Friends of Lulu was a non-profit, national charitable organization in the United States that operated from 1993 to 2011 to promote readership of comic books by women and the participation of women in the comic book industry. The organization takes its name from Little Lulu, the eponymous 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.

History[edit | edit source]

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 in 1993 they began forming Friends of Lulu at San Diego Comic Con.[1] Robbins recalls that a Cherry Poptart lookalike contest sponsored by the convention was the "last straw" that inspired the creation of the organization.[2] At the 1994 San Diego Comic Con, a six-person steering committee (including MacDonald, Bennett, and Estrada, plus Mimi Cruz, Cheryl Harris, and Liz Schiller) was elected to take on the process of incorporation. The first board of directors was elected at San Diego Comic Con 1995.[3]

In 1997, the first annual LuluCon was held in California, and the first annual Lulu Awards were also held.

Friends of Lulu published a number of books including How to Get Girls (Into Your Store), a guide for comics shop owners on how to make their stores more female-friendly, and Broad Appeal, an anthology of comics by women artists. In September 2000, Friends of Lulu was awarded a grant from the Xeric Foundation to self-publish Friends of Lulu: Storytime. The Girls' Guide to Guys' Stuff, published in 2007, features over 50 female cartoonists presenting their takes on men and their interests. The anthology includes contributions from Roberta Gregory, Abby Denson, Debbie Huey and many others.

In September 2007, Valerie D'Orazio was named national president of the Friends of Lulu organization. In August 2010, an interim Board of Directors was established and the 2010 Friends of Lulu Awards were launched on August 8th. The award winners were named in October 2010. Due to the failure of presidents prior to D'Orazio to file the proper annual reports, the IRS revoked the organization's tax-exempt status as a non-profit on May 15, 2010.[4][5] The group ceased operating shortly afterwards.[6]

Publications[edit | edit source]

Storytime (2000)[edit | edit source]

Friends of Lulu Presents: Storytime is an anthology edited by Anne Chang-Blaeske and Phil Yeh as a fundraiser for Friends of Lulu. Publication was funded by the Xeric Grant.

Contents[edit | edit source]

Cover by Mary Wilshire

Introduction by Nicole Hollander

  • A Word From The President written by Liz Schiller, art by Mary Wilshire
  • Interior Illustrations by Bryan Talbot
  • Pi Force by Janet Hetherington
  • To Be A Fish by Jeremy Johnson
  • The Clockwork Family by Dave Roman
  • "Shhh" by Charlie Boatner
  • Renart And The Hams by Johane Matte
  • The Magic Closet written by Dave Marchman, art by John Douglas
  • Who's Da Man? by Mari Schaal
  • The Hero Within written by Danny DeAngelo, art by Rob Smith, Jr.
  • Isle Concord Phaser Face by Tony Brandl
  • Dial I For Imagination written by Naomi Basner. art by Joan Hilty
  • Endless Comic by Tatiana Gill
  • Almost True Funnies by Eve Corbel
  • Shades Of Blue written by Jim Harris and Rachel Nacion, art by Dan Henrick
  • Blue Moon Adventures by Deborah Ginsberg
  • GoGirl! written by Trina Robbins, art by Anne Timmons
  • Slobs Of The World Unite! by Jen Sorensen
  • The Quiet Girl by Donna Barr
  • The Talking Boy by Donna Barr
  • The Artist And The Model by Lee Binswanger
  • How The World Ended In The Year 2000 by Nancy Husari
  • Out Of Their Depth written by Leah Adezio and Elayne Riggs, art by Leah Adezio
  • Of A Feather written by Elayne Riggs, art by Robin Riggs
  • Gwendolyn's by Fink
  • The Deer Flame Legacy by Talitha Nonveiller
  • Bronx and Tyro by Jacque Boivin
  • Adeline Marie by Julie Larson
  • Monkey Stuff by Pam Bliss
  • No Sense By The Seashore by Tobi Greenberg
  • A Dose Of Wisdom by W. A. Peabody
  • A Walk In The Park by Phil Yeh
  • Missing Faith by Michel Lacombe
  • Doggie and Jilly: Sad Day Sayings by Drew Boyton, inked by Larry Blake
  • Doggie and Jilly: Talk Show Trouble! by Drew Boyton, inked by Larry Blake
  • Doggie and Jilly: The Itsy, Bitsy... by Drew Boyton, inked by Larry Blake
  • Doggie and Jilly: Blue Hair by Drew Boyton, inked by Larry Blake
  • The Cop Out by Stephanie Gladden
  • Butterfly Lovers by Sharon Rudahl
  • Big-Headed Billy On Education by Jesse Valentine Yeh

Broad Appeal (2003)[edit | edit source]

Friends of Lulu Presents: Broad Appeal is an anthology released by the New York chapter of Friends of Lulu in 2003. It includes both comics and articles and interviews with women professionals.

The New York chapter of Friends of Lulu presents an anthology of illustrated stories that engagingly showcase the diversity of female artists writing and drawing comics today. From dramatic mystery and humorous fantasy to insightful narratives, this collection offers something for everyone.

