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She Changed Comics: The Untold Story of the Women Who Changed Free Expression in Comics

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SHE CHANGED COMICS celebrates the women who changed free expression in comics, with profiles of more than sixty groundbreaking female professionals and interviews with the women who are changing today's medium, including RAINA TELGEMEIER, NOELLE STEVENSON, G. WILLOW WILSON, and more! SHE CHANGED COMICS also examines the plights of women imprisoned and threatened for making SHE CHANGED COMICS celebrates the women who changed free expression in comics, with profiles of more than sixty groundbreaking female professionals and interviews with the women who are changing today's medium, including RAINA TELGEMEIER, NOELLE STEVENSON, G. WILLOW WILSON, and more! SHE CHANGED COMICS also examines the plights of women imprisoned and threatened for making comics and explores the work of women whose work is being banned here in the United States. A must for readers of all ages, students, and educators.


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SHE CHANGED COMICS celebrates the women who changed free expression in comics, with profiles of more than sixty groundbreaking female professionals and interviews with the women who are changing today's medium, including RAINA TELGEMEIER, NOELLE STEVENSON, G. WILLOW WILSON, and more! SHE CHANGED COMICS also examines the plights of women imprisoned and threatened for making SHE CHANGED COMICS celebrates the women who changed free expression in comics, with profiles of more than sixty groundbreaking female professionals and interviews with the women who are changing today's medium, including RAINA TELGEMEIER, NOELLE STEVENSON, G. WILLOW WILSON, and more! SHE CHANGED COMICS also examines the plights of women imprisoned and threatened for making comics and explores the work of women whose work is being banned here in the United States. A must for readers of all ages, students, and educators.

30 review for She Changed Comics: The Untold Story of the Women Who Changed Free Expression in Comics

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    She Changed Comics is a book I have now read and am using in my YA GN/Comics class, summer 2017. It’s a good source of information about a range of women cartoonists, from the turn of the twentieth century to the present, from women across various spectrums, including early newspaper comics, Golden Age, Comix, Underground, women doing erotica, diary comics, lots of things. It’s not complete, by any means, but it’s a good and accessible and affordable start. I mean, there are more scholarly resou She Changed Comics is a book I have now read and am using in my YA GN/Comics class, summer 2017. It’s a good source of information about a range of women cartoonists, from the turn of the twentieth century to the present, from women across various spectrums, including early newspaper comics, Golden Age, Comix, Underground, women doing erotica, diary comics, lots of things. It’s not complete, by any means, but it’s a good and accessible and affordable start. I mean, there are more scholarly resources available, but this is a small, short book that I can imagine will be a text for schools and library YA collections. Criticism? There aren’t enough actual images, which is a weird shortcoming in a book about comics, and the bios are too short, two pages, but there’s short interviews with many artists, and there’s a “further reading” section for each artist and at the end of the book. And you can download a teaching guide from the website. And it was created via kickstarter by and for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. I was going to start listing my favorites in the volume, but the list was getting too long, so here is the link to the website where every featured author is listed! http://cbldf.org/she-changed-comics/ You have some reading to do after seeing this list, don't you?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Larakaa

    Such a great resource! I read many parts again and again, especially the interviews!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dominick

