The people in charge of the Angoulême comics festival were recently completely unable to think of any female cartoonists, so I thought I’d help by contributing a list of more than 200.
If your favorites aren’t there… tell me! Especially if they’re non-English. I’m especially weak on manga.
As it happened, I was already reading Deborah Elizabeth Whaley’s Black Women in Sequence, which is about black female cartoonists. It has a whole chapter about Catwoman, so I had to read it. (Catwoman has been played on the screen by black actresses twice, going back to 1967, so it’s not surprising she has a special meaning for black comics fans.)
The most interesting chapter is on Jackie Ormes, who had several syndicated strips in black newspapers from the late ’30s till the ’50s. I would love to see more of her work; it’d be a fascinating glimpse into those times. What’s striking about her elegant, smart characters is simply that they look human, and sexy, at a time when white cartoonists were producing abominations like the Spirit’s Ebony.
Anyway, Whaley’s theorycrafting doesn’t turn me on much, but the introduction to a bunch of artists is worthwhile. (I kept wanting to ask what she thought of Jaime Hernandez, or what she might think of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new Black Panther…)