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Posts tagged "women's history month"

#WomensHistoryMonth ProFile Friday

Patricia Highsmith (January 19, 1921 – February 4, 1995) was a thriller writer best known for her novels Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley; she wrote for comics while she tried to get her novels published.

Highsmith was born Mary Patricia Plangman in Fort Worth, Texas, the only child of artists Jay Bernard Plangman (1889—1975) and his wife, the former Mary Coates (September 13, 1895 — March 12, 1991); the couple divorced ten days before their daughter’s birth. She was born in her maternal grandmother’s boarding house. In 1927, Highsmith, her mother and her adoptive stepfather, artist Stanley Highsmith (whom her mother had married in 1924), moved to New York City. When she was 12 years old, she was taken to Fort Worth and lived with her grandmother for a year. She called this the “saddest year” of her life and felt abandoned by her mother.

She returned to New York to continue living with her mother and stepfather, primarily in Manhattan, but she also lived in Astoria, Queens. Pat Highsmith had an intense, complicated relationship with her mother and largely resented her stepfather. According to Highsmith, her mother once told her that she had tried to abort her by drinking turpentine, although a biography of Highsmith indicates Jay Plangman tried to persuade his wife to have an abortion, but she refused. Highsmith never resolved this love–hate relationship, which haunted her for the rest of her life, and which she fictionalized in her short story “The Terrapin”, about a young boy who stabs his mother to death. Highsmith’s mother predeceased her by only four years, dying at the age of 95.

Highsmith’s grandmother taught her to read at an early age, and Highsmith made good use of her grandmother’s extensive library. At the age of eight, she discovered Karl Menninger’s The Human Mind and was fascinated by the case studies of patients afflicted with mental disorders such as pyromania and schizophrenia.

In 1942 Highsmith graduated from Barnard College, where she had studied English composition, playwriting and the short story.

Living in New York City and Mexico between 1942 and 1948, she wrote for comic book publishers. Answering an ad for “reporter/rewrite,” she arrived at the office of comic book publisher Ned Pines and landed a job working in a bullpen with four artists and three other writers. Initially scripting two comic book stories a day for $55-a-week paychecks, she soon realized she could make more money by writing freelance for comics, a situation which enabled her to find time to work on her own short stories and also live for a period in Mexico. The comic book scriptwriter job was the only long-term job she ever held.

With Nedor/Standard/Pines (1942–43), she wrote Sgt. Bill King stories and contributed to Black Terror. For Real Fact, Real Heroes and True Comics, she wrote comic book profiles of Einstein, Galileo, Barney Ross, Edward Rickenbacker, Oliver Cromwell, Sir Isaac Newton, David Livingstone and others. In 1943–45 she wrote for Fawcett Publications, scripting for such Fawcett Comics characters as the Golden Arrow, Spy Smasher, Captain Midnight, Crisco and Jasper. She wrote for Western Comics in 1945–47.

Highsmith also wrote for Timely Comics, for such titles as The Destroyer and Jap-Buster Johnson, as well as some romance titles. Editor Vince Fago tried to set her up on a date with Stan Lee, but nothing came of it. She would later work the names of her comic book compatriots into her novels, including inker Joe Sinnott editor Dorothy Woolfolk (under her maiden name Roubicek). The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955), one of the title character’s first scam victims is comic book artist Frederick Reddington, a parting gesture directed at the earlier career she had abandoned: “Tom had a hunch about Reddington. He was a comic-book artist. He probably didn’t know whether he was coming or going.”

Highsmith’s first novel was Strangers on a Train, which emerged in 1950, and which contained the violence that became her trademark. At Truman Capote’s suggestion, she rewrote the novel at the Yaddo writer’s colony in Saratoga Springs, New York. The book proved modestly successful when it was published in 1950. However, Hitchcock’s 1951 film adaptation of the novel propelled Highsmith’s career and reputation. Soon she became known as a writer of ironic, disturbing psychological mysteries highlighted by stark, startling prose.

Highsmith’s second novel, The Price of Salt, was published under the pseudonym Claire Morgan. It garnered wide attention as a lesbian novel because of its rare happy ending, and it sold over a million copies. She did not publicly associate herself with this book until late in her life, probably because she had extensively mined her personal life for the book’s content. As her other novels were issued, moviemakers adapted them for screenplays: The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955), Ripley’s Game (1974) and Edith’s Diary (1977) all became films.

