Ooooh kay, I see it’s almost 3 months since I put up my last blog, and obviously Something must be done. Sooo…
Let’s begin in April, at Ohio State, for a quick but completely filled one-day visit celebrating the Graphic Details exhibit. Graphic Details is the name of a traveling exhibit and a book collecting confessional comics by Jewish Women cartoonists, and I contributed a very small story, because I’ve never been a cartoonist of memoirs. Still, it was lovely to be part of the show, and here is the link: http://library.osu.edu/blogs/cartoons/2015/03/11/new-exhibit-graphic-details-confessional-comics-by-jewish-women/
If you’re gonna be in Ohio from now until July 5th, it’s still not too late to take in the exhibit, and it just so happens that Graphic Details, the book, has been nominated for an Eisner Award at the San Diego con this July. The Eisners are the Oscars of the comic industry, so fingers crossed!
Now we move on to early May, and the first Queers in Comics conference, held in New York at CUNY (the City University of New York). I was honored to be a guest at this conference and to speak on the Pioneers panel (or as I called it, The Crones.) along with Lee Marrs, Roberta Gregory, and Mary Wings. (And yes, there we are at our Pioneers panel! Left to right, Lee Marrs, yers truly, Roberta Gregory, Mary Wings.)
But first! I flew to New York a couple of days early, so that I could fulfill a dream: to visit the Wonder Woman Museum in Bethel, Connecticut. The museum also happens to be the home of Pete Marston, the son of Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston, and one of the dearest people on this planet. How does one describe a house that is bursting at the seams with everything pertaining to the world’s most beloved Amazon Princess? Perhaps a look at my face as I gaze with amazement for the first time at all the wonderful (pun intended) goodies on exhibit in the museum’s inner sanctum.
And here I am paying homage to the Amazon Princess herself, along with her mother, Queen Hippolyta!
Finally, here I am with Pete and his brilliant take-charge daughter, Christie Marston. The photos are taken by Christie’s brother, also named Pete, and a world-class photographer. Thank you, Pete and Christie, for your kindness and welcoming spirit, and for making my visit a day I will never forget!
Back to the Queers in Comics Conference, and talk about welcoming! As one of the only two heterosexual guests at the conference (the other was publisher Denis Kitchen, who had just published Howard Cruse’s collected “Wendell” strips and kindly gave us all copies), I felt so accepted, more so than I have ever felt by most straight male cartoonists, and more than I have ever felt by many women cartoonists. There were so many people that I knew and so many others who I knew only via the internet and now finally met face to face, that it felt like one big family reunion.
Because this was an academic conference and as we all know, that means there’s no money, I shared a tiny (but cute!) “boutique” hotel room with sister pioneer Mary Wings. It’s a tossup as to who self-published the first Lesbian comic book, Mary or Roberta Gregory, both in 1974, but I can proudly claim responsibility for Mary’s book, “Come Out Comix.” Mary had seen my story, “Sandy Comes Out,” in the first issue of “Wimmen’s Comix,” (and here it is, up on the screen during our pioneers panel) and had waxed indignant: “Harrumph, the nerve! That story is obviously drawn by a straight woman, how dare she? Someone needs to draw a lesbian comic from a lesbian’s point of view, and I shall be that someone!” (Okay, I’m paraphrasing a wee bit.)
Of course at the time, I had no idea Mary felt like that, and today we are good friends and had a great time as room mates. And some reviewer commented on our “affectionate bickering” on the panel, and said we should have our own podcast. Hey Mary, you wanna?
Another panel I was on: Wonder Woman, what else? That’s moderator Joan Hilty, moi, and Phil Jimenez – and Phil was one of those people who I finally got to meet face to face, and I love the guy – he grows so excited talking about Wonder Woman that he gets positively incoherent and I mean that in a very good, absolutely loveable way.
On to later May, and if it’s May 23rd it must be Denver Comic Con 2015. By now, Denver Comic Con 2015 has become infamous because of something that was not really the fault of the con: four guys presented a panel on “Women in Comics” without including a single woman in their panel. And when a woman in the audience asked why there were no women on the panel, the moderator answered that he didn’t know any women to ask!
One is flabbergasted. It would have taken him all of 15 minutes to Google the convention website, click on “Guests,” go down the list to see the many women who were guests of the con, along with their contact information, and contact one or as many as he wanted. But he didn’t! To give the con folks credit, they had a great many women guests and a great many women-friendly panels. They showed the film, “She Makes Comics,” about women in every aspect of the industry, and I was on a panel on “Discrimination in Pop Culture.” Best of all, the good folks of Denver Comic Con found a room for a group of comics women to present our own panel on the last day of the con, which we did, to standing room only, and with thanks to playwright Crystal Skillman who thought it up and got it all together.. So in the end, a silk purse was made from a sow’s ear.
A couple of con photos: Elsa Yaznik brought my Wonder Woman comics to sign, which I gladly did,
And here’s what happened after the con: I visited Edgewater, the home of Nell Brinkley! I had received emails from one Debbi Spranza, a Nell Brinkley fan who’d read my books on the great early 20th century cartoonist, and who just happened to actually live in Nell’s home town. I wrote, well gee, I’ll be at a con in Denver right across the border. Can you show me around Edgewater afterwards? And she answered CAN I?! So Debbi, who turns out to be tall and beautiful (and in fact could easily be Wonder Woman) picked Steve and me up at our hotel and drove us to the Edgewater Historical Society, where we met a very nice man whom we educated in many things Brinkley, which may result in a nice exhibit at the historical Society of the work of Edgewater’s most famous citizen. It seems to have already resulted in a very nice article on Nell in the local newspaper, the Edgewater Echo: http://edgewaterecho.com/throwback-thursday-cartoonist-nell-brinkley/
After that, she drove us to the house where Nell grew up, and here’s Nell’s house, with Debbi (she’s the tall one) and me (I’m the short one) in front of it. Then it was on to Debbi’s house, where she had invited friends to a lovely tea and book signing.
Kute Kid department: While in Las Vegas for a week’s vacation, my daughter and son in law, and my granddaughter, Tabetha, went to see Seigfried and Roy’s lions and white tiger, and who should show up but Siegfried himself, who proceeded to pull a “magic coin” out of Tabetha’s arm. Here they are: Chris, Casey, and Tabetha, with Siegfried, right after the pulling of the magic coin. Tabetha could speak of nothing else! How cool to be young and to believe in magic.
Finally, coming up: From June 19th – June 21st, Wizard World in Sacramento. Look for me! And on Friday, June 26th and Saturday June 27th I’ll be at the American Library Association convention here in San Francisco, at Moscone Center. If you’re there too, I’ll be on a panel Friday, from 12:15 to 1:15, on “Gender in Comics.” Librarians are our friend! And Sunday, June 28th, is the Gay Pride Parade. I will be marching with the SPCA because they too are my friends.
Okay, one more thing: San Diego Comic Con, that mammoth pop culture convention, from Wednesday, July 8th till Sunday, July 12th, if you have the stamina. And on Saturday night, July 11th, the Moxie Theater in San Diego will be presenting the premiere of “Eternally Bad,” their adaptation of my book on dark goddesses. Here’s the link: http://www.moxietheatre.com/EternallyBad.