The cover to Wimmen's Comix #1, November 1972.
Art by Patricia Moodian.
|Publisher||Last Gasp (1972–1985)|
Renegade Press (1987–1988)
Rip Off Press (1989–1992)
|Publication date||November 1972 - 1992|
|No. of issues||17|
|Editor(s)||Patricia Moodian, Trina Robbins, Michele Brand, Lora Fountain, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Diane Noomin, Lee Marrs, Sharon Rudahl, Shelby Sampson, Janet Wolfe Stanley|
Wimmen's Comix, later titled Wimmin's Comix, is an influential all-female underground comics anthology published from 1972 to 1992. Though it covered a wide range of genre and subject matter, Wimmen's Comix focused more than other anthologies of the time on feminist concerns, homosexuality, sex and politics in general, and autobiographical comics. Wimmen's Comix #1 featured the first-ever comic strip featuring an "out" lesbian, Trina Robbins' "Sandy Comes Out." Wimmen's Comix was a launching pad for many cartoonists' careers, and it inspired other small-press and self-published titles like Dyke Shorts and Dynamite Damsels.
Wimmen's Comix debuted a few years after the publication of the 1970 one-shot (also published by Last Gasp) It Ain't Me, Babe, the first American comic book entirely produced by women, which was put together by Trina Robbins, the most prolific and influential of the women cartoonists in the underground scene. (It Ain't Me Babe was a feminist newspaper in Berkeley, California.) Many of the creators from the It Ain't Me Babe comic went on to contribute to Wimmen's Comix.
Originally, the group behind Wimmen's Comix was not an official collective, but rather a few women artists who came together with a common interest to create at least one comic that women could get paid to be in, in a male-dominated comix culture. The first issue was edited by musician and artist Patricia Moodian. Later issues (17 total in 20 years) were edited by a different editor, or different editors who shared the job.
In 1975, regular contributors Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Diane Noomin left to start their own title, Twisted Sisters. (Kominsky-Crumb has later claimed that a large part of her break with the Wimmen's Comix group was over feminist issues.) Many Wimmen's Comix' contributors, including Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Penny Van Horn, Carol Tyler, M.K. Brown, Diane Noomin, Phoebe Gloeckner, Carol Lay, Caryn Leschen, Leslie Sternbergh, Dori Seda, Mary Fleener, and Krystine Kryttre, subsequently appeared in Twisted Sisters: A Collection of Bad Girl Art (Viking Penguin) and Twisted Sisters: Drawing the Line (Kitchen Sink Press), both edited by Noomin.
In 1992, for issue #17, the title of the comic was changed to Wimmin's Comix following a discussion over the gender politics of words containing "man" or "men" (see womyn). This, and other political conflicts, along with financial difficulties and the increasing availability of other venues for independent female cartoonists, led to the end of the series after that issue.
Every issue of Wimmen's Comix is reprinted in The Complete Wimmen's Comix, a two-volume collection released in February 2016.
List of cartoonists in the first issue
Cartoonists in later issues
- Johnson, Kjerstin. "Adventures in Feministory: Women's Comics of the '70s and '80s," Bitch magazine (April 6, 2009).
- Robbins, Trina. "Wimmen's Studies," Comix Grrrlz (May 25, 2010). Accessed Sept. 28, 2010.
- Kaplan, Arie. Masters of the Comic Book Universe Revealed!. (Chicago Review Press, 2006) ISBN 1-55652-633-4, p.86.
- Jacobs, Rita D (March 2016). "The Complete Wimmen's Comix". World Literature Today. 90 (2). Retrieved 9 March 2016 – via EBSCO. (Subscription required (help)).
- Bernstein, Robin (July 31, 1994). "Where Women Rule: The World of Lesbian Cartoons". The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review 1 (3): 20.
- Kominsky-Crumb, Aline. (2007). Need More Love. New York: MQ Publications. ISBN 1-84601-133-7.
- The Complete Wimmen's Comix page at the Fantagraphics website. Accessed Dec. 12, 2016.
- Dueben, Alex. "An Oral History of Wimmen’s Comix Part 1," The Comics Journal (MAR. 31, 2016).
- Dueben, Alex. "An Oral History of Wimmen’s Comix Part 2," The Comics Journal (Apr. 6, 2016).