RICHMOND — While Wonder Woman is a well-known comic book creation popularized during World War II, the era also saw numerous other female characters, such as the Girl Commandos by Jill Elgin, that filled pages of comic books with the adventures of women fighting the common Axis enemy.
Author and pop-culture historian Trina Robbins will discuss her new book about the women comic book artists of the war years and the colorful characters they created at a special program at 11 a.m. Sept. 23 at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park Visitor Education Center, 1414 Harbour Way South.
Along with the groundbreaking entrance of women into the mainstream American workforce during the war came a new presence for women in popular culture, including comic books. Robbins, herself a cartoonist, recounts the door that opened to women artists in her book “Babes In Arms: Women in the Comics during the Second World War.”
“During the Golden Age of comics, publishers offered titles supporting the war effort — presenting fighting men and their feminine counterparts — babes in arms,” notes an announcement from the park. “Comic books during this period featured U.S. servicewomen fighting all of the Axis bad guys and gave several of the most noteworthy women artists of the era opportunities to create action-packed, adventure-filled, four-color stories.”
Robbins has her own credentials in the genre as a cartoonist in the underground comix movement of the 1960s and ’70s and her book pays tribute to the women who came before.
” Robbins has assembled comic book stories by artists Barbara Hall, Jill Elgin, Lilly Renee, and Fran Hopper together with insightful commentary and loads of documentary extras to create the definitive book chronicling the work of these important Golden Age artists.”
Admission to the program is free, but seating is limited. For more information and directions to the Visitor Education Center, call 510-232-5050, Ext. 0; or visit www.nps.gov/rori/planyourvisit/directions.htm.
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