Category Archives: Uncategorized

2009 Lulu Award Winners


We are very happy to announce the 2009 Lulu Award Winners!

Each winner will be contacted individually and an engraved & personalized award will be shipped out to them. We also have a post profiling each winner, with resource links to learn more about them and support their work.

Just as a recap, The Lulu Awards recognizes the people and projects that helped to open eyes and minds to the amazing comic and cartooning work by and/or about women. the nominees were voted on by a panel of judges, and the actual awards voted on by the public.

But before I announce the awards, a word about how you can help Friends of Lulu. The #1 thing we need right now are volunteers, especially volunteers with skills in business, publishing, journalism, accounting, marketing/PR and teaching/mentoring. Please contact me directly at valerie dot dorazio at gmail dot com if you are interested in volunteering and/or running for one of our National Board positions for 2010.

Now, for the awards…


Kim Yale Award For Best New Talent: Kate Beaton for Hark, a Vagrant

Lulu of the Year: Danielle Corsetto for Girls with Slingshots

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

Female Comic Creator’s Hall of Fame: Gail Simone

Best Female Character: Monica Villarreal, from Wapsi Square by Paul Taylor

Volunteer of The Year: Marion Vitus

Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to everyone who participated!

Lulu Awards: Your Vote Has Been Counted

This is a quick post to let you know that the votes are in for the 2009 Lulu Awards, and I am counting them right now. We have received an unprecedented amount of votes this year: I thank everyone who participated in this year’s voting, as well as the fabulous panel of judges who made our nominations possible.

I am also currently making arrangements regarding the announcement of the winners, and will post here specific information regarding the date & venue. If time permits, I will also send out a bulk email to those who have voted to give them this information.

2009 Lulu Awards Nominees: VOTE NOW!

The following is a list of the nominees for the 2009 Lulu Awards. The Lulu Awards recognizes the  the people and projects that helped to open eyes and minds to the amazing comic and cartooning work by and/or about women.

VOTING IS NOW OPEN TO THE PUBLIC FOR THE LULU AWARDS!! Email us with your picks (one from each category) at

along with your full name, by Monday, OCTOBER 19. One ballot per person, please.

The winners will be revealed in November at a date & venue to be announced soon on this website.

This year’s judges are:

Brigid Alverson – writer, editor, columnist, and blogger

Jennifer Babcock – comic book historian and creator

Abby Denson – writer, cartoonist, and teacher

Cheryl Lynn Eatonblogger and writer

Chris Eberlecomics retailer

Karen Green – academic librarian and columnist

Robert Randle – purchasing assistant manager, Diamond Distributors

UPDATE: Due to an error, Tracy White & Sabrina Jones were nominated in the “Best New Talent” category. Tracy & Sabrina have actually been on the comic scene longer than the required three years maximum, but we would still urge you to read Tracy’s innovative webcomic Traced, and buy Sabrina’s critically-acclaimed Isadora Duncan: A Graphic Biography. Anybody who has already voted for Tracy & Sabrina will be contacted and offered another chance to vote for this category. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

And now here are the nominees for the 2009 Lulu Awards:

Kim Yale Award for Best New Talent

(must have first published work within the last three years)

Kate Beaton, Hark, A Vagrant

Liz Baillie, My Brain Hurts

Mariko Tamaki, Skim

Madeline Rosca, Hollow Fields

Kathryn Immonen, Hellcat


Lulu of The Year

(awards the creator/s, book, or other project whole work best exemplifies Friends of Lulu’s mission)

Shaenon K. Garrity, Skin Horse

Lynda Barry, What It Is

Danielle Corsetto, Girls With Slingshots

Nate Powell, Swallow Me Whole

Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, Skim

Terry Moore, Echo

Jessica Abel, Life Sucks, Drawing Words and Writing Pictures


Woman of Distinction

(nominees work in the comic industry in non-creator roles such as editing, publishing, reporting, or retail)

Joanne Carter Siegel, widow of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel

Gina Gagliano, Marketing Associate at First Second Books

Jackie Estrada, Eisner Committee & Exhibit A Press

Francoise Mouly, Editorial Director of Toon Books

Mimi Cruz, owner of Night Flight Comics


Leah Adezio Award For Best Kid-Friendly Work

Korgi, Christian Slade

Sardine in Outer Space, Emmanuel Guibert and Joann Sfar

Gary the Pirate, Scott Christian Sava

Rapunzel’s Revenge, Shannon, Dean & Nathan Hale)

Stinky, Eleanor Davis

Tiny Titans, Art Baltazar

Hereville, Barry Deutsch


The Female Cartoonists And Comic Book Writer’s Hall Of Fame

(formerly, The Female Cartoonists Hall Of Fame)

CLAMP, Chobits, Kobato, Cardcaptor Sakura, and many many more

Tove Jansson, Moomin

Natsuki Takaya, Fruits Basket

Gail Simone, Wonder Woman, Secret Six, Birds of Prey


Best Female Character

Monica Villarreal, Wapsi Square by Paul Taylor

Kimberly “Skim” Keiko Cameron, Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

Rapunzel, Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon, Dean, and Nathan Hale

Barbara Thorson, I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly & JM Ken Niimura

Mirka, Hereville by Barry Deutsch

Melanie, Melody by Ilias Kyriazis

Julie Martin, Echo by Terry Moore

BONUS: Here is a gallery of the female characters our panel of judges picked as the most fascinating of the past year…








Five Big Lessons In Creating Graphic Works

Five things I wish someone told me before I started cartooning.

