The final episode of our special live SquadCasts celebrating Women’s History Month happens tonight at 8:00PM Eastern. We are lucky to be able to bring together two amazing comics creators. These women are fantastic and super important to comics. One of the things that I usually say about comic professionals that have made a mark is that you can’t tell the story of comics without this person or that person. That is certainly the case with both of these women, but humanity is better for these women for having participated in it.
Mills is best known as the creator/writer/artist of the costumed newspaper comic strip hero Miss Fury (1941 – 1949), which, for the record, debuted six months before Wonder Woman. But prior to that, she worked for a variety of neophyte comic book publishers, creating such features as Diana Deane / White Goddess (1936), Devil’s Dust, The Cat Man, Daredevil Barry Finn (1939), and The Purple Zombie (1940). It is this latter creation that now brings my fingers to the keyboard.
In addition to my affection for Mills’ work, I have a serious thing for stories that are insanely weird and bizarre. The Purple Zombie was so weird it makes Herbie The Fat Fury look like Mark Trail.
Here’s the short version: a pair of scientists come up with a way to create zombies, but one is an evil scientist and the other wants it to be used for the betterment of humanity. Zombies For Peace! Right on! The bad guy does not kill the good guy, although he does try. He gets killed in the process and P.Z. divines the good guy as his master. So, the good guy drafts P.Z. into joining the 1940 anti-fascist movement which, at the time, was pretty much limited to fighting Nazis and the Spanish civil war. By the way, in Spain the American antifa was called “The Abraham Lincoln Brigade.” Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #108: The Purple Zombie! – Women’s History Month”
We are well into March and this year is the thirty-fourth annual celebration of Women’s History Month. It is supposed to be a time to highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. Since one of the focuses of Pop Culture Squad is to promote inclusion and diversity, we are taking this opportunity to remember the impact that women creators and professionals have had in the comics industry.
In an industry dominated, in the past and present, by men, it is critical to acknowledge the work that was done by women who brought innovation to the industry and joy to readers for generations. We are focusing on women whose careers in comics began prior to the 1990s. Many of the women working in comics today have been inspired by these women who came before them.
In the first part of this series, we will start out with recognizing the important contributions of women artists and cartoonists and the subsequent chapters will cover professionals from other disciplines in comic creating. Many, if not all, of the women on this list faced difficulty in finding work and getting published in comics at all. However, the industry is better for their perseverance. The fantastic women creators below are listed alphabetically:
Artist June Brigman began her professional comics career by co-creating Power Pack with Louise Simonson for Marvel Comics. She also penciled Supergirl for DC Comics among other titles. June took over for Ramona Fradon as the artist on Brenda Starr from 1995 until its end. She was a prolific artist in comics books before taking on the Brenda Starr responsibilities. One of the most important aspects of June Brigman’s career is her work as an educator. She has taught art at the Kubert School and Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). There are bunches of current comic professionals who credit her with helping them develop their craft. She currently teaches at Kennesaw State University‘s School of Art and Design, and is the penciller on Ahoy Comics’ Captain Ginger.
Colleen Doran is a write/artist most notably recognized for her creator owned space fantasy A Distant Soil. A Distant Soil is often hailed as a significant influence for current comic storytellers. She began to get paid work at a very early age and has continued a long career that has garnered multiple awards including an Eisner Award last year for her collaboration on Snow Glass Apples with Neil Gaiman. Colleen has worked for Marvel, DC Comics, Image, Dark Horse and others. Some of her other most well know works include stints on Sandman, Shade, the Changing Man, Valor, and the graphic novel Amazing Fantastic Incredible Stan Lee. She is a fierce defender of artist and creator rights and is actively sharing the knowledge that she has acquired as a woman in the comics industry. Continue reading “Celebrating Women’s History Month Comic Edition: Artists and Cartoonists”