Friends of Lulu
|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, which operated from 1994–2011 to promote readership of comic books by women and the participation of women in the comic book industry.
Membership was open to all persons. Friends of Lulu additionally sponsored the Lulu Awards and administered the Women Cartoonists Hall of Fame.
The organization took 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 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. 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 1994 Friends of Lulu started an amateur press association to further the organization.
In 1997 the first annual Lulu conference and Lulu awards were held in California.
In 2000, Friends of Lulu was awarded a grant from the Xeric Foundation to self-publish Friends of Lulu: Storytime.
In 2002, Katie Merrit, owner of Green Brain Comics, was nominated and voted by membership as President of the Board. She served the organization fully and completely, and was a perfect ambassador for the organization's mission. (Need more detail from Katie's term.)
In 2004, Shannon Crane was nominated and voted by membership to President of the Board after serving two years on the board as Membership Secretary. She stepped down after a year of Presidency to focus on new motherhood. It's understood that she had been building bridges with key industry professionals to dispel the misunderstanding that the organization was anti-man. She believed that with diplomacy between key industry influencers and Friends of Lulu, the mission statement could be further realized.
2004 is also the year that FoL's second anthology, Broad Appeal, headed by a group of dedicated creators, including Marion Vitus (please add more names from team involved). This anthology was received with critical acclaim and great reader popularity.
In September 2007, Valerie D'Orazio volunteered to fill the empty president of the national board of directors of Friends of Lulu. (Please provide link to ALL previous board pages to archive when ground work was happening in FoL.)
In August 2010, an interim Board of Directors was reestablished, and the Friends of Lulu 2010 Awards were launched. The award winners were named in October 2010.
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.
Friends of Lulu published a number of books, including:
- How to Get Girls (Into Your Store) (1997) — guide for comics shop owners on how to make their stores more female-friendly
- Friends of Lulu Presents: Storytime (2001)
- Broad Appeal (2003) — anthology of comics by women artists
- The Girls' Guide to Guys' Stuff (2007) — features over 50 female cartoonists, including Roberta Gregory, Abby Denson, and Debbie Huey
- Female comics creators
- List of female comics creators
- List of feminist comic books
- List of Lulu Award winners
- Portrayal of women in American comics
- 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.
- 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.
- Cuda, Amanda (August 5, 2003). "Women's Wit: Holy comics, Batman, it's women cartoonists!". Connecticut Post
- 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.
- Friends of Lulu (2008). "Friends of Lulu's 2008 Board of Directors". Friends of Lulu. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- 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". Archived from the original on 24 June 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
- Draper Carlson, Johanna. "Friends of Lulu Done and Gone". Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2011.