Sixteen years ago, I ordered a Calvin & Hobbes collection book from the book order form in my third grade class. From the moment it arrived at my desk two weeks later, I was hooked on the cartoon medium. I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I would write a strip for the daily paper just like Bill Watterson.

I soon stumbled upon one setback; I knew nothing about creating graphic art. It was the mid-90s, so few people had Internet, and I lived in a town with limited library resources. From the beginning, I knew I’d have to teach myself this business of cartooning, gleaning what information I could from scarce interviews of graphic artists in newspapers and books.

I managed well enough, and sixteen years later I’m still working in this art form (and having a blast!). But looking back, I see five big lessons I wish someone had taught me when I first started. I hope they help you if you’re just beginning to create graphic works—or even if you’ve been at it awhile.

1. The writing must be as good as the artwork.

Show me a popular work of graphic art—be it Manga, cartoon strip or graphic novel—and I’ll show you good writing and characterization. Think about it. Would MAUS have had such success without the relentlessly gripping nature of the storyline? Would Kare Kano be as hilarious or heartwarming without the deep development of Yukino’s bloodthirsty/girl-next-door nature? And don’t get me started on comic book sagas. I have friends who consider the name Norman Osborn anathema because of his recent shenanigans in the Marvel Universe.

Be prepared to fall desperately and irrevocably in love with your characters. Work hard to hone every part of the work—story arc, dialogue, pacing. And yes, difficult as it is, cut out what doesn’t work. Bill Watterson used to tear up weeks-worth of finished material if he felt the writing wasn’t up to par, and I make him my example when writing my graphic novel script.

2. Use tools you’re comfortable with.

Many cartoonists work with expensive brushes and inks, and drawing tables the size of small elephants. Don’t be intimidated by your lack of “professional” gear. I get awesome results using artist pens and drawing on a desktop drawing stand at my old computer table. As long as you use sturdy paper and ink that won’t fade, you’re good to go.

That being said, be ready to invest money in the tools you decide to use. Pens run out of ink fast. Brushes get stiff and old. If the old computer desk just isn’t working for you, consider a comfy table. (And, if planning to submit your work to a publisher, do consider that some publishers want your artwork on a certain type and size of paper.)

3. Practice, practice, practice the artwork.

Practice drawing the characters—even if you’re just in the writing stage of your graphic novel or strip. Artistic style becomes confident over time, and you want to be ready to go when it’s time to start drawing the actual pages.

Most days, I set aside an hour or so to make sketches of my characters. It’s a fun thing to do while watching television.

4. Find someone who believes in your project and enjoys your style.

A support system is essential when working on a creative piece. Artists tend to suffer from self-doubt and frustration. You will need encouragement sometimes, and it needs to come from someone who gets your sense of humor, likes your artistic style, understands the characters, and agrees with the sort of things you write. Try a spouse, close friend, another artist you know, even a former art teacher.

5. Enjoy what you do!

Perhaps the most relevant bit of advice to any creator. If you’re going to spend hours of your life on this project, make sure it’s something you will both enjoy and be proud of—whether it sees publication or not.

Happy writing and good luck.

Rachel Heston Davis

Lulu’s Women In Comics Panel 9/18: Manga

It’s the return of Friends of Lulu’s “Women & Comics” talks!

Fusami Ogi, Associate Professor, Chikushi Jogakuen University, is visiting the U.S. to research the relationship between women and comics.  She wants to meet members of Friends of Lulu and has offered to give a lecture on manga.

Fusami’s talk will take place at the School of Visual Arts on Friday, Sept. 18 at 7:00 pm.  It’s co-produced with SVA’s Cartoon Allies club.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP at as soon as possible.

Review: “Robot Dreams” by Sara Varon


Review by Rachel Heston Davis

ROBOT DREAMS joins such graphic novels as MAUS and OWLY in telling a very human story through the eyes of animals. Like OWLY, the plotline unfolds in simple illustrations without dialogue: Dog takes his friend Robot to the beach, where Robot rusts and gets stuck lying on the sand. With no way to get Robot moving again, Dog abandons him, and both spend the next year missing each other.

At first glance, ROBOT DREAMS’ straightforward action and clean-cut cartoon style appear simplistic. Don’t be fooled; beneath the simplicity lies a poignant message about the fragile nature of friendship in our increasingly isolated society. Both Dog and Robot spend the book lonely, mirroring the two categories of social disconnect most of us fall under; the lonely extrovert or the lonely introvert.

Dog is the lonely extrovert who navigates a series of other friendships but finds them shallow and unsatisfying. Some friendships end because of incompatibility in lifestyle, such as the ducks who travel south in winter. Some end with the natural passage of time, like the snowman who melts come spring. And some acquaintances, like Dog and Snowman’s mutual friend Penguin, lose interest in Dog once the mutual friend leaves the picture.