Highsmith included homosexual undertones in many of her novels and addressed the theme directly in The Price of Salt and the posthumously published Small g: a Summer Idyll. The inspiration for The Price of Salt’s main character, Carol, was a woman Highsmith saw in Bloomingdale’s department store, where she worked at the time. Highsmith acquired her address from the credit card details, and on two occasions after the book was written (in June 1950 and January 1951) spied on the woman without the latter’s knowledge.

She was a lifelong diarist, and developed her writing style as a child, writing entries in which she fantasized that her neighbors had psychological problems and murderous personalities behind their façades of normality, a theme she would explore extensively in her novels. The protagonists in many of Highsmith’s novels are either morally compromised by circumstance or actively flouting the law. Many of her antiheroes, often emotionally unstable young men, commit murder in fits of passion, or simply to extricate themselves from a bad situation. They are just as likely to escape justice as to receive it. The works of Franz Kafka and Fyodor Dostoevsky played a significant part in her own novels.

Her recurring character Tom Ripley—an amoral, sexually ambiguous con artist and occasional murderer—was featured in a total of five novels, popularly known as the Ripliad, written between 1955 and 1991. He was introduced in The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Highsmith died of aplastic anemia and cancer in Locarno, Switzerland, aged 74. She retained her United States citizenship, despite the tax penalties, of which she complained bitterly, from living for many years in France and Switzerland. She was cremated at the cemetery in Bellinzona, and a memorial service conducted at the Catholic Church in Tegna, Switzerland.

In gratitude to the place which helped inspire her writing career, she left her estate, worth an estimated $3 million, to the Yaddo colony. Her last novel, Small g: a Summer Idyll, was published posthumously a month later.

Books

#WomensHistoryMonth ProFile Friday

Roberta Strauss Feuerlicht (November 23, 1931 -October 4, 1991) was an acclaimed historian and the Editor-in-Chief of Classics Illustrated.

Roberta Strauss Feuerlicht was born in New York City to Isaac and Lena (Wesler) Strauss, Jewish socialists of Eastern European extraction. She received a B.A. from Hunter College in 1952. After a stint as an editor for the Glen Oaks News (1952-1953), she went to work as an assistant editor at Gilberton, the publishers of Classics Illustrated, where she worked until 1961. By the end of her tenure, she was made Editor-in-Chief and created spin-off titles like Classics Illustrated Junior and non-fiction comics like The World Around Us.  She married Herbert Alan Feuerlicht, a sculptor, in 1958.

After leaving Gilberton, she worked briefly as an editor for This Month magazine (1961-1962) in New York before becoming a freelance writer. In 1963 she published her first historical work, Andrews’ Raiders. In 1965 she began a series of pamphlets on revolutions and biographies. This resulted in a number of books: Oliver Wendell HolmesGandhiMadame Curie (all 1965), Theodore Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1966). The series led to several more books by commercial publishers such as The Desperate Act (1968), A Free People (1969), Henry VIII (1970), In Search of Peace (1971), America’s Reign of Terror (1971), Zhivko of Yugoslavia (1971), and Joe McCarthy and McCarthyism (1972).

In 1977 she wrote Justice Crucified, a history of the trial and executions of Nicolas Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, which was praised by The New York Times as “the most comprehensive and persuasive account of the case we have.”

In 1983, she published The Fate of the Jews, a book that was critical of Zionism and Israeli aggression, which “argues that Jewish ethics and Israeli power are incompatible; that Jewish obligations to love thy neighbor, do justice and love mercy, oppress not the stranger, are being obliterated by Israel; and that the Israelis are surviving, but not as Jews.” The book was surrounded in controversy, and despite a glowing review from Publisher’s Weekly, her publisher did not take out any ads for the book and many bookstores refused to carry or reorder it.

Feuerlicht died on October 4, 1991, of congestive heart failure. She had one son named Ira.

Further Info:

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming—both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.
Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom— Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming—both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.

Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom— Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs
Black Women for Beginners by Saundra Pearl Sharp and Barbara Hawkins Hall

There’s a Black Woman on each of the seven continents and in almost every country. So no matter where you go, she’s already been there. She travels with forces greater than herself. Her presence is everywhere. Black Women For Beginners chronicles the trials and triumphs of Black Women from antiquity to the present, reflecting with wit and humor the challenges they have faced and the fortitude and strength that have sustained Black Women and patterned history with a diversity of excellence. As warriors, healers, teachers, mothers, queens, and liberators Black Women have had tremendous impact on issues from food to fashion, from politics to poetry. Replete with a glossary of reference terms, Black Women For Beginners whimsically details the influence of stereotypes on the portrayal of Black Women in various venues and punctuates the absurd.

Fun Fact: Saundra Pearl Sharp played Eve in season 2 of the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman TV series!

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs

Black Women for Beginners by Saundra Pearl Sharp and Barbara Hawkins Hall

There’s a Black Woman on each of the seven continents and in almost every country. So no matter where you go, she’s already been there. She travels with forces greater than herself. Her presence is everywhere. Black Women For Beginners chronicles the trials and triumphs of Black Women from antiquity to the present, reflecting with wit and humor the challenges they have faced and the fortitude and strength that have sustained Black Women and patterned history with a diversity of excellence. As warriors, healers, teachers, mothers, queens, and liberators Black Women have had tremendous impact on issues from food to fashion, from politics to poetry. Replete with a glossary of reference terms, Black Women For Beginners whimsically details the influence of stereotypes on the portrayal of Black Women in various venues and punctuates the absurd.

Fun Fact: Saundra Pearl Sharp played Eve in season 2 of the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman TV series!

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs
Kiki de Montparnasse, art by Catel Muller

In bohemian Montparnasse of the 1920s, Kiki escaped poverty to become one of the most charismatic figures of the avant-garde years between the wars. Partner to Man Ray, and one of the first emancipated women of the 20th century, Kiki made her mark with her freedom of style, word, and thought that could be learned from only one school—the school of life.
Winner of the Prix de la BD Fnac at the Angoulême Festival 2008.

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs

Kiki de Montparnasse, art by Catel Muller

In bohemian Montparnasse of the 1920s, Kiki escaped poverty to become one of the most charismatic figures of the avant-garde years between the wars. Partner to Man Ray, and one of the first emancipated women of the 20th century, Kiki made her mark with her freedom of style, word, and thought that could be learned from only one school—the school of life.

Winner of the Prix de la BD Fnac at the Angoulême Festival 2008.

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs
A Dangerous Woman by Sharon Rudahl

The anarchist and radical hero Emma Goldman, brought to vivid life in a graphic biography by an acclaimed artist.
"You are a terrible child and will grow into a worse woman! You have no respect for your elders or for authority! You will surely end on the gallows as a public menace!"—Emma Goldman’s childhood religion teacher
A wonderful retelling of the famous anarchist and radical icon Emma Goldman’s extraordinary life, this graphic biography embodies the richness and drama of Goldman’s story in a wholly original way.
A Dangerous Woman depicts the full sweep of a life lived to the hilt in the struggle for equality and justice. Emma Goldman was at the forefront of the radical causes of the twentieth century, from leading hunger demonstrations during the Great Depression—”Ask for work! If they do not give you work, ask for bread! If they do not give you work or bread, take the bread!”—to organizing a cloakmakers’ strike, from lecturing on how to use birth control to fighting conscription for World War I, while her soulmate, Alexander Berkman, spent fourteen years in jail for his failed attentat against industrialist Henry Clay Frick.

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs

A Dangerous Woman by Sharon Rudahl

The anarchist and radical hero Emma Goldman, brought to vivid life in a graphic biography by an acclaimed artist.

"You are a terrible child and will grow into a worse woman! You have no respect for your elders or for authority! You will surely end on the gallows as a public menace!"—Emma Goldman’s childhood religion teacher

A wonderful retelling of the famous anarchist and radical icon Emma Goldman’s extraordinary life, this graphic biography embodies the richness and drama of Goldman’s story in a wholly original way.