    I was happy when I learned of this book's existence, and I applaud its agenda. It includes information on a great many women whose role in the history of cartooning I knew little or nothing about, which is an important contribution for a book aimed at a pop audience to make. The entries are all quite short, so more often than not I was left wishing to know more--which suggests that there is plenty of room for more books and articles about women in comics, especially the ones who have been largel I was happy when I learned of this book's existence, and I applaud its agenda. It includes information on a great many women whose role in the history of cartooning I knew little or nothing about, which is an important contribution for a book aimed at a pop audience to make. The entries are all quite short, so more often than not I was left wishing to know more--which suggests that there is plenty of room for more books and articles about women in comics, especially the ones who have been largely overlooked or forgotten. However, the book has a few limitations as well. First, it is not particularly well-written. While there aren't extensive, egregious errors, more attention to careful proof-reading and editing was important. Editorial failure is especially evident in the fact that the chapters include dozens of in-text references to other sources--interviews, articles, etc--but there is no bibliography of the works so referenced, so actually tracking them down is difficult, if not impossible. Also, given the subtitle, I was expecting a lot more direct consideration of questions of free expression and comics. Several key instances of artists who have faced threats, censorship, and even legal consequences for their work are addressed, to be sure (and here, too, more detail would often have been useful). However, the way many of the women discussed here seem to have "changed free expression in comics" is simply by being women who have worked in comics. I suppose one can tie that into freedom of expression, in a general sense, but for me, the book seems often not really to achieve the promise of its subtitle. Nevertheless, the book offers a great primer on women in comics; if you don't know a lot about women in comics, this book will be a real eye-opener. And even if you do know a fair bit about the subject, this is a breezy, largely celebratory volume that provides great reminders of how many women have in fact worked in comics (the early women discussed here are ones especially often overlooked, so their inclusion is great), and how many great comics they have made or been involved in making.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kenny

    The honour list. I love 'em all.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Eric Mesa

    Disclaimer: I backed the Kickstarter on this book I'd like to start off with my one big criticism of this book - not enough images! I understand why they had to do it. When you're printing a book, each page is expensive, especially when you're printing in color. But when you're covering an industry based on images and we only have 1-2 images per creator, it's hard to get a good feel for the creator's body of work. I think it would have been nice to have a supplementary PDF with a few more example Disclaimer: I backed the Kickstarter on this book I'd like to start off with my one big criticism of this book - not enough images! I understand why they had to do it. When you're printing a book, each page is expensive, especially when you're printing in color. But when you're covering an industry based on images and we only have 1-2 images per creator, it's hard to get a good feel for the creator's body of work. I think it would have been nice to have a supplementary PDF with a few more examples per artist. (Yeah, I know I could Google them, but for a curated product, it'd be nice to do a little less work) So, this book is a survey of the history of women in the comics industry starting out with newspaper comics at the turn of the century. Additionally, as the subtitle says, it focuses on women who made an impact somehow. I learned a lot, especially on the earlier creators about whom I was completely ignorant. It was interesting to see the early fights woman focused on - like women's suffrage or even just the right to be taken seriously as a cartoonist. It was also interesting to see how women's place in the industry evolved. At first there were only a few. Then women formed collectives. But then someone women bristled at having to segregate themselves that way and broke out on their own or eventually joined the major publishers. Given the large influence of manga in the US, it was also nice to see women in Japan starting around the time of the post-war period (more or less the birth of modern manga) covered. Probably the best thing about the way the book is organized is the "further reading" section after each woman's article. It helps you find more work by that person as well as helping support them by buying more of their stuff. Perhaps the most annoying thing about the way the book is organized is that it is organized is that it's alphabetical by time period. So, for example, within the Golden Age all the entries are alphabetical. I would have preferred a more Chronological arrangement to help me better understand the flow of progress. I was happily surprised that at one point the book shifts to cover publishers and editors. In this day when we are finally paying attention to all the artists on a book, it's easy to forget the impact publishers and editors have. It was also fun that the book ended on an interview section in which we were able to go a bit deeper with some of the creators. Overall, a great intro to women creators and a good jumping off point if you're looking to find some new comics created by women.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Wow! This is an amazing compilation of interviews and biographies of some amazing female cartoonists and editors. Very worth a read for anyone who loves these things. I've got reading material for a year now!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    Really, really outstanding book of profiles of women throughout the history of comics. It covers writers, artists, editors, and executives, which is cool, and it includes plenty of people from underground, indie, and manga in addition to the Big 2. Because it's published by the CBLDF, there's an emphasis on censorship and diversity, but that's a good unifying thread for a collection like this.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Paul Allard