Robot, meanwhile, lies on the beach and imagines escaping to find new pals. As a lonely introvert, he dreams of finding friends but has no real-life contact with others. On the rare occasion when someone does cross his path, the experience ends in disappointment. When rabbits come ashore in a leaky boat, Robot expects help; in a striking moment of cruelty, the rabbits chop off his leg to patch their boat and then leave. When a mother bird makes her nest in the crook of Robot’s arm, he grows attached to her little family. But they fly away, leaving him with a literal empty nest.

The book offers hopeful resolution for both characters, but it’s no fairy tale ending. ROBOT DREAMS serves as a cautionary tale for readers: cherish your close friends, because close friends are hard to come by.

This graphic novel is a winner for all ages. While the message will interest adults, young children will be drawn to the adorable cartoon style, easy plotline, and animal characters.

Lulu Awards: New Categories!

This year at the Lulu Awards we have two new categories:

Leah Adezio Award for Best Kid-Friendly Work:

Leah, who passed away in 2007, was very active in Friends of Lulu and was also comics creator in her own right. She had a passion for children’s comics and this award is in memory of her. This award is for a kid-friendly work that best exemplifies the Friends of Lulu motto “Comics Are For Everyone.”

Best Female Character:

For a lead female character from an ongoing or limited comic book series or comic strip, original graphic novel or novella. Whether in print or online.

These categories are in addition to our established set of four:

Kim Yale Award for Most Talented Newcomer
Nominees must have published work, whether self-published, company-published, or net-published. Nominees must be nominated for this category within two years of their first professionally published work or three years of their first self published work. An individual may not be nominated more than twice and cannot win more than once.

Lulu of the Year
For the creator, book or other entity whose work best exemplifies Friends of Lulu’s mission statement. Nominees must have published work, whether self-published, company-published, or net-published.

Woman of Distinction
For outstanding achievement within the comic book industry in non-creator roles, such as editing, publishing, reporting, or retail.

The Female Cartoonists Hall Of Fame
Nominees must have published work, whether self-published, company-published, or net-published. An individual cannot win more than once.

We also have an award for Volunteer of the Year that is voted on by the Friends of Lulu board.

Please contact us at for more information or to inquire avout sending review copies to our judges panel.

Lulu Awards 2009 Judges Selected!

We are very happy to announce that the judges for the 2009 Lulu Awards have been selected! We have brought together a diverse and knowledgeable team from a variety of interests, disciplines, and occupations from within the comic book industry and fandom. (for a list of Lulu Awards categories, click here)

The judges are:

Brigid Alverson – writer, editor, columnist, and blogger

Jennifer Babcock – comic book historian and creator

Abby Denson – writer, cartoonist, and teacher

Cheryl Lynn Eatonblogger and writer

Chris Eberlecomics retailer

Karen Green – academic librarian and columnist

Robert Randle – purchasing assistant manager, Diamond Distributors

In a change from last year, the judges panel will provide the list of nominees. Then the public will vote for the winners in each category.

The nomination process is open from now until September 14th.

Voting by the public will take place between September 14th and October 1st.

Note to publishers/comic creators wishing to submit review copies:

We have a list of judges who wish to receive review copies. Please email us at for more information & their contact info. Lulu loves the environment: please try to send scans/pdfs whenever possible! Please note that individual publishers/comic creators assume all responsibility in getting said materials to the judges, including cost of shipping & the delivery of electronic files in a proper format.

This is gearing up to be a great Lulu Awards this year and we are really excited! We have new categories to announce, and other goodies!

And our hearty thanks to the judges for volunteering their time!!!

Message From Lulu

As we gear up for the announcement of the 2009 Lulu Awards, we wanted to write a brief note as to where we are & where we are going as an organization – as well as concrete ways you can help us!

After 15 years as one of the most well-known non-profit organizations for women in comics, we are giving ourselves a needed “tune-up.” This will probably last until the beginning of next year, at which time a new board will be in place; until then, we are not accepting memberships or financial donations. However, if you are interested in being a member of Friends of Lulu, please email us at and we will put you on a mailing list to contact at the start of next year!

But we are still hard at work to provide you and the rest of the public the following this year:

  • The Lulu Awards
  • A regularly updated blog with which to promote your work and the work of other females in comics (which we urge you to take advantage of & send us your info to post!)
  • A great deal of behind-the-scenes work in preparation for next year in order that 2010 be he best year for Lulu yet!

As for how to help us NOW:

The biggest way Friends of Lulu can be helped right now is by having volunteers who are not only passionate about Women in Comics, but about getting involved in the rigors and rewards of a non-profit organization.

Please contact us at to get more information, and to inquire about running in the Fall for one of our national board positions.

Happy Birthday, Laurel Maury!


Celebrate the birthday of Laurel Maury, book/comics reviewer for NPR, by reading one of her graphic novel reviews:

“Bradbury Classic In Vivid, ‘Necessary’ Graphic Form” (NEW! July 30th, 2009)

“Best Superhero Graphic Novels of 2008”

“Best Graphic Novels of 2008”