the French Bridget Jones”, opening the way for more comics with certain contemporary female concerns. In 2005, she won the Audience Award at the Angoulême festival for the World War I-set graphic novel Le Sang des Valentines (Blood of Valentines) illustrated and written in collaboration with Christian De Metter.

Over the course of her career, Catel has created or co-created several books about famous or important women, starting with singer Edith Piaf, an eponymous book co-created with José-Louis Bocquet. Her next book, also with Bocquet, Kiki de Montparnasse, about the early 20th century actress, model, and artist, received the Grand Prix RTL in 2007 and the Prix-Essential FNAC station in Angoulême 2008.

With Claire Bouilhac and Emmanuelle Polac, she drew a book about the art historian and French Resistance member Rose Valland. With writer Philippe Paringaux, she created Dolor, about actress Mireille Balin, which was selected out of competition at the Angoulême Festival 2010 and was awarded the “thunderbolt” at the “Bulles en Nord” festival. Her third collaboration with José-Louis Bocquet, Olympe de Gouges, a biography of the 18th century French feminist and author of the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Citizen, won the the Grand Prix Littéraire de l’Héroïne Madame Figaro 2012 in the category Biographies/Documentaries.

Her first solo biographical work, Ainsi soit Benoîte Groult, was inspired by her friendship with Groult, a respected French feminist novelist. It received the 2014 Prix Artémisia for exceptional comics work by women.

Currently, Catel is working on Lilac Kharkov with Claire Bouilhac, the story of the mother of actress Mylène Demongeot, who had escaped the Russian Civil War. She also started her next graphic novel with Bocquet, on the life of Josephine Baker. 

Catel’s only work currently available in English is Lucie s’en soucie (as Bluesy Lucy) and Kiki de Montparnasse, and I hoped by profiling her here, I could help in some small way to bring some attention and spur some interest in bringing more of her work over. (I for one think it’s a shame the Rose Valland book won’t be available when The Monuments Men movie comes out, in which Valland is played by Cate Blanchett).

And, just throwing this out there, I happen to speak French.

ProFile Friday

Faith Erin Hicks is a Canadian comics creator/cartoonist from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Born in British Columbia, Hicks moved to Ontario at age five. She was homeschooled with her three brothers. After studying animation at Sheridan College, she drew backgrounds to the George of the Jungle animated series.

She first came to prominence as a cartoonist with her long-running webcomic Demonology 101, which she worked on all through college. After it ended, Hicks created a short spinoff of the D101 character Sachs entitled A Distant Faith.  Her first traditionally published graphic novel was the zombie-movie inspired comic, Zombies Calling, published by Slave Labor Graphics in 2007, which was soon followed by the boarding school fantasy The War at Ellsmere in 2008. 

She continued doing webcomics, including the dystopian comic Ice (originally published on Modern Tales) which ran from 2003 to 2010. She also worked briefly in traditional comic strip publishing with the 12-part Jenny Has Six Brothers, serialized in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. She combined the two approaches when she launches The Adventures of Superhero Girl in 2010, serializing it both online and in the Halifax free weekly The Coast. A collection was published by Dark Horse in 2013

Hicks has also collaborated with writers on a number of projects. In 2010, she drew Brain Camp, written by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan, published by First Second. In 2012, she collaborated with writer J. Torres on Bigfoot Boy: Into the Woods for a Canadian children’s publisher. In 2013, she adapted Prudence Shen’s unpublished novel Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong for First Second. She has also taken licensed work, such as a Nextwave short story in Marvel’s Girl Comics anthology, and Dark Horse’s adaptation of the video game The Last of Us (the comic is subtitled American Dreams), written by the game’s writer, Neil Druckmann.

Hicks’s origins in webcomics has stayed with her throughout her thriving print career; she frequently serializes her comics online before its print publication, including 2012’s Friends with Boys and Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong. The success of those books has led publisher First Second to serialize other graphic novels ahead of publication as well. Bone cartoonist Jeff Smith has referred to the process as “the Faith Erin Hicks model,” and plans to do a series of his own that way.

For future projects, Hicks has expressed a desire to do a historical fantasy comic based in Asian history.

ProFile Friday

Alex de Campi is a British-American comics writer and music video director.

De Campi was educated at Princeton University, majoring in Art History. Prior to her writing career, she worked as an investment banker in Hong Kong.

She first rose to prominence as a comics writer with her 2005 mini-series Smoke (published by IDW Publishing, art by Igor Kordey), which was nominated for the Eisner Award for Best Limited Series, and her 2006 manga series Kat & Mouse (published by Tokyopop, art by Federica Manfredi).

