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, which operated from 1994[1][2]–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.[3] 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.[4]


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.[5]

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.[6]

In 2000, Friends of Lulu was awarded a grant from the Xeric Foundation to self-publish Friends of Lulu: Storytime.

In September 2007, Valerie D'Orazio was named national president of the Friends of Lulu organization.[7]

In August 2010, an interim Board of Directors was reestablished, and 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 operations 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.


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[4]
  • The Girls' Guide to Guys' Stuff (2007) — features over 50 female cartoonists, including Roberta Gregory, Abby Denson, and Debbie Huey

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. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ a b Cuda, Amanda (August 5, 2003). "Women's Wit: Holy comics, Batman, it's women cartoonists!". Connecticut Post
  5. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (May 18, 2000). "Fatal femmes: Why do women in comics become Women in Refrigerators?". Dallas Observer. 
  6. ^ Cooper, Carol (January 9, 2001). "Pretty Persuasion". Village Voice: 59. 
  7. ^ Friends of Lulu (2008). "Friends of Lulu's 2008 Board of Directors". Friends of Lulu. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  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]