    Comprehensive guide to woman comic creators This is a comprehensive guide to many, if not all of the, women who have managed to become comic artists, editors and authors in a once male-dominated environment. Each artist gets two pages of biography and is often quoted. Many have courted controversy and have raised the profile of female comic book creators. The latter part looks at women imprisoned or persecuted for their work and interviews with current comic creators. An interesting read for lover Comprehensive guide to woman comic creators This is a comprehensive guide to many, if not all of the, women who have managed to become comic artists, editors and authors in a once male-dominated environment. Each artist gets two pages of biography and is often quoted. Many have courted controversy and have raised the profile of female comic book creators. The latter part looks at women imprisoned or persecuted for their work and interviews with current comic creators. An interesting read for lovers of the comic format.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Konner

    I liked this book, but I wish it were a coffee table book with lots of space to put entire strips of the work that's discussed. Most chapters only have a few panels to show and some of those women have decades long careers in comics.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Robert Wright

    Been dipping in and out of this one for about a month, for which this book is perfect. Each creator gets two pages, which is great for a quick hit an to pique interest. Additional interviews in the back with some modern creators. As a result of how female perspectives have been marginalized throughout the genre's history, most of these creators thrived out side the mainstream in alternative and underground books. But you also get the more modern creators that have found places at DC and Marvel, i Been dipping in and out of this one for about a month, for which this book is perfect. Each creator gets two pages, which is great for a quick hit an to pique interest. Additional interviews in the back with some modern creators. As a result of how female perspectives have been marginalized throughout the genre's history, most of these creators thrived out side the mainstream in alternative and underground books. But you also get the more modern creators that have found places at DC and Marvel, if the hero books are more your speed or natural inclination. This book makes a great intro to those other voices and genres. Highly recommend this for those (like me) who are cis male/hetro who realize they need to be ,ore informed about other voices. This is an intro. A map for further exploration. Plus it's from CBDLF, which is worthy of support. Especially in these darkening days where I have a feeling that censorship of diverse voices may again be on the rise.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tiamatty

    This is a great look at a number of women who have made comics, going all the way back to some of the earliest women to do comics and cartoons, for newspapers, all the way up to some of the biggest female voices in comics today. Cartoonists, writers, artists and editors are all spotlighted. It also looks at notable female comics creators from other countries, including several who've been to prison for their art. The profiles are all brief - basically just a page, with a second page showing an e This is a great look at a number of women who have made comics, going all the way back to some of the earliest women to do comics and cartoons, for newspapers, all the way up to some of the biggest female voices in comics today. Cartoonists, writers, artists and editors are all spotlighted. It also looks at notable female comics creators from other countries, including several who've been to prison for their art. The profiles are all brief - basically just a page, with a second page showing an example of their work. Just enough to get across why each woman mattered, and provide some resources for people to explore them further. It's an interesting and valuable reminder that comics has never been just for boys, and the importance of respecting female voices. I would definitely recommend reading this.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    Capsule bios of many of the important and influential women in comics, both historically and currently (as of early 2017 anyway.) Of course some people were left out. This was never intended to be an encyclopedia. In addition to the biographies, there are some short interviews with people like Cece Bell and Mariko Tamaki. These are followed by a list (still not exhaustive) of further names to check out. If anyone is naive enough to think that girls can't or don't do comics, this book will be a r Capsule bios of many of the important and influential women in comics, both historically and currently (as of early 2017 anyway.) Of course some people were left out. This was never intended to be an encyclopedia. In addition to the biographies, there are some short interviews with people like Cece Bell and Mariko Tamaki. These are followed by a list (still not exhaustive) of further names to check out. If anyone is naive enough to think that girls can't or don't do comics, this book will be a real eye opener. It's a bit on the short side, but it's primary purpose is to point the reader in the right directions for further research, not be the final word. It's heartening to see so much talent represented in one book, especially considering how much of a boy's club comics were even twenty years ago. The future is in good hands!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    Short informative profiles of, or interviews with, seventy-one female cartoonists, script writers, editors, and publishers who have worked in the medium of comics, graphic storytelling, or sequential art, depending on how you choose to define the art form, make up this compendium of groundbreaking women. They pushed the boundaries of social norms, free expression, and the patriarchy in both their lives and their art. The women represented are mostly North American or Japanese. Also included are Short informative profiles of, or interviews with, seventy-one female cartoonists, script writers, editors, and publishers who have worked in the medium of comics, graphic storytelling, or sequential art, depending on how you choose to define the art form, make up this compendium of groundbreaking women. They pushed the boundaries of social norms, free expression, and the patriarchy in both their lives and their art. The women represented are mostly North American or Japanese. Also included are four women, Indian, Egyptian, Lebanese, and Japanese whose works have been challenged, censored, fined. Two of them were imprisoned.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Hobson