A Dangerous Woman depicts the full sweep of a life lived to the hilt in the struggle for equality and justice. Emma Goldman was at the forefront of the radical causes of the twentieth century, from leading hunger demonstrations during the Great Depression—”Ask for work! If they do not give you work, ask for bread! If they do not give you work or bread, take the bread!”—to organizing a cloakmakers’ strike, from lecturing on how to use birth control to fighting conscription for World War I, while her soulmate, Alexander Berkman, spent fourteen years in jail for his failed attentat against industrialist Henry Clay Frick.

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs
We Are On Our Own by Miriam Katin

In this captivating and elegantly illustrated graphic memoir, Miriam Katin retells the story of her and her mother’s escape on foot from the Nazi invasion of Budapest. With her father off fighting for the Hungarian army and the German troops quickly approaching, Katin and her mother are forced to flee to the countryside after faking their deaths. Leaving behind all of their belongings and loved ones, and unable to tell anyone of their whereabouts, they disguise themselves as a Russian servant and illegitimate child, while literally staying a few steps ahead of the German soldiers.
We Are on Our Own is a woman’s attempt to rebuild her earliest childhood trauma in order to come to an understanding of her lifelong questioning of faith. Katin’s faith is shaken as she wonders how God could create and tolerate such a wretched world, a world of fear and hiding, bargaining and theft, betrayal and abuse. The complex and horrific experiences on the run are difficult for a child to understand, and as a child, Katin saw them with the simple longing, sadness, and curiosity she felt when her dog ran away or a stranger made her mother cry. Katin’s ensuing lifelong struggle with faith is depicted throughout the book in beautiful full-color sequences.
We Are on Our Own is the first full-length graphic novel by Katin, at the age of sixty-three.

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs

We Are On Our Own by Miriam Katin

In this captivating and elegantly illustrated graphic memoir, Miriam Katin retells the story of her and her mother’s escape on foot from the Nazi invasion of Budapest. With her father off fighting for the Hungarian army and the German troops quickly approaching, Katin and her mother are forced to flee to the countryside after faking their deaths. Leaving behind all of their belongings and loved ones, and unable to tell anyone of their whereabouts, they disguise themselves as a Russian servant and illegitimate child, while literally staying a few steps ahead of the German soldiers.

We Are on Our Own is a woman’s attempt to rebuild her earliest childhood trauma in order to come to an understanding of her lifelong questioning of faith. Katin’s faith is shaken as she wonders how God could create and tolerate such a wretched world, a world of fear and hiding, bargaining and theft, betrayal and abuse. The complex and horrific experiences on the run are difficult for a child to understand, and as a child, Katin saw them with the simple longing, sadness, and curiosity she felt when her dog ran away or a stranger made her mother cry. Katin’s ensuing lifelong struggle with faith is depicted throughout the book in beautiful full-color sequences.

We Are on Our Own is the first full-length graphic novel by Katin, at the age of sixty-three.

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs
American Widow by Alissa Torres and Sungyoon Choi

Torres’s husband, Eddie, started work at Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center on September 10, 2001. The next day, Alissa became one of the terrorist widows of 9/11. American Widow chronicles Alissa’s first year without Eddie—including the birth of their child, two months after his death. It also traces their courtship, marriage and the last few days of Eddie’s life. This deeply personal book is at times raw, angry, bleak and lyrical. The best prose comes out of Torres’s moments of pure, lonely grief, which punctuate her confusing and at times horrifying experiences with various aid agencies, family members, friends and strangers. Choi’s art is reminiscent of the work of Andi Watson and Craig Thompson, and complements Torres’s writing by emphasizing the ordinary in Alissa’s extraordinary circumstances. Torres and Choi do best with the confusion and shock that come with a sudden death, laying out scene after scene without quite connecting them—just as events seem to go on and on without meaning when one has lost someone important. What this book lacks in technique and narrative drive, it makes up in its heartfelt look at the universality in one woman’s loss.

