The not-so-secret history of comics drawn by women

 Image by Marjane Satrapi

No women were nominated for the Angoulême International Comics Festival awards because, according to the organiser, there was a lack of qualified women. “The Festival likes women, but cannot rewrite the history of comics,”.

Not so, says Laurenn McCubbin

“For over 100 years, we have seen the presence of women in the American comics,” Caitlin McGurk, the associate curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library (which houses the largest collection of comics and comic-related history in the world), said. “For the first half of the 20th century, many female cartoonists wrote under ambiguous or masculine names, just to increase their likeliness for publication.” McGurk has many examples: June Mills, who went by a version of her middle name, “Tarpé”, when she created the great Miss Fury in 1941. Miss Fury, in fact, was the first female action hero created by a woman, predating Wonder Woman.