Of late, Tumblr has become quite a hotbed of discussion over perennial issues of women in comics, and the Ladies Making Comics run by Alexa D. has been in the forefront of the talk. Now LWA has started something incredibly cool and much needed: a wiki for all the unsung women of Golden Age comics. And it’s a lot more than you probably thought.
While a couple of out of print books by Trina Robbins cover a lot of Golden Age women artists, writers and editors, conventional wisdom is that comics were a total boys club until comparatively recent times. However, using the list of comics professionals put out of work by the Wertham Era in David Hajdu’s The Ten Cent Plague, Alex had come up with a list of 120 women who worked in comics in the Golden Age.
This list is incredibly exciting, and it’s something that we can all help with:
On the Golden Age Talkpage on the wiki, I’ve posted a list of Golden Age creators that I extracted from David Hajdu’s The Ten-Cent Plague. If you’re at all curious, or even just bored, try running a few names through Google, Lambiek, or ComicBookDB and see what you get. If you don’t want to write a whole article, just leave some notes and links next to their names. And let’s dump this myth of “Historically, women weren’t involved in comics” once and for all!
I’ve long noted the fact that no matter how successful women are in any field, they usually have to prove that they are capable over and over again, and whatever contemporary figure is best is thought to be the “mold breaker”. Isn’t it great that Tina Fey has proven that women are funny after all? Because Lucille Ball, Baby Snooks, and Dorothy Parker weren’t enough. It’s fantastic that Kathryn Bigelow has proven that women can direct movies! Except, the first narrative film ever was directed by a woman in 1896. And so on, and so on. History has a way of forgetting.
Luckily the internet is forever! And women have been creating comics just as long as here have been comics.
Above, Nina Albright’s Miss Victory from 1945.