De Campi’s work falls into a variety of genres, with Smoke being a political thriller, and Kat & Mouse detailing the adventures of two mystery-solving high school students (a “CSI for tweens”); she has published work for children (e.g. Agent Boo) and for the European market (her French language sci-noir series Messiah Complex). In 2009, she and artist Christine Larsen launched the Valentine mobile comic, which pioneered the presentation effects of digital comics, which was the main focus of her "Uncanny Valleygirl" column at Bleeding Cool.

In 2011, she launched a Kickstarter campaign for the follow-up to SmokeAshes, where she raised $32,455. After a public falling-out with the planned artist, de Campi rallied some of the best artists in comics to draw each issue, including Carla Speed McNeil, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Colleen Doran. The publicity and the talent surrounding the project led to the paperback rights being purchased by Dark Horse Comics and a Smoke/Ashes omnibus was announced.

De Campi has also ventured into filmmaking, directing a number of music videos, including the video for Amanda Palmer’s “Leeds United”, the animated video for Flipron’s “Raindrops Keep Falling On The Dead” (which was featured at the 2008 Marfa Film Festival, and SXSW in 2007), The Real Tuesday Weld feat The Puppini Sisters’ “Apart of Me” (shown at Soho Shorts in 2008) and for The Schema’s “Those Rules You Made”, which made it to number 1 music video worldwide in YouTube in August 2007. She has given a “BBC Two Masterclass” on shooting videos, for Blast (a BBC initiative to encourage creativity in young people), focusing on her October 2007 video for The Real Tuesday Weld versus the Puppini Sisters.

De Campi currently splits her time between London and America.

ProFile Friday

Shelli Paroline (born September 30, 1983) is an American cartoonist, best known for her work on the Adventure Time tie-in comics.

Paroline attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design, earning her BFA in Studio for Interrelated Media in 2006. The same year, she co-founded the Boston Comics Roundtable, a collective for comics creators to socialize, find collaborators, and discuss projects. She has contributed to their Inbound anthology and helped to organize MICE, the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo.

At Boom Studios, she has worked on such properties as Muppet Snow White and Ice Age. In 2012, Boom announced that she (along with husband and collaborator Braden Lamb) would be on art duties for the newly-licensed Adventure Time. The series was a great success, and at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 Paroline won an Eisner Award when it was awarded “Best Publication for Young Readers”.

Her independent work includes “The Trouble Is”, “The Potter’s Pet”, “Higher Ground”, and a Star Wars fan minicomic trilogy. She also drew Tricky Fox Tales for Graphic Universe.

For my first post-SDCC post, it seems appropriate to celebrate a newly-minted Eisner-winner! And she’ll be at Boston Comic Con next weekend!

ProFile Friday

Dorthea Antonette “Dori” Seda (1951–February 25, 1988) was an artist best known for her underground comix work of the 1980s. Her comics combined exaggerated fantasy and ribald humor with documentation of her life in the Mission District of San Francisco, California.

Seda was originally a painter and ceramics artist, graduating from in Illinois State University with a B.A. in art. To pursue her interest in comics, she took a job as a bookkeeper at the San Francisco publisher Last Gasp. Her first published comics work appeared in Robert Crumb’s anthology magazine Weirdo in 1981, where she originally submitted her work under the pseudonym “David Seda”. Crumb called her a “first-rate excellent cartoonist”.

She was subsequently published in Wimmen’s Comix, San Francisco Comic Book, Viper, Yellow Silk, Prime Cuts, Cannibal Romance, Weird Smut Comix, Tits & Clits, and her solo book Lonely Nights Comics (which was banned in England upon its release). In 1987, she appeared in Les Blank’s documentary short Gap-Toothed Women, for which she also drew the poster.

A heavy smoker who suffered from emphysema, she may also have contracted silicosis from her ceramics materials. Seda died at age 37 from respiratory failure after catching the flu. (Ironically, Seda occasionally used the pen name Sylvia Silicosis.)

After Seda’s death, conflict arose over who owned the rights to reproduce her work. Friends of Seda’s wanted to collect and publish her work, but at her death Seda’s estate passed to the next of kin, her mother. Due to the sexual nature of Seda’s work, her mother did not wish to see Seda’s writing in print again, and refused the right to publish it. However, a year prior to her death, Seda had written a will which gave partner Don Donahue full ownership of her work if she died. The will was witnessed and signed by Seda, Krystine Kryttre, and Donohue. Seda’s friends were able to successfully file the will in 1991, leaving Donohue full ownership of her work.