Comics[edit | edit source]

Articles[edit | edit source]

  • Sequential Tart: Strength in Diversity by Lee Atchison
  • Punk Rock Comix interview with Abby Denson and Jenny Gonzales, by Dave Roman
  • Doreen A. Mulryan: Monkey Business: interview by Jennifer M. Contino
  • Jennifer Moore: A Laugh a Minute: interview by Roman
  • Lela Lee: Acting Angry: interview by Roman
  • Vanessa Santone: Comics Mind: interview by Contino
  • Catherine Tutrone: Having Full-Time Fun: interview by Contino

The Girls' Guide to Guys' Stuff (2007)[edit | edit source]

Friends of Lulu Presents: The Girls' Guide to Guys' Stuff is an anthology published by Friends of Lulu in 2007. It features the work of over 50 women, on topics traditionally deemed "guys' stuff", such as ties, pornography, and comics.

Contents[edit | edit source]

Introduction by Becky Cloonan

Lulu Awards[edit | edit source]

See the List of Lulu Award winners article for a complete list of nominees and winners.

The Lulu Awards bestowed the Lulu of the Year trophy for overall work; with additional awards (varying over the years) having included the Kimberly Yale Award for Best New Talent; the Volunteer of the Year Award, and both the Women of Distinction Award ("Recognizing those whose work best exemplifies Friends of Lulu’s mission of promoting diversity in comics") and induction into the Women Cartoonists Hall of Fame. The first Lulu Awards were presented at Comic-Con International 1997, and the awards continued to be presented at CCI until 2008, when they moved to MoCCA Fest in New York City.

1997[edit | edit source]

1998[edit | edit source]

1999[edit | edit source]

2000[edit | edit source]

2001[edit | edit source]

2002[edit | edit source]

  • Women Cartoonists Hall of Fame: Lynn Johnston (For Better or Worse)
  • Lulu of the Year: Sequential Tart (Marcia Allass – Editor)
  • Kim Yale Award for Best New Talent: Ashley-Jane Nicholaus (Haven) and Gisèle Lagacé (Cool Cat Studio)
  • Volunteer of the Year Award: Elayne Riggs (Former President of FoL NY Chapter)

2003[edit | edit source]

  • Women Cartoonists Hall of Fame: Wendy Pini (ElfQuest)
  • Lulu of the Year: Joe Field (Free Comic Book Day Inaugural Year)
  • Kim Yale Award for Best New Talent: Raina Telgemeier (Take Out Comics)
  • Volunteer of the Year Award: Dave Roman (Editor, Broad Appeal) & Chris Kohler (webmaster)

2004[edit | edit source]

2005[edit | edit source]

2006[edit | edit source]

  • Women Cartoonists Hall of Fame: Roberta Gregory (Naughty Bits, Artistic Licentiousness)
  • Lulu of the Year: Scholastic/Graphix, Publisher (Babysitters Club, Queen Bee, Breaking Up)
  • Kim Yale Award for Best New Female Talent: Leigh Dragoon (By the Wayside)
  • Women of Distinction: Diana Schutz (Editor, Dark Horse)
  • Volunteer of the Year: Donnie Tracey of Gotham City Limits

2007[edit | edit source]

  • Women Cartoonists Hall of Fame: Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil, The Book of Lost Souls)
  • Lulu of the Year: Abby Denson (She Does What?!)
  • Kim Yale Award for Best New Female Talent: Rachel Nabors (Rachel the Great)
  • Women of Distinction: Jennifer de Guzman (Editor-In-Chief, Slave Labor Graphics)
  • Volunteer of the Year: M.K. Reed and Robin Enrico

2008[edit | edit source]

2009[edit | edit source]

  • Female Comic Creators Hall of Fame: Gail Simone
  • Lulu of the Year: Danielle Corsetto (Girls with Slingshots)
  • Kim Yale Award For Best New Talent: Kate Beaton (Hark, a Vagrant)
  • Woman of Distinction: Joanne Carter Siegel
  • Leah Adezio Award for Best Kid-Friendly Work: Rapunzel’s Revenge, by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, and Nathan Hale
  • Best Female Character: Monica Villarreal, from Wapsi Square by Paul Taylor
  • Volunteer of The Year: Marion Vitus

External Links[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. Estrada, Jackie. "1993 Friends of Lulu organizing meeting in San Diego" photo, Facebook. Published 9 May 2015. Accessed 24 Jan 2019.
  2. Wilonsky, Robert. "Fatal femmes: Why do women in comics become Women in Refrigerators?" Dallas Observer, Published 18 May 2000. Accessed 24 Jan 2019.
  3. []
  4. Tax Exempt Organizations Search, Accessed 24 Jan 2019.
  5. Draper Carlson, Johanna. "It’s Official — Friends of Lulu No Longer a Non-Profit Organization, 10 June 2011
  6. Carlson, Friends of Lulu Done and Gone, 30 June 2011
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