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs

American Widow by Alissa Torres and Sungyoon Choi

Torres’s husband, Eddie, started work at Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center on September 10, 2001. The next day, Alissa became one of the terrorist widows of 9/11. American Widow chronicles Alissa’s first year without Eddie—including the birth of their child, two months after his death. It also traces their courtship, marriage and the last few days of Eddie’s life. This deeply personal book is at times raw, angry, bleak and lyrical. The best prose comes out of Torres’s moments of pure, lonely grief, which punctuate her confusing and at times horrifying experiences with various aid agencies, family members, friends and strangers. Choi’s art is reminiscent of the work of Andi Watson and Craig Thompson, and complements Torres’s writing by emphasizing the ordinary in Alissa’s extraordinary circumstances. Torres and Choi do best with the confusion and shock that come with a sudden death, laying out scene after scene without quite connecting them—just as events seem to go on and on without meaning when one has lost someone important. What this book lacks in technique and narrative drive, it makes up in its heartfelt look at the universality in one woman’s loss.

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs
Isadora Duncan by Sabrina Jones

Myth and controversy still swirl around the dramatic figure of Isadora Duncan, the pioneering modern dancer who emerged from provincial nineteenth-century America to captivate the cultural capitals of Europe, reinvent dance as a fine art, and leave a trail of scandals in her wake. 
From her unconventional California girlhood to her tragic death on the French Riviera fifty years later, Duncan’s journey was an uncompromising quest for truth, beauty, and freedom.  Here Duncan’s art and ideas come vividly to life. Each page is a unique dance of words and images, reflecting Duncan’s courage, passion, and idealism in a way sure to inspire another generation of admirers.

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs

Isadora Duncan by Sabrina Jones

Myth and controversy still swirl around the dramatic figure of Isadora Duncan, the pioneering modern dancer who emerged from provincial nineteenth-century America to captivate the cultural capitals of Europe, reinvent dance as a fine art, and leave a trail of scandals in her wake. 

From her unconventional California girlhood to her tragic death on the French Riviera fifty years later, Duncan’s journey was an uncompromising quest for truth, beauty, and freedom. Here Duncan’s art and ideas come vividly to life. Each page is a unique dance of words and images, reflecting Duncan’s courage, passion, and idealism in a way sure to inspire another generation of admirers.

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs
Dignifying Science, written by Jim Ottaviani, art by Marie Severin, Carla Speed McNeil, Jen Sorensen, Stephanie Gladden, Donna Barr, Roberta Gregory, Linda Medley, Lea Hernandez, and Anne Timmons

Dignifying Science is the second in a series of books done in comics form telling true stories about scientists. This book features famous women scientists including Marie Curie, mathematician Emmy Noether, physicist Lise Meitner, DNA researcher Rosalind Franklin, biologist Barbara McClintock, primatologist Birute Galdikas, and Hedy Lamarr. Yes, that Hedy Lamarr…her story will surprise you!
The stories offer a human context often missing when we learn about the discoveries attached to these scientists’ names. Readers, drawn in by the compelling anecdotes, will discover intriguing characters. End notes and references will lead them to further information on the scientists they’ve read about.

#WomensHistoryMonth Book Recs

Dignifying Science, written by Jim Ottaviani, art by Marie Severin, Carla Speed McNeil, Jen Sorensen, Stephanie Gladden, Donna Barr, Roberta Gregory, Linda Medley, Lea Hernandez, and Anne Timmons

Dignifying Science is the second in a series of books done in comics form telling true stories about scientists. This book features famous women scientists including Marie Curie, mathematician Emmy Noether, physicist Lise Meitner, DNA researcher Rosalind Franklin, biologist Barbara McClintock, primatologist Birute Galdikas, and Hedy Lamarr. Yes, that Hedy Lamarr…her story will surprise you!

The stories offer a human context often missing when we learn about the discoveries attached to these scientists’ names. Readers, drawn in by the compelling anecdotes, will discover intriguing characters. End notes and references will lead them to further information on the scientists they’ve read about.

Women’s History Month at LMC

I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t that redundant?” 

PRETTY MUCH.

So how am I going to make it particularly special?

Well, for one, ProFile Fridays are going to focus on the ladies that I’ve discovered that maybe didn’t have the most impressive career in comics, but did go on and do some pretty awesome stuff in other fields. 

Webcomics Wednesday will feature historically-themed comics, though not strictly speaking about women (but if you know of any webcomics about actual historical women, pass them along!  Of course, I already know Hark! A Vagrant and Lovelace and Babbage ^_^)

And I will also be featuring comics by women about historical events, as well as graphic biographies by and about ladies.

Happy Women’s History Month!