    "We're here to stay, we're growing in number, and we're coming for your comics. It's too late to turn back, we're everywhere now, from heads of publishing to the signing line at conventions. We're here, and we want the keys to the Batmobile." - Gail Simone A compilation of great ladies who were/are involved in the comic book industry. Filled with mini-bios of top notch ladies, it's an incredible resource if you are looking to diversify your reading. Loved how this author included sources for add "We're here to stay, we're growing in number, and we're coming for your comics. It's too late to turn back, we're everywhere now, from heads of publishing to the signing line at conventions. We're here, and we want the keys to the Batmobile." - Gail Simone A compilation of great ladies who were/are involved in the comic book industry. Filled with mini-bios of top notch ladies, it's an incredible resource if you are looking to diversify your reading. Loved how this author included sources for additional reading and interviews with some of these ladies!

  15. 4 out of 5

    MrsEnginerd

    At times it was repetitive, at others too brief. In the end, it is a good compilation from which to launch further research into the women that changed free expression in comics and the many offerings there are to explore their work and impacts to the medium and beyond. Would love to see and hear more on the subject. A documentary, perhaps? For more on my opinion of the book, follow the link attached. https://mrsenginerd.wordpress.com/201... At times it was repetitive, at others too brief. In the end, it is a good compilation from which to launch further research into the women that changed free expression in comics and the many offerings there are to explore their work and impacts to the medium and beyond. Would love to see and hear more on the subject. A documentary, perhaps? For more on my opinion of the book, follow the link attached. https://mrsenginerd.wordpress.com/201...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Misty

    I enjoyed this book. I just added a whole bunch of graphics and books to my to-read list. My only complaint is the way the book was organized (I think it could have been divided up in a way that flowed better) and how it repeated women creators towards the end. Other than that is a fantastic look at women in the comic field.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    A unique book focused on female comic artists and graphic novelists since the 20th century. I found it a useful resource with images and interviews. A great springboard I used to design a lesson plan on the way women have been changing publishing.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Really good intro to women comic creators.

  19. 5 out of 5

    D.F. Pendrys

    An excellent compendium of a large group of women who shaped comics and broke into an industry that was hesitant to accept them, but beyond that, all the creations listed should be explored.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn’t get into it, I’m leaving it for now, maybe when I return to it I’ll have changed my mind, but for now, I’m putting it back on the shelf.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    3.5 stars. Such an invaluable resource! But also so hard for me to read straight thru—the 3 page biographies really start to pick up with the 24 manga artists, but still a pretty choppy read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maria Schillinger

    This is a great introduction to these women. I was familiar with some of them, but many of them were unknown to me. I can now look for more of their work.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cale

