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their old jobs back, and the women who had held the fort for the duration were sent back to the kitchen. Many of the women who had drawn comics during the 40s quit work to get married and raise families. Others simply found that the work had dried up. There was a notable lack of brave beautiful women in comics of the 1950s, but some women still found work drawing the new love comics, which pushed a return to “kinder, kuche and kirche.” The message in most romance comics of that era: the only “happy ending” for all women is to find the right man, marry, settle down and have babies. By the 1970s, even the romance comic market ended, and the comic book industry geared itself almost entirely to the superhero genre, which appealed to a mostly young male audience. Since most women have difficulty drawing muscular big-chinned guys in tights beating each other up, there was little work for women in the industry. Editors and publishers, suffering from a collective amnesia, insisted that girls had never read comics and that women had never drawn comics. This was a job for the Wimmen’s Comix Collective! In 1972, a group of women met in San Francisco to produce a feminist comic book. The result was Wimmen’s Comix, an underground women’s comics anthology which lasted for 20 years. Wimmen’s Comix opened a different kind of door for women. No longer drawing cute kids, pretty girls, or lovelorn women, the new women cartoonists dealt with such subjects as abortion, birth control, lesbians, and childhood sexual abuse. Today there are more American women drawing comics than ever before, but PAULINE LOTH Patsy Walker, from Miss America, 1945 because most of them work in the underground or small press, or are selfpublished, their comics are hard to find in comic book stores, which still cater to young males with mainstream superhero comics. The biggest hope for women cartoonists lies in graphic novels, which are carried in book stores and libraries, TRINA ROBBINS Designer. Poster for She Draws Comics, Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art, 2006 and thus don’t need comic book stores for distribution. But some things never change. In Los Angeles, from November 2005 through March 2006, the Hammer Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Arts jointly displayed Masters of American Comics, an exhibit of 20th century cartoonists that included not one woman. On the other hand, the New York Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) is presenting a major allwoman exhibit , She Draws Comics, from May through September, 2006. Perhaps women will not have to wait until the 22nd century for men to remove their blinders. * Writer and pop culture herstorian Trina Robbins is generally considered to be the expert on the subject of women and comics. However, she has also written histories of women who kill and dark goddesses. (Images courtesy of the author)

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Profile for ARTEHOY Publicaciones y Gestion SL

ARTECONTEXTO Nº10.  

Dossier: COMIC WORLD / MUNDO CÓMIC 2006

ARTECONTEXTO Nº10.  

Dossier: COMIC WORLD / MUNDO CÓMIC 2006

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