Girls on the Guest List
This year’s official guest list is packed full of talented women; here’s who they are and why they’re there.
Kate Beaton Beaton began creating web comics about historical and literary figures in 2007 under the title Hark! A Vagrant! A huge hit online, the Canadian cartoonist’s success translated to print with the first collection of Hark! A Vagrant! spending five months on The New York Times bestseller list and earning extensive critical acclaim. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Marvel’s Strange Tales anthology series, and a second Hark! collection was published last year, titled Step Aside, Pops, and became an instant bestseller.
Cece Bell An acclaimed author and children’s book illustrator, Bell’s credits include the books Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover, Itty Bitty, Bee-Wigged, the Sock Monkey series and El Deafo. The latter, based on her own childhood growing up deaf, has become a huge success as a sort of handbook for helping people understand and communicate better with deaf children. El Deafo has won a Newberry Medal Honor and an Eisner Award.
Emily Carroll Carroll’s dark and creepy comics tales began appearing online in 2010, quickly moving into print the following year with the release of His Face All Red. Her comics work was published in various print anthologies before being collected in book form as Through the Woods in 2014, earning her one of her two Eisner Awards and an Ignatz Award. She also has worked on the video games Gone Home and The Yawhg. Her most recent work is the graphic novel Baba Yaga’s Assistant, published last year by Candlewick Press.
Ramona Fradon Fradon was a rarity in comics as a woman who drew adventure and superhero stories mostly for DC Comics starting in the early 1950s when the business was almost exclusively male. She’s best known for a long run drawing Aquaman, during which she co-created Aqualad, and co-creating the hero Metamorpho. She later took over the art duties on the Brenda Starr comic strip after creator Dale Messick’s retirement, drawing it from 1980 through her own retirement in 1995.
Lisa Hanawalt An award winning cartoonist, Hanawalt’s earliest work in periodicals such as The New York Times, McSweeney’s and Vanity Fair lead to her debut comic book, I Want You, published in 2009 by Buenaventure Press to critical acclaim. She followed it up with the anthology book My Dirty Dumb Eyes and is the production designer and producer of the Netflix animated series BoJack Horseman.
Jennifer Hayden A veteran author and children’s book illustrator, Hayden made a huge splash in comics with the publication last year of The Story of My Tits, a 352-page graphic memoir about her experiences with breast cancer. Her previous comics title, Underwire, collected her autobiographical cartoons, and she also writes and draws the acclaimed online comic strips S’crapbook and Rushes.
Trina Robbins No discussion of women in comics is complete without mention of Robbins, who started in the 1950s with illustrations for fanzines before moving on to design the costume for Vampirella at Warren Publishing and then making a splash in the underground comix scene of the 1970s as well in mainstream comics. She was the first woman to draw an issue of Wonder Woman and also has written several books on the history of comics and women’s contributions to comics. Noelle Stevenson Stevenson has made a splash in both comics and animation in her young career, having started out with the fantasy comic Nimona, which was first a web comic and then published by Harper Collins. She went on to co-write the award-winning comic series Lumberjanes and worked as a staff writer on the Disney TV Animation series Wander Over Yonder. Nimona is currently being developed as an animated feature film at Fox with