    This is a collection of short (mainly 2-page) biographies about prominent women in both comic book history and the current scene. Some of them I was familiar with, a number I was not, especially some of the earlier writers. The layout of the book is a little weird - while the women are kind of grouped by area of comics history (classic/Golden Age, the Comix/Underground era, etc), within those sections there isn't much guidance as to their order. And on the more modern ones, CBLDF takes up a litt This is a collection of short (mainly 2-page) biographies about prominent women in both comic book history and the current scene. Some of them I was familiar with, a number I was not, especially some of the earlier writers. The layout of the book is a little weird - while the women are kind of grouped by area of comics history (classic/Golden Age, the Comix/Underground era, etc), within those sections there isn't much guidance as to their order. And on the more modern ones, CBLDF takes up a little too much space on some of the women's biographies detailing when their works were challenged (and how CBLDF supported them). I understand they created the book and drove its Kickstarter and publication, but there were a couple times where more information about the women would have been appreciated. Also, there are a couple omissions that seemed odd (Lynn Johnston of For Better or For Worse, and G. Willow Wilson is present as an interview but not a biographical subject). But these are minor quibbles.As someone who got back into comics due almost entirely to Vertigo, I was glad to see Karen Berger and Jenette Kahn get their due credit for the imprint. This book is really a gateway to explore the impact women have had in comics and a guidepost to further reading (there are recommendations for each woman, as well as a general section) which will serve readers well. Recommended for any comic fans, or for anyone who wants to see just how far-reaching the impact of women has been on the comics industry.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nikki Boisture

    I backed this kickstarter and I'm really happy I did. It had a lot of information, though I would have liked some of the bios to be fleshed out a little more, and I thought the organization wasn't great. Still, it's was an awesome read, I'm definitely going to keep it around for good reference.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andriana

    I constantly check the shelves of bookstores to see if there is any criticism or historical references available for comics. This is what initially drew me to She Changed Comics - but what most captured my attention was the she found in the typically male dominated work. While writing my thesis, I struggled finding diversity in comics - which ultimately helped prove my point - but when I found comics that had women involved, it somehow felt special. Needless to say, I was rather excited to read a I constantly check the shelves of bookstores to see if there is any criticism or historical references available for comics. This is what initially drew me to She Changed Comics - but what most captured my attention was the she found in the typically male dominated work. While writing my thesis, I struggled finding diversity in comics - which ultimately helped prove my point - but when I found comics that had women involved, it somehow felt special. Needless to say, I was rather excited to read about women who helped shape the medium. The book is structured in such a way that each woman is granted a front-back page that offers a brief life synopsis that accredits her accomplishments in the field and the eventual impact. I do wish that there were more images, but I took this book as a reader's companion. If the reader became intrigued by the brief summary provided in this book, they could begin their reading of that woman's work using the "Further Reading" box noted at the end of each 'chapter.' I certainly bookmarked a few books using this. Due to the book's structure and the publishers purpose (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund), these women were united under the fact that they had all changed free expression in comics. This resulted in women fitting under the same archetypes: (A) a woman adopting a pseudonym to have her comics appear in the papers; (B) a woman struggling with having her male colleagues view her as an equal (C) a woman using the comic medium to tackle injustices and social issues; (D) a woman producing comics that were viewed as obscene and sparking controversy. These profiles helped showcase the social and political power of comics, as well as the lack of diversity that exists on the panels and behind the scenes. Even though there is still room for growth (specifically in mainstream comics), this book demonstrates that strides have been made. My favorite part of this book came from the quotes that the editor skillfully selected - mainly because they were always filled with a large amount of sass sprinkled over accuracy. This book serves as a reminder that society annoyingly needs: women read comics. In fact, women create comics! Rating: ★★★★☆ Favorite Quote: "For what it's worth, I sure would appreciate if diversity meant more than palette-swapping a character here and there, or white, straight, cis gender guys trying to write more non-white, non-straight, non-cis characters. Comics can pat itself on the back about diversity when there are more marginalized people behind the scene as well as on the page" - C. Spike Trotman, when asked about diversity in main stream comics (152-3).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chandra

    A great read about women who made and make comics in the US the powerhouse they are.

  27. 5 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

    An incredible book, and one I'm sincerely glad I helped back on kickstarter.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    A nice introduction into the women of comics. Some gorgeous art samples. Will probably be looking into some of the "further reading" options.

  29. 5 out of 5

    SA

    So thrilled this exists.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    I think it went over my head in some aspects because I'm not "in" comic book culture but it gave me the heads up and now I'll be trying a few women-led comics!

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