ProFile Friday
For the last Friday of Women’s History Month, who better to profile than the pre-eminent “herstorian” of ladies who make comics!
Trina Robbins (born 1938) is an American comics artist, writer, and historian. She was an early and influential participant in the underground comix movement, and one of the few female artists in underground comix when she started.
Robbins started drawing at a young age, inspired by her Raggedy Ann books and comics. When she was a teenager, her mother convinced her to give away her comic book collection, which she later described as, “an amazing collection. It could have put me through college.” She started attending Queen’s College in New York right out of high school and majored in English, but dropped out after a year. After college, she moved out to Los Angeles.
She became an active member of science fiction fandom in the 1950s, and her illustrations appeared in science fiction fanzines such as the Hugo-nominated Habakkuk. She got back into comics in the late 1960s when the Batman television show and the proliferation of Pop Art made comics socially acceptable again. She also started drawing psychedelic images with magic markers for fun. When she was introduced to the East Village Other underground newspaper, she was inspired by a psychedelic comic by “Panzika,” who she later found out was a woman, Nancy Kalish. Robbins moved back to New York and opened up a clothing boutique on the Lower East Side featuring her own designs. She worked on her first comics on the side, and they were printed in the East Village Other. She found the New York comic scene unwelcome to women cartoonists, finding herself introduced at the parties she was rarely invited to as “Trina…a dressmaker.”
As she got more and more into comics, in 1970 she moved back out to California to San Francisco with cartoonist Willy Mendes, with whom she worked with on EVO publication Gothic Blimpworks. She worked at the feminist underground newspaper It Ain’t Me, Babe. She subsequently established the first all-woman comic book titled It Ain’t Me Babe Comix. She became increasingly involved in creating outlets for and promoting female comics artists, through projects such as the comics anthology Wimmen’s Comix.
In the 1980s, she started working for mainstream publications such as National Lampoon and Playboy, in addition to a six-issue miniseries called Misty for Marvel’s Star imprint. She also worked on an adaptation of Sax Rohmer’s Dope for Eclipse Comics. Robbins also designed Vampirella’s costume for Forrest Ackerman and Jim Warren.
In the mid-’80s through the 1990s, she undertook the task of “herstorian,” chronicling the history of women comics creators and cartoonists in her books Women in the Comics (with Cat Yronwode), A Century of Women Cartoonists (later updated as The Great Women Cartoonists) as well as a biography of Nell Brinkley. She said of her non-fiction projects:

"I wrote about women cartoonists because I knew that there had been more women cartoonists, and the guys would always justify their attitudes by saying, ‘Well, women just don’t draw comics. Women have never drawn comics.’ And I knew that wasn’t true. So I did a lot of research and, of course, I was right. I found hundreds of women cartoonists. Really, really great women cartoonists."

In the 21st century, she collaborated with artist Anne Timmons on GoGirl! (about a teenage superhero who gets her powers from her superheroine mother’s old go-go dress) for Image Comics.  She also contributed to Girl Comics and wrote the first two issues of Moonstone’s Honey West series.  She has also written The Chicagoland Detective Agency children’s series and a graphic biography of Lily Renee for Graphic Universe.
She lives in San Francisco with her long-term partner, comic artist Steve Leialoha.

ProFile Friday

For the last Friday of Women’s History Month, who better to profile than the pre-eminent “herstorian” of ladies who make comics!

Trina Robbins (born 1938) is an American comics artist, writer, and historian. She was an early and influential participant in the underground comix movement, and one of the few female artists in underground comix when she started.

Robbins started drawing at a young age, inspired by her Raggedy Ann books and comics. When she was a teenager, her mother convinced her to give away her comic book collection, which she later described as, “an amazing collection. It could have put me through college.” She started attending Queen’s College in New York right out of high school and majored in English, but dropped out after a year. After college, she moved out to Los Angeles.

She became an active member of science fiction fandom in the 1950s, and her illustrations appeared in science fiction fanzines such as the Hugo-nominated Habakkuk. She got back into comics in the late 1960s when the Batman television show and the proliferation of Pop Art made comics socially acceptable again. She also started drawing psychedelic images with magic markers for fun. When she was introduced to the East Village Other underground newspaper, she was inspired by a psychedelic comic by “Panzika,” who she later found out was a woman, Nancy Kalish. Robbins moved back to New York and opened up a clothing boutique on the Lower East Side featuring her own designs. She worked on her first comics on the side, and they were printed in the East Village Other. She found the New York comic scene unwelcome to women cartoonists, finding herself introduced at the parties she was rarely invited to as “Trina…a dressmaker.”

