DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Signed by the Author > Faculty, alumna explore characters, creators, culture in the Golden Age
By Blair Davis /
July 27, 2022 /
Posted in: SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR /
Comic Book Women: Characters, Creators, and Culture in the Golden Age
By: Blair Davis, Media and Cinema Studies program; Peyton Brunet, College of Communication alumna
The history of comics has centered almost exclusively on men, with comics historians largely describing the medium as one built by men telling tales about male protagonists. This approach has neglected the many ways in which women fought for legitimacy on the page and in publishers’ studios.
"Comic Book Women" offers a feminist history of the golden age of comics, revising our understanding of how numerous genres emerged and upending narratives of how male auteurs built their careers. Considering issues of race, gender and sexuality, the book examines crime, horror, jungle, romance, science fiction, superhero and Western comics, offering a revisionist history which reclaims the forgotten work done by women in the comics industry and reinserts female creators and characters into the canon of comics history.
What’s the most surprising thing you learned while writing this book?
Many aspects of comics history that are commonly attributed to male creators were actually pioneered by women. Stan Lee is credited as inventing the "Marvel method" of writing comics in the 1960s by giving a plot synopsis to an artist and then adding dialogue afterwards. This technique actually was started by a woman named Toni Blum in the 1940s. Similarly, artists like June Tarpé Mills and Lily Renée were pioneers of horror comics years before the genre was seen as getting its so-called official start.
What inspired you to write this book?
The emerging field of comics studies has been a mostly male-dominated one, with books such as "Of Comics and Men" and "Men of Tomorrow" serving as the most-quoted histories of comics. This male-centric history has long been overdue for revision.
About the author:
Blair Davis is an associate professor of media and cinema studies in the College of Communication. He is the author of several books, including "Comic Book Movies," "Movie Comics: Page to Screen/Screen to Page" and "The Battle for the Bs: 1950s Hollywood and the Rebirth of Low-Budget Cinema." He has written for USA Today, The Washington Post, Ms. Magazine and The Saturday Evening Post, and he appeared on two episodes of the AMC series "James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction" in 2018.
Publisher and publication date:
University of Texas Press, January 2022
Signed by the Author allows DePaul faculty and staff to introduce their recently published or upcoming book or chapter to the university community. To submit your book or chapter for consideration, contact Newsline. See more books published by faculty and staff in the Signed by the Author column.