Robot 6

A call for a Women in Comics Award

Kim Yale

Sue at DC Women Kicking Ass came up with an interesting idea in light of the demise of Friends of Lulu and its annual Lulu Awards for female comics creators. She points out the variety of categories the Lulus celebrated as well as the Hall of Fame, but specifically misses the Kim Yale New Talent Award, named in honor of the late writer whose many accomplishments include, with husband John Ostrander, developing Barbara Gordon into Oracle.

“I hate to see an award that honors and remembers a vital creator like Kim Yale no longer exist,” Sue wrote. “While one can debate whether there is still the need for an organization like Friends of Lulu, recognizing and encouraging new female creators — especially in light of the discourse that’s gone on in this market this past year — is, I believe, still very important.”

She doesn’t have any concrete ideas yet, but suggests that “the most expedient way is probably for one of the larger comics sites to step up and take it on,” because, “for the award to exist it will also require the support and involvement of organizations far larger and influential than mine. It needs creator and publisher support, publicity and access to a database of industry participants. It could be hosted separately by one of the comics sites or it could be folded into an existing set of awards such as the Eisners. Or it could simply be open to voting by the comic community. As long as it is supported and treated with respect, I don’t think it matters.”

A couple of prominent women who write about comics, Heidi MacDonald and Kelly Thompson, offer support in the comments, as does Jill Pantozzi at The Mary Sue. And while I don’t speak for Comic Book Resources or even Robot 6, reviving the Kim Yale New Female Talent Award in some form is something I’d love to see happen, too. Consider this another attempt to spread the word. If enough people do, maybe something will come of this.

Kim Yale photo found at Ladies Making Comics.

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Comments

3 Comments

YES!
Absolutely!
Let’s get CBR to (co)sponsor the awards along with other comics websites and publishers!
Also, I *strongly* believe there should be an award named after the legendary “Grande Dame of Comics” Ramona Fradon. The Ramona award for best artistic achievement (or other top artistic award).

Kelly Thompson is a “prominant” woman in comics? Since when?

I strongly disagree. While the big 2, on the creative side, seems still be a bit of a boy’s club (on the editorial side, there was, at least prior to Marvel’s recent cutbacks, much more of a split), there are many successful and incredible female comic artists and cartoonists, and they hold their own against the fellas just fine. Eisner nominations abound, as do Ignatzes and Harveys and just about everything else. Kate Beaton is one of the most popular cartoonists under thirty-five, and I’d argue that Eleanor Davis is the BEST cartoonist under thirty-five. That seems to be the cutoff where, on the creative side, things are more or less fifty-fifty, at least with the creator-owned/indie stuff.

I teach comics, and girls have been in the majority since I started, every year, without fail. I’ve only had one intro class where the boys outnumbered the ladies. And they know this. And they tend to excell earlier. And I haven’t met one with real chops who wishes there were more female-centric awards or groups. There was a meeting of one such group in ATL, and a few of the students went thinking it was going to be like one of those drink-and-draw-like-a-lady events, but left somewhat disgusted when it turned out to be sub-par artists complaining that their gender was keeping them from finding work. Nobody’s gender is keeping them from work anymore, at least not on the comics side of things.

The ladies of comics are too good these days to delegate them to a specialized category, which the resurgence of such an award would do. A scholarship, maybe, but not an award. Let the best lady take home her Eisner, not a pity prize.

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