As she got more and more into comics, in 1970 she moved back out to California to San Francisco with cartoonist Willy Mendes, with whom she worked with on EVO publication Gothic Blimpworks. She worked at the feminist underground newspaper It Ain’t Me, Babe. She subsequently established the first all-woman comic book titled It Ain’t Me Babe Comix. She became increasingly involved in creating outlets for and promoting female comics artists, through projects such as the comics anthology Wimmen’s Comix.

In the 1980s, she started working for mainstream publications such as National Lampoon and Playboy, in addition to a six-issue miniseries called Misty for Marvel’s Star imprint. She also worked on an adaptation of Sax Rohmer’s Dope for Eclipse Comics. Robbins also designed Vampirella’s costume for Forrest Ackerman and Jim Warren.

In the mid-’80s through the 1990s, she undertook the task of “herstorian,” chronicling the history of women comics creators and cartoonists in her books Women in the Comics (with Cat Yronwode), A Century of Women Cartoonists (later updated as The Great Women Cartoonists) as well as a biography of Nell Brinkley. She said of her non-fiction projects:

"I wrote about women cartoonists because I knew that there had been more women cartoonists, and the guys would always justify their attitudes by saying, ‘Well, women just don’t draw comics. Women have never drawn comics.’ And I knew that wasn’t true. So I did a lot of research and, of course, I was right. I found hundreds of women cartoonists. Really, really great women cartoonists."

In the 21st century, she collaborated with artist Anne Timmons on GoGirl! (about a teenage superhero who gets her powers from her superheroine mother’s old go-go dress) for Image Comics.  She also contributed to Girl Comics and wrote the first two issues of Moonstone’s Honey West series.  She has also written The Chicagoland Detective Agency children’s series and a graphic biography of Lily Renee for Graphic Universe.

She lives in San Francisco with her long-term partner, comic artist Steve Leialoha.

ProFile Friday
Dorothy Woolfolk née Roubicek (October 11, 1913 - November 27, 2000) was a pioneering woman in the American comic book industry. The first female editor at DC Comics, she is credited with helping to create the fictional metal kryptonite in the Superman mythos.
Dorothy Woolfolk, a New York City high school graduate who never attended college, was an editor at DC Comics during the of Comics. She served from 1942 to 1944 as an editor at All-American Publications, one of the three companies that would merge to form the present-day DC, then spent the next two years at Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor to Marvel Comics, and in 1948 was an editor at EC Comics (before its metamorphosis into “Entertaining Comics”) . She also occasionally scripted comics, including an unknown number of Wonder Woman stories in the 1940s — making Woolfolk one of the first female writers of that series.
She met her husband, novelist William Woolfolk, during her stint at DC, when she rejected a script he had submitted for a Superman comic book. Woolfolk told the Florida newspaper Today in August 1993 that she had found Superman’s invulnerability dull, and that DC’s flagship hero might be more interesting with an Achilles’ heel such as adverse reactions to a fragment of his home planet. This gave rise to the famous fictional metal kryptonite.
After raising children Donald and Donna, the latter of whom would become an author, Woolfolk briefly returned to comics in the 1970s, editing Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane, Young Romance, and other DC superhero and romance titles from 1971 to 1974. Woolfolk also wrote for the science fiction magazine Orbit during the 1950s, and in the 1970s and early 1980s was the author of the 10-book Scholastic Press young-adult novel series about teen detective Donna Rockford. Woolfolk’s daughter, Donna Woolfolk Cross, is also an author; her work includes the historical novel Pope Joan.
Comics artist Alan Kupperberg (who drew the above panel), who worked with her at DC Comics in the 1970s, said in 2001, “Dorothy Woolfolk really was something… Tallulah Bankhead, the Auntie Mame of comics. I thought her books looked good and she got them out on time. People like Liz Safian got breaks through Dorothy. Not to mention Sal Amendola, Howard Chaykin, Mary Skrenes, and Alan Weiss.”   She was nominated every year from 2001-2004 for induction into the Women Cartoonists Hall of Fame. Woolfolk, who lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan while working in comics and as an author, moved to Norfolk, Virginia, in 1996. Two years later, she began to reside at the St. Francis Nursing Center in Newport News, Virginia, where she died in 2000.

