Friends of Lulu
|Area served||United States|
|Key people||Trina Robbins, Heidi MacDonald, Deni Loubert, Anina Bennett, Jackie Estrada, Valerie D'Orazio|
Friends of Lulu was a non-profit, national charitable organization in the United States, founded in 1994 to promote readership of comic books by women and the participation of women in the comic book industry. Co-founder Trina Robbins recalls that a Cherry Poptart lookalike contest sponsored by Comic-Con International was the "last straw" that inspired the creation of the organization.
In the early 1990s, comic book professionals Trina Robbins, Heidi MacDonald, Deni Loubert, Anina Bennett, and Jackie Estrada banded together to share frustrations, information and aspirations for females in the male-dominated comics industry, and held the very first "Friends of Lulu" meetings at a comics convention. In 1994 they started an amateur press association to further the organization.
In 1997 the first annual Lulu conference and Lulu awards were held in California. Friends of Lulu 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, including Roberta Gregory, Abby Denson, Debbie Huey. In September 2007, Valerie D'Orazio was named national president of the Friends of Lulu organization.
Membership was open to all persons. It additionally sponsored the Lulu Awards and administered 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.
The Lulu Awards, presented annually at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, bestowed the Lulu of the Year trophy for overall work; with additional awards, variously over the years, including the Kimberly Yale Award for Best New Talent; the Volunteer of the Year Award; the Women of Distinction Award and induction into the Women Cartoonists Hall of Fame.
- Leibrock, Rachel (March 14, 2003). "Drawing Power S.F. exhibit celebrates pioneering women cartoonists". Sacramento Bee: E1.
- Szadkowski, Joseph (January 14, 2005). "Comics for girls may save biz". The Washington Times: D8.
- Wilonsky, Robert (May 18, 2000). "Fatal femmes: Why do women in comics become Women in Refrigerators?". Dallas Observer.
- Cooper, Carol (January 9, 2001). "Pretty Persuasion". Village Voice: 59.
- Cuda, Amanda (August 5, 2003). "Women's Wit: Holy comics, Batman, it's women cartoonists!". Connecticut Post
- Friends of Lulu (2008). "Friends of Lulu's 2008 Board of Directors". Friends of Lulu. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- Houle, Zachary (October 16, 2000). "And Lulu is their guru: There's a move to promote comic books produced by and for women". The Gazette (Montreal): E5.
- D'Orazio, Valerie (August 8, 2010). "2010 Awards". Comics Are For Everyone. Retrieved August 8, 2010.
- Draper Carlson, Johanna. "It’s Official — Friends of Lulu No Longer a Non-Profit Organization". Retrieved 10 June 2011.
- Draper Carlson, Johanna. "Friends of Lulu Done and Gone". Retrieved 13 July 2011.