Posts Tagged ‘Anne Elizabeth Moore’

My Adventures in Chicago: The Lois Lane Panel at Women & Children First and C2E2

March 22, 2016

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Now that I am returned to my home and native land, I’ve got some time to look back at my Chicago trip and share some of the highlights. It was a fun, busy, Lois Lane-centric few days that started with the “Legacy of Lois Lane” panel Wednesday night at Women & Children First. Well, technically it started with me taking a bus from Kingston to Chicago, but that was less eventful; I listened to Hamilton and then slept a bunch. But then, awake and alert after all of that bus sleeping, I arrived in Chicago to panel it up!

The panel was a blast. Everyone at Women & Children First was fantastic and into the panel, and they couldn’t have been more helpful. Also, I lucked out and put together a ridiculously awesome group of panelists: Anne Elizabeth Moore moderated the panel and was spectacularly good at it, while Lauren Burke, Caitlin Rosberg, and Katie Schenkel were all smart and funny and made so many great points (in the photo above, from left to right it goes Anne, Katie, me, Lauren, Caitlin; also, we’re all wearing Daily Planet press badges). Plus Lauren brought some old issues of Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane, which was rad!

It’s hard to determine the success of a panel when you’re on it, but it felt like it went really well. We hit on most of the major topics we wanted to get into, and everyone got to be involved. They also had to bring in some more chairs and there were still people standing in the back, which was pretty great. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, and I know I had a lot of fun; you can’t really have a bad time when you’re talking about Lois Lane.  Plus I got to talk about some of my favourite Lois stories ever, chatted about Phyllis Coates for a bit, and we all worked in mentions of other great comics that are worth checking out. I love that everyone who attended the panel left with a list of a variety of killer comics to go find and read.

The panel was recorded, and I’ll post it once it goes online so everyone can see it!

After the panel came C2E2, which was also great! And enormous. Wow, I’ve never been to a show that big before. It was insane, in the best way.  It was hard not to buy everything; I had to talk myself out of purchasing the Batman v Superman Wonder Woman Barbie (it was AWESOME, but it was $60, which seemed a bit much). I did well with what I did purchase, though, including a great Sho Murase Catwoman print and a lucky pick on a Batman v Superman mini-Funko blind box that landed me a Wonder Woman! Plus I also got to see/meet a bunch of rad people including Marguerite Bennett (I can’t wait for her Lois in DC Comics Bombshells), Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Tommy Lee Edwards, and so many more!

But I wasn’t just there to take in the sights, even though I could have spent all weekend doing that and still not have seen everything! I was signing books at the Independent Publisher’s Group booth, and that was also a lot of fun. All of the IPG folks were great, and it was fun to see so many people come by! There were a few people I knew through the internet, but also folks who had seen the AV Club review or The Atlantic piece, so that was neat. I’m so glad that the press for Investigating Lois Lane seems to be reaching folks. So yeah, I got to sign a bunch of books and meet a bunch of people and I was surprised and pleased with the number of folks I saw this weekend given that I was only signing for two and a half hours.

In between all of the books events, I got to meet all of the people I’ve been working with in real life for the first time. My publisher is based in Chicago and my agent came over from Minnesota, so I got to hang out in person with all of the people I’ve been talking to through the internet for years and years. And they’re all wonderful! It was lovely to meet everyone for real and find out that they’re all as awesome as I thought they’d be. Everyone was so great and nice, plus they’re all very excited about Investigating Lois Lane and what might be coming next, so that was encouraging and fun. I’m really glad to be working with such good, smart people, and I’m very fortunate to be a part of such an amazing team. Also, extra huge thanks to my pal at Chicago Review Press, Mary Kravenas, for getting me through the busyness of everything!

So yeah, that was Chicago! It was a good trip all around. And I got to eat deep dish pizza, which was impressively tasty. I don’t know what they do to the cheese to make it chewy like bubblegum, but it is super weird and also super delicious. Huge thanks to everyone who came by the panel and the convention! It was great to see you all!

