Friends of Lulu

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Not to be confused with Lulu (company).
Friends of Lulu
Founded 1994
Dissolved 2011
Area served
United States
Key people
Trina Robbins, Heidi MacDonald, Deni Loubert, Anina Bennett, Jackie Estrada, Valerie D'Orazio
Friends of Lulu President Valerie D'Orazio at the Friends of Lulu table at the Big Apple Con, November 15, 2008.

Friends of Lulu was a non-profit, national charitable organization in the United States, founded in 1994[1][2] 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.[3]


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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

Membership was open to all persons.[7] 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.[5] In 2000, Friends of Lulu was awarded a grant from the Xeric Foundation to self-publish Friends of Lulu: Storytime.

In August 2010, an interim Board Of Directors was reestablished and on August 8, the Friends Of Lulu 2010 Awards were launched.[8] The award winners were named in October 2010.

In June 2011, the IRS revoked the organization's tax-exempt status as a non-profit.[9] The group ceased operating shortly afterwards.[10]

Lulu Awards[edit]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Leibrock, Rachel (March 14, 2003). "Drawing Power S.F. exhibit celebrates pioneering women cartoonists". Sacramento Bee: E1. 
  2. ^ Szadkowski, Joseph (January 14, 2005). "Comics for girls may save biz". The Washington Times: D8. 
  3. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (May 18, 2000). "Fatal femmes: Why do women in comics become Women in Refrigerators?". Dallas Observer. 
  4. ^ Cooper, Carol (January 9, 2001). "Pretty Persuasion". Village Voice: 59. 
  5. ^ a b Cuda, Amanda (August 5, 2003). "Women's Wit: Holy comics, Batman, it's women cartoonists!". Connecticut Post
  6. ^ Friends of Lulu (2008). "Friends of Lulu's 2008 Board of Directors". Friends of Lulu. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ D'Orazio, Valerie (August 8, 2010). "2010 Awards". Comics Are For Everyone. Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  9. ^ Draper Carlson, Johanna. "It’s Official — Friends of Lulu No Longer a Non-Profit Organization". Retrieved 10 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Draper Carlson, Johanna. "Friends of Lulu Done and Gone". Retrieved 13 July 2011. 

External links[edit]