In 1997 the first annual Lulu conference was held in California, and the first annual Lulu Awards were also held. Friends of Lulu has published a number of books including, How to Get Girls (Into Your Store), a guide for comics shop owners on how to make their stores more female-friendly, and Broad Appeal, an anthology of comics by women artists. The Girls' Guide to Guys' Stuff, published in 2007, features over 50 female cartoonists presenting their takes on men and their interests. The anthology includes contributions from Roberta Gregory, Abby Denson, Debbie Huey and many others. In September 2007, Valerie D'Orazio was named national president of the Friends of Lulu organization.
It additionally sponsored the Lulu Awards, administers the Women Cartoonists Hall of Fame. The organization takes its name from "Little Lulu", the comic strip character created by Marjorie Henderson Buell in 1935. In the comics, Lulu often tries to break into the boys' clubhouse, where girls aren't allowed. In 2000, Friends of Lulu was awarded a grant from the Xeric Foundation to self-publish Friends of Lulu: Storytime.
In August of 2010, an interim Board Of Directors was reestablished and on August 8, the Friends Of Lulu 2010 Awards were launched. The award winners were named in October 2010. In June 2011, the IRS revoked the organization's tax-exempt status as a non-profit. The group ceased operating shortly afterwards.
The Lulu Awards, presented annually at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, bestows the Lulu of the Year trophy for overall work; with additionally awards, variously over the years, having included the Kimberly Yale Award for Best New Talent; the Volunteer of the Year Award; and both the Women of Distinction Award and induction into the Women Cartoonists Hall of Fame.
- ↑ Wilonsky, Robert. "Fatal femmes: Why do women in comics become Women in Refrigerators?" Dallas Observer, May 18, 2000
- ↑ Draper Carlson, Johanna. "It’s Official — Friends of Lulu No Longer a Non-Profit Organization, 10 June 2011
- ↑ Carlson, Friends of Lulu Done and Gone, 30 June 2011