Friday, September 30, 2011

FFB: WIMMEN'S COMIX #13; TWISTED SISTERS (& TS2) edited by Diane Noomin; CHICKEN FAT by Will Elder

So, having picked up such fairly recent books over the last few weeks as Jules Feiffer's memoir, Backing into Forward (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday--"a division of Random House," still seems so odd), and Lynda Barry's book of inspiration mostly for young adult writers (but for anyone, really, particularly those of us who are fans of her "Ernie Pook's Comeek"), What It Is (Drawn & Quarterly), the earlier influences also come to mind, including the two titles that really sucked me back into reading comics aimed at adults...Love and Rockets, the intertwined comics stories by Jaime, Gilbert and sometimes Mario Hernandez (and now an annual magazine), and the assembled contributors to Wimmen's Comix, not least the 13th issue, from 1988 (courtesy the Women in Comics wikia):

Occult Issue

Editors: Lee Binswanger and Caryn Leschen
Cover by Krystine Kryttre

The Visit by Trina Robbins
Ladies by Carol Tyler
The Magic Lemon by Caryn Leschen
Hoodoo Voodoo by Leslie Ewing
Beyond Reason by Joey Epstein
The Night by C├ęcilia Capuana
Becoming Normal by Judy Becker
Clair de Lune by Rebecka Wright, Barb Rausch and Angela Bocage
Ella Gets Her Man by Pauline Murray and Suzy Varty
Futures by Angela Bocage
Emil's Cafe by Lee Binswanger
The Dead Girl by William Clark and Mary Fleener
Voodoo Woman by Carel Moiseiwitsch

While Wimmen's Comix was soon to fold (might have just folded as I was catching up with it), other similar projects arose, including one that produced some magazine issues after two popular, now ridiculously out of print anthologies:

Diane Noomin's anthologies, which of course also followed various projects of similar scope (often in magazine form) by the likes of Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Joyce Farmer and Lyn Chevli, and Trina Robbins, were certainly clarion calls, as well as great fun to read. (I've certainly cited the collected work of contributor Mary Fleener in FFBs past. In fact, here's a handy page from her story "The Jelly," collected in Twisted Sisters:)

Another recent purchase really goes back to my initial love of comics, particularly Harvey Kurtzman's Mad, inasmuch as it's a collection of sketches and finished work exploring the processes of Kurtzman's long-term partner (on the Playboy cartoon strip "Little Annie Fanny"), Will Elder. Chicken Fat touches on nearly all Elder's work, from the early art school studies through his solo cartoon work (including his failed pitch for a continuing one-panel in the Charles Addams or "Family Circus" mode, "Adverse Anthony"), including caricature for newsmagazines and ad campaigns, even as a rather small book. Among the more amusing oddities included are the roughs and finished work of illustration for a parody that Playboy published 1960, "Girls for the Slime God," which Cele Goldsmith at Amazing: Fact and Science Fiction commissioned Isaac Asimov to respond to, published in the magazine as "Playboy and the Slime God" and reprinted in his collections as "What Is This Thing Called Love?"--the William Knoles article, the mildly salacious Henry Kuttner pulp stories that had been reprinted in the November 1960 Playboy from the brief experiment in sexed-up sf pulp Marvel Tales, and various explications were much later anthologized by Mike Resnick, with new analysis by Barry Malzberg and others, under the Knoles title (another FFB, if ever there was).

Meanwhile, back to Mad...the latter parody puzzled me slightly as to how to pronounce the title, since I'd only seen the Yiddish word for "thief" (with implication of thug) transliterated as "goniff" previously...

For more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog...


  1. I don't even have an FFB up this week (shame on me, the slow reader guy) so I feel completely comfortable going off-topic - though not off blog, and telling you that in honor of your Tuesday post I'm listening to an old favorite of mine, Sonny Side Up, with, as you undoubtedly know, Dizzy, Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins. It has a particularly nice "The Eternal Triangle" on it, and "After Houres" is a real roll-on. The album has only 37 minutes, but it's a choice session, or so I've always thought.

  2. A short album might even stand out more than a long one, since the label probably thought they had Just Enough lightning in a bottle. I've heard of SONNY SIDE UP, but never owned a copy...something I'll have to fix. (I have been a slight acquaintance of DC radio person Katea Stitt, SS's daughter.)

  3. I had to laugh reading your post, Todd. At my age - Twisted Sisters. HA!

    Sounds like a rock group.

    I'm thinking the grandma in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books might be a fan. :)

  4. Some of the Other daughters of WIMMEN'S COMICS had "stronger" names yet, Yvette...such as this one

  5. Love that AMAZING cover! I had a copy of it long ago. And I probably need to read some James Blish, too.

  6. Always a bad idea, though, to run story themes w/o the author credit...particularly when the author is someone of the audience that Isaac Asimov had, particularly in a period when that audience so rarely saw fiction from him...but the writer's name is always going to draw at least some attention.

    It's been a while since you've dipped back into Blish, George? That is a pretty handsome cover.

  7. I love these collections which I no longer have as I lost most of the comics in the breakup. These I lament greatly, but at least I have the memories (yes, I could buy them again but as you know, I am not buying books). Perverse of you to include Hef's mag in there too >_<

  8. That's the issue of PLAYBOY with the "Girls for the Slime God" illos by Elder (along with the rest of the article, of course...and, clearly, a Gahan Wilson take on Poe). Since I couldn't find the Elder illos on line...and, it's notable that TWISTED SISTERS came about because of arguments (PC, I gather, though not exclusively perhaps) between the WIMMENS COMIX contributors/collective...

  9. Yeah, as soon as there's a collective, there's going to be a splintering as well. True of all groups.

  10. Apparently the fractures here initially involved arguments about Aline Kominsky's husband, Robert Crumb, and led to Trina Robbins's big anthologies, too.

  11. Yeah, Aline talked about that and Melinda Gebbie, too. Trina was part of the group that had very definite ideas about what was feminist and what was not.


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