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Wimmen's Comix, later titled Wimmin's Comix, was an influential all-female underground comics anthology published by Last Gasp from 1972 to 1992, running 17 issues in total. The title proved a launching pad for many cartoonists' careers, and inspired other small-press and self-published titles.

Fantagraphics released a complete hardcover, two-volume boxset of the series in March 2016, including its predecessor It Ain't Me Babe.

(Infobox image: The Wimmen's Comix Collective in 1975. Standing, left to right: Becky Wilson, Trina Robbins, Shelby Sampson, Ron Turner (publisher), Barb Brown, Dot Bucher. Sitting: Melinda Gebbie, Lee Marrs.)

HistoryEdit

Wimmen's Comix debuted a few years after the publication of the 1970 one-shot (also published by Last Gasp) It Ain't Me Babe, the first American comic book entirely produced by women, and put together by Trina Robbins, the most prolific and influential of the women cartoonists in the underground scene.

The first issue of Wimmen's Comix was edited by musician and artist Pat Moodian. Originally, the group behind Wimmen's Comix was not an official collective, but rather a few women artists who came together with a common interest to create at least one comic that women could get paid to be in, in a male-dominated comix culture. It was also notable for its revolutionary editorial approach. Terre Richards recalls:

"We decided that we would produce an on-going title of comics by women and that we would function as a collective, a term used rather loosely in those days to mean there would be no leader or editor, but instead a rotating editorship, with everyone contributing their energy to the paperwork and general supportiveness of the group."[1]

Each edition was edited by two different women, working together, with lots of feedback from the group, which met regularly in San Francisco, so no one person wielded too much control over the series. In contrast to the "old boys' club" of the male-dominated underground comix, anyone (as long as they were women) was invited to submit work to Wimmen's Comix. Though it covered a wide range of genre and subject matter, Wimmen's Comix focused more than other anthologies of the time on feminist concerns, homosexuality, sex and politics in general, and autobiographical comics.

In 1992, for issue #17, the title was changed to Wimmin's Comix following a discussion over the gender politics of words containing "man" or "men". This and other political conflicts within the collective, along with financial difficulties and the increasing availability of other venues for independent female cartoonists, led to the end of the series after that issue.

Many underground and alternative female cartoonists launched their careers in the pages of Wimmen's Comix. The series also led to further female-focused titles being launched, including Tits & Clits Comix, Dyke Shorts, Twisted Sisters, and Dynamite Damsels; several of Wimmen's Comix contributors subsequently created comics that appeared in these titles.

IssuesEdit

Click covers for contents and credits.

Issue 1 Edit

WimmensComix01

Published November 1972 (Last Gasp)

Editor: Pat Moodian
Cover by Pat Moodian

Issue 2 Edit

WimmensComix02

Published 1973 (Last Gasp)

"The Anthology of Women Cartoonists"

Editor: Lee Marrs
Cover by Edna Jundis

Issue 3 Edit

WimmensComix03

Published October 1973 (Last Gasp)

Fun & Games Issue

Editor: Sharon Rudahl
Cover by Lee Marrs

Issue 4 Edit

WimmensComix04

Published 1974 (Last Gasp)

Editor: Shelby Sampson
Cover by Shelby Sampson

Issue 5 Edit

WimmensComix05

Published June 1975 (Last Gasp)

International

Editor: Trina Robbins and Terry Richards
Cover by Becky Wilson

Issue 6 Edit

WimmensComix06

Published December 1975 (Last Gasp)

Special Bicentennial Issue

Edited by Becky Wilson and Barb Brown
Cover by Shary Flenniken

Issue 7 Edit

WimmensComix07

Published December 1976 (Last Gasp)

Outlaws

Edited by Melinda Gebbie and Dot Bucher
Cover by Melinda Gebbie

Issue 8 Edit

WimmensComix08

Published March 1983 (Last Gasp)

The 21st Century Woman

Edited by Kathryn LeMieux and Lee Binswanger
Cover by Trina Robbins

Issue 9 Edit

WimmensComix09

Published May 1984 (Last Gasp)

Women At Work

Editors: Caryn Leschen and Rosemary Dinegar
Cover Artist: Lee Marrs

Issue 10 Edit

WimmensComix10

Published October 1985 (Last Gasp)

International Politically Incorrect Fetish Issue

Edited by Joyce Farmer
Cover by Joyce Farmer

Issue 11 Edit

WimmensComix11

Published April 1987 (Renegade Press)

Fashion Confidential

Editors: Krystine Kryttre and Dori Seda
Cover by Diane Noomin

Issue 12 Edit

WimmensComix12

Published November 1987 (Renegade Press)

3-D

Edited by Angela Bocage and Rebecka Wright
Cover by Carol Lay
3-D Effects: Ray Zone

Issue 13 Edit

WimmensComix13

Published 1988 (Renegade Press)

Occult Issue

Editors: Lee Binswanger and Caryn Leschen
Cover by Krystine Kryttre

Issue 14 Edit

WimmensComix14

Published November 1987 (Rip-Off Press)

Disastrous Relationships

Edited by Trina Robbins and Deni Loubert
Cover by Trina Robbins

Issue 15 Edit

WimmensComix15

Published 1989 (Rip-Off Press)

Little Girls

Editors: Phoebe Gloeckner and Angela Bocage
Cover by Phoebe Gloeckner

Issue 16 Edit

WimmensComix16

Published 1989 (Rip-Off Press)

Men

Edited by Rebecka Wright
Cover by Carol Tyler

Issue 17 Edit

WimminsComix17

Published 1992 (Rip-Off Press)

Giant 44-Page Kvetch Issue

Edited by Caryn Leschen
Cover by Caryn Leschen

LegacyEdit

Wimmens40thShow

L to R: Lee Binswanger, Nancy Husari, Caryn Leschen, Sharon Rudahl, Trina Robbins, Terre Richards, Ron Turner, Rebecka Wright, Lee Marrs, Becky Wilson

From November 10, 2012 to February 7, 2013, the San Francisco Public Library exhibited a retrospective of Wimmen's Comix work, curated by Terre Richards.[2]

Contributer Aline Kominsky-Crumb, whose first published comics work appeared in Wimmen's Comix #1, has mixed feelings about the title:

When I look back at those early Wimmen’s Comix, they are just terrible. The work is so bad, it’s so unprofessional. A lot of it’s not funny; a lot of it is sort of humor impaired real militant feminist stuff that’s silly. Not much of it holds up. The good part of it was that everybody got a chance; it was very democratic. The bad part was there was no quality control.[3]

The Complete Wimmen's Comix was published by Fantagraphics in 2016, edited by Trina Robbins. It also included It Ain't Me Babe and an introduction by Robbins. The collection won the 2017 Eisner Award for Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books.

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Wimmen's Comix Lambiek page
  2. SFPL Exhibits: The 40th Anniversary of Wimmen's Comix 1972 - 2012
  3. Aline Crumb on Women Cartoonists and Autobiographical Comics, ICv2.com. Published 5 Dec 2012; Accessed 5 Dec 2012.
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