The response to my recent post “Misogyny in Comics Fans - No.Place.For.This.” has been most welcome, and I am honored by those who have “liked” or reblogged that message. In looking at the responses both here and in other forums, I’ve realized two things. One is that there are folks who may disapprove of trolls but still question whether female comics creators can be commercially successful (more about that in this post, obviously). The other is how little I knew about female creators…going waaaay back to the Golden Age of comics. I’m still learning how much I don’t know.
This has been such a boy’s club for years that a lot of amazing creators have been overlooked. I know that I will be leaving out some great folks even in this post, but I thought I’d bring up just a few names that you may not have thought of lately, along with some better-known creators: (NOTE: Thanks to Wikipedia once again for being so helpful with these kinds of searches…and to the DC Wiki as well)
Ramona Fradon started her career in the 1950s, illustrating some back-up features in Adventure comics that starred Aquaman. She co-created Aqualad, who would go on to become one of the original Teen Titans. She also co-created Metamorpho. She has worked on Superman, Batman, the Fantastic Four, and penciled the Super Friends comic for almost it’s entire run.
Ruth Roche wrote Phantom Lady in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Where would Silk Spectre be without the original role model?
Dorothy Woolfolk scripted an unknown number of Wonder Woman stories in the 1940s (becoming one of the first female writers in mainstream comics) and in the 1970’s edited Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Lois Lane and several others. She is given credit for being a part of the creation of Kryptonite - and where would Superman’s character development be without it? Dorothy also is credited with giving breaks to several well-known creators including Howard Chaykin.
All this without even getting into Karen Berger, Louise Simonson, Amanda Conner, Ann Nocenti, my favorite Gail Simone, and so many more…who have proven and continue to prove that critical and commercial success in comics is not limited by gender.
I will continue to collect comics with great storylines and great characters…and those can be written by and about anyone with talent. Ignoring any group for any reason other than talent and ability is a major mistake, one that costs all of us who love this comics medium so much. If we really want to reach more people with comics, we need more voices involved in the creation of comics - and giving more opportunities to talented female creators is one excellent way we can do just that.
btw - please feel free to add a note or send me a message with your favorite female comics writers/artists/editors. It will help me learn even more - and it can help spread the word about more amazingly talented people