This is, I believe, the very first Friends of Lulu newsletter, from June 1995. It was 4 pages long and edited by Jackie Estrada and Heidi MacDonald.
The newsletter began with a note from the editor:
Welcome to the first issue of Lulu’s clubhouse, the newsletter of Friends of Lulu. While our focus will remain on women’s issues pertaining to the comics field, we will also cover news and events in comics from a broader perspective. Unlike some of the other comics news media, FoL doesn’t show bias toward any particular company or entity. In other words: we’re dedicated to bringing you the straight scoop.
And make no mistake, getting the straight scoop is vital to survival in today’s industry. One of the things I’ve discovered is that women professionals are often cut off from the “inside world.” Information about the business end of comics may not seem useful for someone who’s just trying to meet a deadline, but as recent events have shown, it’s more necessary than ever to know what’s going on with publishers and distributors.
The comics industry has very much become a “DIY” (do it yourself, for the nonpunks out there) affair. This is obviously true of self-publishers, but it also goes for “self-retailers,” “self-marketers,” and everyone else. Knowledge is power, as they say.
A letter from Kim Yale discussed the merits of diversifying the comic book audience, and the perils of not doing so:
You go to the typical American comic book publisher/retailer and what have you got? Superheroes. That’s it, for the most part. One genre dictating what kind of stories can be told, how they will be told, and who tells them.
This is where Heilbrun’s quote comes in. She said, “There will be narratives of females’ lives only when women no longer live their lives isolated in the houses and stories of men.”
Deni Loubert provided a primer on “Self-Marketing in the Comics Market – and Beyond” that is still relevant in part today (obviously back 1995 there wasn’t too much emphasis on the still-young Internet).
And an interesting news story is highlighted: How Lisa Comics was initially ordered in smaller amounts than the other titles in the Bongo Comics “Simpsons” line. Was this a case of the retailers ordering low on a “girl comic?” But the story has a happy ending, as it is noted that reorders for Lisa Comics were actually higher than the other “Simpsons” books.
Fun Quote: “Now that Marvel has bought Fleer and Skybox, has the House of Ideas become the House of Cards?”