Dori Seda

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Dori Seda
Dori Seda 1982 San Diego Comic Con.jpg
Dori Seda on the Women In Comics panel at the 1982 San Diego Comic Con.
Born Dorthea Antonette Seda
Died February 25, 1988(1988-02-25) (aged 37)
Nationality American
Area(s) Cartoonist
Pseudonym(s) Sylvia Silicosis
Notable works
Lonely Nights Comics
Awards Dori Seda Memorial Award for Women

Dorthea Antonette[1] "Dori" Seda (1951 – February 25, 1988)[2] was an artist best known for her underground comix work in the 1980s. She occasionally used the pen name "Sylvia Silicosis."[3] Her comics combined exaggerated fantasy and ribald humor with documentation of her life in the Mission District of San Francisco, California.

Seda was originally a painter and ceramics artist, graduating from in Illinois State University with a B.A. in art.[1] To pursue her interest in comics, she took a job as a bookkeeper at the San Francisco publisher Last Gasp.[4] Her first published comics work appeared in Robert Crumb's anthology magazine Weirdo in 1981. She was subsequently published in Wimmen's Comix, San Francisco Comic Book, Viper, Yellow Silk, Prime Cuts, Cannibal Romance, Weird Smut Comix, Tits & Clits, Twisted Sisters, and her solo book Lonely Nights Comics (which was banned in England upon its release).[5]

A heavy smoker who suffered from emphysema, she may also have contracted silicosis from her ceramics materials. Seda died at age 37[2] from respiratory failure after catching the flu.

Her work has been collected in the book Dori Stories (ISBN 0-86719-375-1), which also includes memorial tributes, including the story "Dori Bangs" by Bruce Sterling, which imagines a future marriage between her and music critic Lester Bangs (whom she never met). She was also featured in the short documentary Gap-Toothed Women by Les Blank, a documentary about the history of women with a gap between their two front teeth. She created a poster for the film.[6]

Dori Seda Memorial Award for Women[edit]

In 1988, Last Gasp established the Dori Seda Memorial Award for Women.[7] The first recipient was Carol Tyler.

Legal issues concerning reproduction of work[edit]

After Seda's death, conflict arose over who owned the rights to reproduce her work. Friends of Seda's wanted to collect and publish her work (the collection that became Dori Stories), but at her death Seda's estate passed to the next of kin, her mother. Due to the sexual nature of Seda's work, her mother did not wish to see Seda's writing in print again, and refused the right to publish it. However, a year prior to her death, Seda had written a will which gave partner Don Donahue full ownership of her work if she died. The will was witnessed and signed by Seda, Krystine Kryttre, and Donohue. Seda's friends were able to successfully file the will in 1991, leaving Donohue full ownership of her work.[8]


  1. ^ a b Seda entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999 Archived February 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine..
  2. ^ a b "Lonely Nights Artist Dori Seda Dead At 37," The Comics Journal #121 (April 1988).
  3. ^ "Who's Who bio". Retrieved 2017-03-11. 
  4. ^ "Dori Seda". Retrieved 2017-03-11. 
  5. ^ "Dori Seda on Grand Comic Database". Grand Comic Database. various. 
  6. ^ "Dori Seda". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-03-11. 
  7. ^ "Dori Seda Award for Women," The Comics Journal #123 (July 1988), pp. 13–14.
  8. ^ Sternbergh, Leslie. "...there's a way, or, My Dinner With Olga", The Comics Journal #154 (November 1992), reprinted in Dori Stories: The Complete Dori Seda (Last Gasp, 1999) ISBN 0-86719-375-1.


External links[edit]