ProFile Friday

Dorothy Woolfolk née Roubicek (October 11, 1913 - November 27, 2000) was a pioneering woman in the American comic book industry. The first female editor at DC Comics, she is credited with helping to create the fictional metal kryptonite in the Superman mythos.

Dorothy Woolfolk, a New York City high school graduate who never attended college, was an editor at DC Comics during the of Comics. She served from 1942 to 1944 as an editor at All-American Publications, one of the three companies that would merge to form the present-day DC, then spent the next two years at Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor to Marvel Comics, and in 1948 was an editor at EC Comics (before its metamorphosis into “Entertaining Comics”) . She also occasionally scripted comics, including an unknown number of Wonder Woman stories in the 1940s — making Woolfolk one of the first female writers of that series.

She met her husband, novelist William Woolfolk, during her stint at DC, when she rejected a script he had submitted for a Superman comic book. Woolfolk told the Florida newspaper Today in August 1993 that she had found Superman’s invulnerability dull, and that DC’s flagship hero might be more interesting with an Achilles’ heel such as adverse reactions to a fragment of his home planet. This gave rise to the famous fictional metal kryptonite.

After raising children Donald and Donna, the latter of whom would become an author, Woolfolk briefly returned to comics in the 1970s, editing Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane, Young Romance, and other DC superhero and romance titles from 1971 to 1974. Woolfolk also wrote for the science fiction magazine Orbit during the 1950s, and in the 1970s and early 1980s was the author of the 10-book Scholastic Press young-adult novel series about teen detective Donna Rockford. Woolfolk’s daughter, Donna Woolfolk Cross, is also an author; her work includes the historical novel Pope Joan.

Comics artist Alan Kupperberg (who drew the above panel), who worked with her at DC Comics in the 1970s, said in 2001, “Dorothy Woolfolk really was something… Tallulah Bankhead, the Auntie Mame of comics. I thought her books looked good and she got them out on time. People like Liz Safian got breaks through Dorothy. Not to mention Sal Amendola, Howard Chaykin, Mary Skrenes, and Alan Weiss.”   She was nominated every year from 2001-2004 for induction into the Women Cartoonists Hall of Fame. Woolfolk, who lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan while working in comics and as an author, moved to Norfolk, Virginia, in 1996. Two years later, she began to reside at the St. Francis Nursing Center in Newport News, Virginia, where she died in 2000.

Webcomics Wednesday
2D Goggles, or The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
For Women’s History Month, have a webcomic about an historical lady!

Webcomics Wednesday

2D Goggles, or The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua

For Women’s History Month, have a webcomic about an historical lady!

awesomeshitwomendid:

Involved in the development of the systolic blood-pressure test used to detect deception which was used in the earliest polygraph machines.  Got a law degree in defiance of her father, peddling cookbooks door-to-door to raise money for tuition. Advised her husband on the creation of Wonder Woman.  Indexed the documents of the first fourteen Congresses, lectured on law, ethics, and psychology at American and New York Universities, served as an editor for Encyclopædia Britannica and McCall’s magazine.  In 1933, became the assistant to the chief executive at Metropolitan Life Insurance, a position she held until she was 65 years old.  Lived to be 100 years old (Elizabeth Holloway Marston)

awesomeshitwomendid:

Involved in the development of the systolic blood-pressure test used to detect deception which was used in the earliest polygraph machines. Got a law degree in defiance of her father, peddling cookbooks door-to-door to raise money for tuition. Advised her husband on the creation of Wonder Woman. Indexed the documents of the first fourteen Congresses, lectured on law, ethics, and psychology at American and New York Universities, served as an editor for Encyclopædia Britannica and McCall’s magazine. In 1933, became the assistant to the chief executive at Metropolitan Life Insurance, a position she held until she was 65 years old. Lived to be 100 years old (Elizabeth Holloway Marston)

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