Her work has been collected in the book Dori Stories, which also includes memorial tributes, including the story “Dori Bangs” by Bruce Sterling, which imagines a future marriage between her and music critic Lester Bangs (whom she never met). In 1988, Last Gasp established the Dori Seda Memorial Award for Women; the first recipient was Carol Tyler.

ProFile Friday

Liz Berube, (born January 7, 1943) also known as Elizabeth Safian, was a romance comics artist for DC Comics in the 1970s. She illustrated fashion features, horoscope pages, tables of contents and other various ornamental pieces. She was also a prolific colorist for DC and Archie comics.

Berube was born in Brooklyn, NY and attended Martin Van Buren High School in Queens where she started a comic strip for the school newspaper, which has been continued by different students to this day. She then went on to study cartooning at the School of Visual Arts. After leaving SVA, she became a colorist and assistant editor for Archie Comics. In the early 1960s, she met DC editor Jack Adler, who brought her into the publisher.

In the late 1960s, her newspaper strip Karen was carried by Newsday Syndicate in 40 newspapers at its peak. She has called Karen “my alter ego.”

In 1970, she began working on DC’s romance comics line, bringing more modern, stylized art to the genre, which was still being drawn in the realistic style that had become parodied in Pop Art. She worked on such titles as “Date with Debbi”, “Falling in Love”, “Girls’ Love Stories”, “Girls’ Romances”, “Heart Throbs”, “Secret Hearts”, “Young Love”, and “Young Romance”. She was offered the position of editor of the whole line, but as a 24-year-old single mother, she preferred the flexibility of working from home that pencilling and coloring allowed and declined. The line folded a few years later in 1973.

She worked as a colorist for Neal Adams’s Continuity Graphics from 1985 to 1989. Throughout her career she has worked on children’s books, cards, and other commissioned work.

Berube currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.

ProFile Friday

Florence “Flo” Steinberg  (born March 17) is an American publisher of one of the first independent comic books, the underground/alternative comics hybrid Big Apple Comix, in 1975. Additionally, as the secretary for Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee and the fledgling company’s receptionist and fan liaison during the 1960s Silver Age of Comic Books, she was a key participant of and witness to Marvel’s expansion from a two-person staff to a pop culture conglomerate. As of 2007, Steinberg, who has appeared in fictionalized form in Marvel Comics, speaks at comic book conventions and has been the subject of a magazine profile.

The daughter of a taxi-driver father and a public-stenographer mother, Flo Steinberg was raised in the Dorchester and Mattapan neighborhoods of Boston, Massachusetts, United States. There she attended Roxbury Memorial High School for Girls, serving a term as president of the student council. Steinberg majored in History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she rushed Sigma Delta Tau sorority and received her B.A. in 1960. Afterward, while working as a service representative for the New England Telephone Company in Boston, she was a volunteer on Ted Kennedy’s first U.S. Senatorial campaign. After moving to New York City in 1963, Steinberg additionally worked “in a minor way” for Robert F. Kennedy’s Senate bid.

In the career-girl fashion of that era, Steinberg spent some months living at a YWCA and job-hunting through employment agencies. “After a couple of interviews, I was sent to this publishing company called Magazine Management. There I met a fellow by the name of Stan Lee, who was looking for what they called then a ‘gal Friday’…. Stan had a one-man office on a huge floor of other offices, which housed the many parts of the magazine division…. Magazine Management published Marvel Comics as well as a lot of men’s magazines, movie magazines, crossword puzzle books, romance magazines, confession magazines, detective magazines…. Each department took turns, one day a week, covering the switchboard…when the regular operator took her lunch break”.

Marvel’s only staffers at that time were Lee and Steinberg herself, with the rest of the work handled freelance. De facto production manager Sol Brodsky “would come in and set up an extra little drawing board where he would do the paste-ups and mechanicals for the ads”. She recalled that the “first real Bullpen” — the roomful of artists at drawing boards making corrections, preparing art for printing, and, as envisioned later within Marvel’s letter pages and “Bullpen Bulletins”, a mythologized clubhouse in which the likes of Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Don Heck and others would be found kibitzing — was created when Marvel moved downtown a few buildings from 655 Madison Avenue to 635 Madison Avenue. Among the first Bullpen staffers, Steinberg recalled, were Marie Severin and Morrie Kuramoto, followed by John Verpoorten and Herb Trimpe.

