Blog Archives

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OF PRESIDENTS AND PANTSUITS

So this election has me thinking, and that’s an understatement.  I’m the grateful recipient of the thick and heavy Wonder Woman Golden Age Omnibus #1, which reprints the first few years of William Moulton Marston’s Amazon princess’ adventures.  Inside is a story I’ve always wanted to read.

prez-and-pants-ww-cover  I’d seen the cover before; it’s Wonder Woman running for president in the year 3,000.  Even strongly feminist Marston believed that it would take 1,000 years before a woman could be president (and in view of this year’s election, he may have been right!).  The first impression I got was that I had seen that picture, that pose, before.  And here it is, drawn by Nell Brinkley in 1928, for a series called “Dimples Daydreams,” in which our flapper heroine imagines running for president only 8 years after women got the vote.

prez and pants Dimples in politics.jpg

 The story inside the Wonder Woman comic is strangely prescient. In the year 3,000, America finally has a woman president, Arda Moore, who wears a slinky evening gown and, like then real life president FDR, smokes cigarettes in a long holder.  Senator Heeman, leader of the Man’s World party, forces his way into the president’s office and confronts her.  He demands the release from Federal prison of former political leader Grafton Patronage.  President Moore responds, “Grafton Patronage!  Why that crook represents all that was bad and corrupt in the political rule of men and which was ended by my election!”

Heeman raves, “You women are feather brained idealists!  You’ve stopped us men from making money out of public office!  You’ve taught people to elect officials who serve the public and expect nothing for themselves!” to which President Moore comments, “Quite so!”

When  President Moore refuses the pardon, Grafton attempts a prison break, which of course Wonder Woman foils. But it’s not over! Steve Trevor is duped into running for president on the Man’s Party, led by one professor Manly and his “purple shirts.” For some reason, President Moore refuses to run against Steve, so Diana Price runs for president, with Etta Candy at her side as vice president.  On election night the Woman’s Party is winning when Manly’s purple shirts invade the “vote counting rooms”, steal the ballots, and substitute fake ballots which show Steve Trevor winning.  Steve finally realizes he’s been duped and demands a recount, whereupon Manly attempts to destroy the real ballots.  Of course Wonder Woman wins in the end, but does this situation sound vaguely familiar?

Back to Dimples and her grand imagination.  She is elected president!  And look at her, a mere 8 years after women got the vote: she’s wearing a pantsuit!

prez and pants Dimples is prez.jpg

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bark-in-space-cover.jpg

Finally: WordPress is so wierd! Every time I try to put up my blog another strange thing
happens. (And there’s no way to contact a live human being to help you figure out what’s
going wrong!) Last time, the only way I could put up a picture was to post it as a picture,
and put the rest of the blog up as a CAPTION (!!!), and that’s why my blogs looks so
wierd. The result was that I was unable to include a pic of the cover of my latest
Chicagoland book, “The Bark in Space”. (And that’s why I call this “Fear of Blogging!”)
I love this book and I want you to see the cover, so here it is.

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More…

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Next, on to chilly Chicago for Limmud, an international Jewish cultural festival, where I
presented a talk on my graphic novel, “Lily Renee, Escape Artist,” and taught a
comics-writing workshop to teens. The only trouble with Limmud is that it’s a one-day
festival and entirely too many good things were crammed into that day, forcing me to
make some tough decisions about which presentations to take in. I decided on one about
secular Jewish music, and one about Jewish demonology, and I wasn’t disappointed —
fascinating stuff that I want to look into much further. And here I am with a talented
young man I met there: Darren Kwiatkowski has illustrated a charming book for younger
readers called “The Book of Roots,” and I predict we’ll be seeing more from him in the
future.

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FEAR OF BLOGGING CONTINUES TO GO EVERYWHERE!

FEAR OF BLOGGING CONTINUES TO GO EVERYWHERE!

