It is a strangely ironic fact that in the early days of the comics medium, the majority of comics readers were women. During the period of the 1930s to the late 50s and before the Comics Code Authority inspired by the American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham came fully into effect there were many different genres of comics, such as romance comics, with some striking female protagonists and eventually works centered around superheroines.
Of course, that is only part of that past. In addition to Elizabeth Holloway Marston and Olive Byrne directly inspiring their mutual husband and partner William Moulton to create Wonder Woman, and Patricia Dingle, who was partially the physical inspiration for her husband Adrian’s Nelvana of the Northern Lights and ended up writing adventure stories in Triumph Comics’ works under a pseudonym, there were female creators of superheroine comics to consider such as Tarpé Mills and her Miss Fury. Even when you consider that the Golden Age of Comics wasn’t completely a “Golden Age” with regards to women and comics it is sometimes really hard to believe, after the decades-long idea of comics being an “all-boys club” permeating North American culture, along with sexism, misogyny, marginalization and violations of personal space at conventions afflicted on female comics creators and fans, that this was once a reality.
Then again, it isn’t that hard to believe. There are female voices in comics. They exist as artists, writers, editors, scholars, and above all, as fans. These are voices that need to be heard and can never be heard enough. And that is precisely what the Sequart Research & Literacy Organization intends to do by creating She Makes Comics.
She Makes Comics is a film Documentary and Kickstarter Campaign created to interview female creators and executives within the comics industry: to collect a series of oral histories and accounts from those women of various eras in comics history in order to accentuate their already considerable voices in the medium and community built around comics. Just as Hope Nicholson and Rachel Richey of Nelvana Comics endeavour to make Nelvana a household name again in Canada, if not the world, so too does She Makes Comics is intend to do the same for the women that have helped make comics as a medium, industry, and community possible.
However, in order to make this possible, this Kickstarter will need your help. To those of you who know that women in and around comics are more than just stereotyped images, subordinated side-kicks, love interests or “fake geek girls,” please take a look at this Kickstarter Campaign and consider that while it cannot speak for this generation of female fans and readers, it can definitely become something to inspire them.
And to all the ladies out there that love comics and the movies and media around them: you have been supporting all of this awesomeness for a very long time and I hope that you will continue to do so as our fellow geeks, and friends, and as the creators and industry movers that we can all admire.
So, with that serious business out of the way for the moment, I would like to ask you all something. She Makes Comics is looking to interview thirty-five more people in addition to those that they already list on their page. I myself want to see some more independent figures such as Alison Bechdel, Marjane Satrapi, Hope Larson, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Melinda Gebbie, and Wendy Pini. I’d definitely like to see more interviews with more “Golden Agers” as well.
Who do you want to see interviewed for She Makes Comics?