Artist Jim Mooney once recalled,

She was wonderful! You’d go to DC and it was a business-like thing and I’d come out of there and I’d feel, ‘Oh, God, I need a drink’. [laughter] I’d go to Marvel and I’d come in and Flo would say, ‘Hello, Jim! Oh, I’ll call Stan right away! Stan!!! Jim Mooney is here!!!’ And I’d think, ‘Oh my God, who am I? I’m a celebrity’. [laughter] She was great. It wasn’t just me, believe me, it was everybody and anybody, but I still felt, well, it was really just me.

The all-purpose Steinberg — given the sobriquet “Fabulous Flo”, in the manner of many other Marvel Comics endearments — said that she

…became so overwhelmed with the fan mail and the Merry Marvel Marching Society fan club that Stan started. There was just so much work! I need extra help and had gotten this wonderful letter from a college girl in Virginia by the name of Linda Fite. She came up and was hired to help me out, though she eventually went on to do writing and production work.

Steinberg became exposed to the underground comix scene after meeting and becoming friends with Trina Robbins, who had come to the Marvel offices to interview Lee for the Los Angeles Free Press alternative newspaper. Through her, Steinberg became acquainted with contributors to the New York City alternative paper the East Village Other, and met such underground cartoonists as Kim Deitch, Art Spiegelman, and Spain Rodriguez. Journalist Robin Green, who succeeded Steinberg at Marvel in 1968, wrote in Rolling Stone:

It was three years ago that I went to work at Marvel Comics. I replaced Flo, whose place I really couldn’t take. Fabulous Flo Steinberg, as she was known to her public, was as much an institution in Marvel’s Second Golden Age as Editor Stan (The Man) Lee himself. She joined Marvel just after Stan had revolutionized the comic industry by giving his characters dimension, character, and personality, and just as Marvel was catching on big.

Steinberg left Marvel in 1968. The position itself, even after five years, was not particularly well-paid, and Steinberg quit after not receiving a $5 raise. Marie Severin, recalling the day of Steinberg’s going-away party, observed in 2002: “I think the stupidest thing Marvel ever did was not give her a raise when she asked for it because she would have been such an asset to have around later because she’s so honest and decisive. … I was thinking, ‘What the hell is the problem with these people? She’s a personality. She knows what she’s doing. She handles the fans right. She’s loyal to the company. Why the hell won’t they give her a decent raise? Dummies.’”

Steinberg went to work for the American Petroleum Industry, leaving when that trade group relocated to Washington, D.C. She moved to San Francisco, California, in the early 1970s, and later to Oregon before returning to New York City to help run Captain Company, the mail-order division of the horror-comics magazine firm, Warren Publishing.

She spoke at a 1974 New York Comic Art Convention panel on the role of women in comics, alongside Marie Severin, Jean Thomas (sometime-collaborator of then-husband Roy Thomas) and fan representative Irene Vartanoff. In 1975, Steinberg published Big Apple Comix, a seminal link between underground comix and modern-day independent comics, with contributors including such mainstream talents as Neal Adams, Archie Goodwin, Denny O’Neil, Al Williamson, and Wally Wood. Critic Ken Jones, in a 1986 retrospective review, suggested that Big Apple Comix and [Mark Evanier’s] High Adventure may have been “the first true alternative comics”.

In the 1990s, Steinberg returned to work for Marvel as a proofreader, succeeding Jack Abel.

She continues to have a strong legacy in the Marvel mythos. A fictionalized Steinberg starred alongside Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Sol Brodsky — all transformed into a Marvel Bullpen version of the Fantastic Four — in the alternate-reality comic What If #11 (Oct. 1978). Written and drawn by Kirby, the odd tale featured Steinberg as the character then called the Invisible Girl. In alternate universe series Ultimate Fantastic Four #28 (May 2006), writer Mark Millar added a brief tribute to Steinberg. She serves as the secretary to President Thor on an Earth populated almost entirely by superheroes. She warns the Human Torch not to burn the rug, to which he replies, “I know, I know. No need to be such a nag, Miss Steinberg”.

ProFile Friday

Shawn Kerri (born 1958) is an American cartoonist who was active from the mid-1970’s to the early 1990’s. She is best known for the artwork she created for punk rock bands including the Circle Jerks and the Germs and as a mainstay artist of CARtoons magazine.

