01/20/2017

Sally Ingraham here to round out your week with an All-Star group of cartoonists and their work: Marie Severin, Dale Messick, Ramona Fradon, Trina Robbins, Em DeMarco, Audra Stang, and more!

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30 years of Eisner Hall of Fame inductees – pictured here, the work of 7 masters of the medium: Marie Severin and Dale Messick (2001), Ramona Fradon (2006), Trina Robbins (2013), Marjorie “Marge” Buell (2015), Lynda Barry and Tove Jansson (2016)

I am excited to see that this year Dori Seda will join the 7 other women who have made it into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame (their work is pictured above). The 2017 nominees were announced recently, and Dori is a Judges’ Choice for automatic induction. Out of 17 other nominees, 4 will be chosen by voters, and among those 17 cartoonists are 5 more female candidates. Here’s the whole list.

A perk of working somewhere like Copacetic Comics in Pittsburgh, PA, is that when the need calls, I can tear the store apart and come back a few thrilling hours later with an armload of work by every woman listed above, plus all of the women on the 2017 nominees list. I have been sharing my findings this week over on the Comics Workbook Roller Derby League Instagram account – @cwrollerderby – and will continue to do so for the next few days.

Here’s a taste of the tremendous talent and influence of a few of these masters of the comics medium:

Marie Severin – (inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2001) – spent most of her professional career working for Marvel as a colorist, penciller, and inker. She drew stories for Sub-Mariner and the Hulk and other series. Pictured above is one of her Incredible Hulk stories, from Tales to Astonish #93 (1967), and a story she drew for Wimmen’s Comix #10 (1985).

Dale Messick – (inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2001) – is best known for creating the strip Brenda Starr, Reporter in 1940. At it’s peak in the 1950’s the strip ran in 250 newspapers around the country. She drew the strip until 1980, and when she retired she left the ultimatum that Brenda Starr must continue to be drawn by other female cartoonists.

Ramona Fradon – (inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2006) – was the artist who took over Brenda Starr, Reporter when Dale Messick retired, although she had been working in the industry since 1950. She worked for DC Comics throughout her career, drawing Aquaman stories and co-creating Metamorpho among other projects.

Trina Robbins – (inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2013) – is an incredibly influential underground cartoonist who has worked tirelessly since the 1970’s to provide opportunities and platforms for women in comics. She established the first all-female comic book anthology – It Ain’t Me, Babe – and was one of the main editors of Wimmen’s Comix for 20 years. She worked on the Wonder Woman series, and is also a widely published comics historian – or “her”storian. Pictured above is one of her covers and a story from Wimmen’s Comix #10 (1985).

I’ll be back next Friday with more ladies of the Will Eisner Hall of Fame – Marjorie “Marge” Buell, Lynda Barry, and Tove Jansson!

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Sally Ingraham talking with Em DeMarco about comics journalism at The ToonSeum in Pittsburgh, PA – Jan. 19th 2017 (Photos by Audra Stang)

I got a chance to get to know Em DeMarco better last night through a live interview at The ToonSeum – part of the Pittsburgh Comic Salon‘s Lecture Series. She is a cartoonist, journalist, and educator based here in the city of Pittsburgh. Between composing her monthly investigative reporting comics feature for the City Paper, photographing the local punk music scene, teaching comics classes through a partnership between The ToonSeum and the Lauri Ann West Community Center, and venturing into long-form comics projects, Em keeps herself busy…! Her experience with creating stories for radio programming informs her current comics journalism projects (the connection between oral reporting and visual storytelling is worth investigating fully at a later date!), and her insights into translating live interviews into compelling comics made for a lively and thought-provoking discussion.

Check out more of her work HERE – and if you happen to be around Pittsburgh on a 3rd Thursday of the month, come join us at The ToonSeum for another conversation with a local comics creator.

From Killer Croutons by Em DeMarco

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  • Jillian Fleck‘s Lake Jehovah was reviewed over on The Comics Beat – “Fleck mixes all the elements very skillfully, with a deadpan humor that alternates with frantic despair and an otherworldly creepiness that blends into its own tenor. The fantastical elements do well in elevating the psychological ones, and Fleck ends up perfectly plumbing the depths of the bottomless lake, both literally and figuratively, for a portrayal of what it is like to be overwhelmed by the invisible and burdened by the incoherency of the universe.” – John Seven
  • Tom Spurgeon offers some commentary on the first round of voting for the Angouleme Festival Grand Prix over on The Comics Reporter. The artists who have made it to the final round are Chris Ware, Cosey and Manu Larcenet. There has been very little “buzz” around the process this year, which is surprising considering the volcanic eruption surrounding the award this time last year…! Tom delves a bit into the steps taken to oversee a more balanced and inclusive nomination process – and despite my own reaction of “YES!! Chris Ware for the win!” I agree with how Tom concludes: “…even with all three of those great artists in play I think my heart would rather see Posy Simmonds on that list than on the committee to help things run more smoothly.
  • RESIST! was printed at 58,000 copies and is being handed out for free today in Washington, D.C. during the Inauguration and tomorrow during the Woman’s March, as well as at similar events around the country. For a complete list of where you can get a copy visit this page.
  • Check out the work of Iona Fox – she’s a cartoonist and farmer working in Vermont. Her stories are always interesting, and while you’re browsing her website be sure to take a peak at the Beaver Cam!
  • There’s a nice review of Inés Estrada‘s Impatience on The Comics JournalCheck it out HERE.

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Audra Stang, after her summer 2016 Rowhouse Residency

This is Audra Stang‘s second visit to Pittsburgh, and she was getting so much done during her Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency that she extended it for another week! It’s been exciting to watch the story she is working on develop and see her commitment to the form and to her future in the industry and community.

If you’re interested in applying for a Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency visit our info page or email santoroschoolATgmail.

Follow the @rowhouseresidency Instagram for regular updates on the program and the cartoonists who visit us this year.

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Suzy and Cecil – 1-20-2017 – by Sally Ingraham

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Joanie and Jordie – 1-20-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio

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1-20-2017 – by Juan Fernández

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Sally Ingraham

Sally Ingraham

Sally is a cartoonist, educator, and journalist based in Pittsburgh, PA. She makes comics about Pittsburgh and bird watching, and co-writes the "Suzy and Cecil" daily strip (with Gabriella Tito). She facilitates the Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency, is a managing editor of the CW Daily News, and runs the CW Roller Derby "of the mind" League. She is focused on documenting the current and historic place of women in the comics industry, is working to build the Women's Comics Library, and is developing a comics curriculum by and for girls.
Sally Ingraham

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