First, to Victoria, where I discovered a new (to me) woman artist. The Victoria film
festival put me up at the elegant Empress Hotel, one of the oldest and most famous hotels
in Victoria, and the classiest place I have ever stayed. But right in front of the hotel is a
statue of a middle aged woman in sensible walking shoes, with a monkey perched on her
back. Who was she, I wanted to know. Oh, silly, provincial me! She was Emily Carr
(1871-1945), merely the most famous woman artist in Canada, and now I know about her.
There’s a lovely graphic novel called “Four Pictures by EMILY CARR,” by Nicolas
Debon, and it’s a very nice introduction to her life and work. Then, at my booksigning at
Legends comics, a very kind man named Jon Blair gave me a copy of Emily Carr’s
journals, called “Hundreds and Thousands: the Journals of an Artist.” You can find out
much more and see her paintings here: http://bcheritage.ca/emilycarrhomework/main.htm.
On to the Victoria film festival for a showing of “Wonder Women: the Untold Story of
American Superheroines,” where the lovely volunteers had dressed like superheroines
just for the showing, and here I am with them.
Hey, San Franciscans and Bay Area people: The Womnder Women film will be showing
at the main branch of the San Francisco public library at 5:45 pm on March 19th, and I’ll
be there along with the film maker, Kristi Guevara-Flanagan, to talk about the film
afterwards. Come see it, you won’t be sorry! And it’s free, as are all films at the SF
public library.

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FEAR OF BLOGGING GOES EVERYWHERE!

FEAR OF BLOGGING GOES EVERYWHERE!

What I did:
Last December I went to the International Women’s History Museum for a screening of
Kristy Guevara-Flannigen’s documentary, Wonder Women! The Untold Story of
American Superheroines.” Yes, it’s about Wonder Woman, but it’s also about the
depiction of women heroes in the media and pop culture, and the empowering of real life
women. And I have the honor of being one of the people in the movie, alongside Lynda
Carter and Gloria Steinem!
Among the many attendees (It was a full house!) was a great group of teenage girls who
belong to a truly empowering club called Girls Inc., and here I am with them, all taller
than me and all superheroine material.
What I’m Doing:
And in less than a week, I’ll be seeing that film again, and discussing it afterwards, in
Victoria, British Columbia, at the Victoria Film Festival. The date is February 6th, at 7
p.m.,and the place is the Vic theater. Here’s a link to the festival website:
http://victoriafilmfestival.com/
And here’s a link to the film website so you can read all about it, and even see a trailer:
http://wonderwomendoc.com/
Earlier that day you can find me signing books at :
LEGENDS COMICS & BOOKS
633 Johnson Street
Victoria BC V8W 1M7
(250) 388 – 3696
And less than a week after that, I’ll be a speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference,
on February 15th, talking about research, which I have done tons of in the course of
writing my histories of women cartoonists and my hitory of the Golden Age of Chinese
nightclubs in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Forbidden City. Contrary to what they always
say, you don’t have to write about what you know all the time — that can get pretty
boring. But if you want to write about what you don’t know, you gotta research it, and I
know how!
The conference is at the Mark Hopkins hotel, on Mason and California streets, from
February 14th to the 17th, and here’s a link: http://sfwriters.org/
THE NEXT DAY…
I’m off to Chicago, for Limmud Chicago, 2013. Limmud is a Jewish cultural organizatin
that describes itself thusly:
Limmud is an independent, pan-denominational, all-volunteer organization dedicated to
the creation of engaging opportunities to experience and celebrate Jewish learning and
culture.
I couldn’t have said it better! I’ll be giving a talk on Lily Renee, subject of my graphic
novel, “Lily Renee, Escape Artist,” and also teaching a workshop for tweens and teens
on writing comics and graphic novels. The date is February 16th (evening) and February
17th, all day, and the website is: http://limmudchicago.org/
SOOOO…If you’re in Victoria, San Francisco, or Chicago this month, come on by and
say hello.
FEAR OF BLOGGING IS HAPPY…
Because my latest Chicagoland graphic novel, #5 in the series, “The Bark in Space” is
now out, and I hold a copy in my hands. Tyler Page, the illustrator, has outdone himself,
and the book looks better than ever! I’ll be signing copies in Victoria.
And in March: Florida and Swizerland! But I’ll tell you all about that later…