Kerri was born Shawn Maureen Fitzgerald in Covina, California, in 1958. She attended Catholic school for most of her childhood, and honed her drawing skills on battle scenes from the Bible. In 1977, she attended her first punk show at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go nightclub and joined the punk scene. She befriended many bands in their early days, including The Circle Jerks and The Germs, for whom she drew early cover and poster art. Around this time, she approached CARtoons magazine with her portfolio. Initially dismissed because of her youth and gender, she persisted until they reviewed her portfolio, and she was hired on the spot.

Around 1978, she co-founded a punk zine with her then-boyfriend “Mad” Marc Rude titled Rude Situation. From 1978 to 1982, she contributed gag cartoons to such magazines as Gentlemen’s Companion, Chic, Hustler, and Velvet, as well as comics publications like CrackedCocaine Comix, and Commies from Mars. In addition to being a punk visual artist, she played bass guitar in the all-girl band The Cockpits; after about three years Kerri left the band and it morphed into The Dinettes.

In 1986, The Circle Jerks were gaining mainstream success.  Their management decided that her iconic “Skank Kid” image was the band’s property. Rather than ruin her friendship with the band’s members, she signed over her rights for no cost.

She was long rumored to have died in the 1990s. However in 2004, while working on a documentary about Mad Marc Rude, filmmaker Carl Schneider met with her at her mother’s house in Pacific Beach, California. Due to either complications from recreational drug use or a head injury from a fall down stairs, Kerri reportedly has little short-term memory, but is still communicative and remembers her time in the punk scene.

Kerri continues to have a devoted following. Cartoonist Ryan Dunlavey has called Kerri “hands down my favorite cartoonist ever [and] a huge influence on my style”

ProFile Friday

Becky Cloonan (born July 23, 1980) is an American comic book creator, known for work published by Vertigo, Dark Horse, Harper Collins and Marvel.

Cloonan was born in Pisa, Italy.

She created minicomics and was part of the Meathaus collective before collaborating with Brian Wood on Channel Zero: Jennie One in 2003. Since then, her profile (and workload) has steadily risen; her best-known work to date has been the twelve-issue comics series Demo (2004), also with Wood. Wizard named Demo its 2004 “Indie of the Year.” The series was also nominated for two Eisner Awards in 2005, for Best Limited Series and Best Single Issue (for #7, “One Shot, Don’t Miss”)

Cloonan’s first solo graphic novel, East Coast Rising Volume 1, was released by Tokyopop in 2006. East Coast Rising: Volume 1 marked Cloonan’s third Eisner Award nomination in 2007, this time for Best New Series. She also collaborated with writer Steven T. Seagle on the Vertigo Comics series American Virgin, which was cancelled with the 23rd issue.

She has collaborated with Brian Wood on several issues ofConan the Barbarian, with the inaugural “Queen of the Black Coast” story. In August 2012, she became the first woman to pencil an issue of Batman. She is also doing art for the six part upcoming series The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoy being co-written by Gerard Way and Shaun Simon.

She has also created artwork for the band Leftover Crack and hip-hop group CunninLynguists.

She currently lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with her fiance.

October Surprise ProFile Friday

Signe Wilkinson (born July 25, 1959, in Wichita Falls, Texas) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist best known for her work at the Philadelphia Daily News.

Wilkinson earned a BA in English from “a western university of middling academic reputation”. She began working as a reporter for the King of Prussia, Daily Post, and the West Chester Daily Local News before joining a mission to bring peace to the island of Cyprus, until nine months later when war broke out.

After returning from Cyprus, she attended the Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia and supported herself doing graphic design for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. She freelanced at several Philadelphia and New York publications, finally landing a full-time job at the San Jose Mercury News in 1982. After 3 1/2 years she took a job at the Philadelphia Daily News, where she has been drawing ever since.

Wilkinson is the first female cartoonist to win the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning (1992) and was once named “the Pennsylvania state vegetable substitute” by the former speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She served as president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists from 1994-1995. She has published two collections of her work entitled Abortion Cartoons On Demand and One Nation, Under Surveillance.

In 2007, Wilkinson began a syndicated daily comic strip, Family Tree, for United Media. She decided to end the strip in August 2011, with the last strip appearing on August 27. Wilkinson has also drawn Shrubbery, a hybrid comic strip/editorial cartoon that focused on both the botanical and political landscape plus mulch-based cartoons for Organic Gardening magazine, other gardening related illustrations, mortarboard-based cartoons for the Institute for Research on Higher Education and water-based cartoons for the University Barge Club newsletter. In 2011, Wilkinson received a Visionary Woman Award from Moore College of Art & Design.


October Surprise ProFile Friday

Annie Lucaster “Lou” Rogers Smith (1879-1952) was a prolific editorial cartoonist in the early 20th century.  Most of her cartoons were in support of women’s suffrage.

Born in Patten, Maine to Col. Luther Bailey “L.B.” Rogers (a Civil War veteran of the Union Army) and Mary Elizabeth Barker Rogers, she was educated at Patten Academy.  After working as a teaching assistant at the academy for a year, she decided to become an artist and attended the Massachusetts Normal Art School.  After dropping out due to a free-spirited incompatibility with the school, she traveled to Washington DC and New York City, where she pursued her new dream of being a cartoonist.

Originally rejected from publications on the grounds of her gender, she began submitting her work as “Lou Rogers”, and was first published in 1908.  She soon became one of the country’s leading cartoonists with her pictures appearing in The Judge, Ladies’ Home Journal, New York Call and the New York Tribune. A committed supporter of women’s suffrage, she also contributed cartoons to the Suffragist, Woman Citizen, Women Voter and the Woman’s Journal. Rogers also took part in suffrage lecture tours and was a well-known soap-box orator in Times Square. She later became a member of Heterodoxy, a private club for radical, freethinking professional women, that met twice a month, for lunch and serious discussions.

After the passage of women’s suffrage, Rogers contracted with Ladies Home Journal to produce “Gimmicks”, a series of illustrated rhymes for children. She later wrote and illustrated two adventure books for children (Ska-Denge and Rise of the Red Alders).  Around this time she married Howard Smith, her colorist. In 1927, she contributed a short autobiography to The Nation magazine as part of their “These Modern Women” series, which highlighted opportunities for modern, professional women. In the 1930s hosted a weekly NBC radio program, Animal News Club. Her work was also featured in the 1934 collection of women’s humor, Laughing Their Way: Women’s Humor in America.

In 1935 Rogers and Smith purchased an old farm outside Brookfield, CT. She died in 1952 of multiple sclerosis.

ProFile Friday

Christy Marx (born July 6, 1951) is an American writer and a photographer, best known for creating the animated television series Jem and the Holograms. Her most notable comics work is her original series The Sisterhood of Steel.

Marx grew up in Danville, Illinois and was attracted to comics, fantasy, and science fiction from a young age. She studied art at the University of Illinois for a year, where she met her first husband Robert Kanes. They moved to California to study Scientology together; however, she remained skeptical of Scientology and soon stopped studying at the same time she and Kanes got divorced. Finding her artistic skills inadequate, she worked in insurance for some time before realizing her true passion was writing.

She began taking writing courses at The Sherwood Oaks Experimental College in Hollywood. She also got a job as a production secretary for a television production company, then later became a script reader for several movie studios, all the while writing her own scripts on the side and networking with other writers. She soon sold a Conan the Barbarian story to Marvel editor Roy Thomas for The Savage Sword of Conan magazine. She also got a job writing a script for the Fantastic Four animated series. Through her comics associates, she met Australian artist Peter Ledger, whom she married a few years later.

Throughout her career, she has written scripts for various episodes of television series, mainly for childrens’ shows, including creating Jem and the Holograms; she also worked on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,Conan the AdventurerG.I. JoeHypernautsCaptain Power and others.

She is known for her original comic book series Sisterhood of Steel. The series originally ran for eight issues published by Epic Comics, Marvel’s early creator-owned imprint. Later, she and Ledger collaborated on aSisterhood of Steel graphic novel published by Eclipse. She also contributed work on ConanRed Sonja, andElfquest. In June 2012 it was announced that Marx would be writing the character of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld in a new edition of the comic book Sword of Sorcery.

She is also a game designer, making her debut with Conquests of Camelot (with art concepts by Ledger) and following it with Conquests of the Longbow. She wrote the game bible and most dialogue for The Legend of Alon D’ar for the PlayStation2 console, and has worked on PC, console and MMO games. She wrote the Babylon 5 episode Grail which, like Camelot, has to do with the discovery of the Holy Grail.

In 2000, Marx won the Animation Writers Caucus Animation Award from the Writers Guild of America for her contributions to the field of animation writing.

In 1994, Ledger was killed in a car accident. Five years later, while working on a Babylon 5 combat simulator, she met Randy Littlejohn, with whom she now lives in the mountains outside of Los Angeles along with her six cats. Marx has a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do and a brown belt in Shotokan.

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