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Come See Me in Chicago for Lois Lane Fun, March 16 at Women & Children First and March 18-20 at C2E2

March 4, 2016

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America! I am leaving my igloo and my maple syrup farm behind to come south and visit your nation. More specifically, Chicago! For a series of very fun events surrounding my newly released book, Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve never been to Chicago before, but everyone says it’s a great city and I’m excited to explore it when I’m not chatting about Lois.

My first event is at the bookstore Women & Children First, on Wednesday, March 16 at 7:30pm. It’s a panel discussion called “The Legacy of Lois Lane”, and I’ll be talking about the history of Lois as well as several other female comic book characters along with my super fantastic fellow panelists. They include: Anne Elizabeth Moore from the Ladydrawers and the upcoming Threadbare: Clothes, Sex, and Trafficking (it’s really good, by the way), Lauren Burke from the Ladies Night Anthology series, Caitling Rosberg from The A.V. Club, and Katie Schenkel from Panels, Comics Alliance, The Mary Sue, and more! It’s a killer line up and I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts on Lois Lane and the history of female characters in comics. It’s going to be a lot of fun. For more information, check out the panel’s Women & Children First event listing and/or the Facebook event page.

After that, I’ve got Thursday all to myself for the most part. If there are any Chicago locals or Chicago enthusiasts reading this, hit the comments tell me what awesome things I should do with my day!

Then it’s C2E2, which should be awesome. Comic conventions are always a good time. My publisher’s distributor, Independent Publishers Group, has a booth at the show, #640, and my official signing times there are:

  • Friday, March 18, 3:00-4:00pm
  • Saturday, March 19, 1:30-2:30pm
  • Sunday, March 20, 11:30am-12:30pm

We’re going to have books for sale and fun stuff to give away, so if you’re going to be at C2E2 you should definitely stop by. I’ve got bookplates for both Wonder Woman Unbound and Investigating Lois Lane, so your books will look extra snazzy. And if you don’t want to buy anything or get things signed, you can just come over and we can talk about Lois for a while; I’m always game for some Lois chatting.

So yeah, it’s going to be a very fun trip. I’m excited to find out if Chicago is my kind of razzmatazz. Though I’m also preparing myself not to be disappointed when all of my favourite fictional Chicago things prove to be not real; I’ll be sad if I don’t spy any Winslows, ER doctors, or the Steak Me Home Tonight food truck, but I’ll get over it. Hope to see you all soon, Chicago people!

Investigating Lois Lane Is Officially Out TODAY!

March 1, 2016

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While Amazon has been shipping out Investigating Lois Lane for weeks now and it’s been in comic shops for a while, today is the official release date for the book! And it’s available in a bunch of places in a bunch of ways: online, in stores, Kindle and ebook editions. Basically, however you like to read and buy books, you’ll be able to get it now (here’s a page with a bunch of links for where!)

And you should get it, because Lois Lane is one of the greatest characters of all time. She’s been around since the very dawn of the superhero genre and has lived through it all as a constant presence in comics, television, and film (and radio and Broadway and a lot of other places too; the gal gets around). Her story often gets overshadowed by Superman, but Investigating Lois Lane brings Lois into the spotlight to explore her history and her unique perspective on the world of superheroes. The book covers every incarnation of the character from her creation in 1938 to the present day, hitting all of the obvious beats as well as delving into more obscure moments from her past. It also digs into the creators who wrote and drew Lois over the decades, looking behind the scenes at the real world motivations of her various depictions. It was so much fun to research and write, and I hope you check it out.

Here are some quotes from some amazing people who’ve already read the book and provided lovely blurbs for the back cover. I still can’t believe these blurbs; Kelly Sue, Gwenda, and Anne are some of the smartest and raddest people I know:

“A wonderful introduction to the character and history of Lois Lane, and how she has continually served as a canary in the coal mine for the treatment of women in comics in general.” —Kelly Sue DeConnick, writer of Bitch Planet, Captain Marvel, and Pretty Deadly

“Tim Hanley finally gives the iconic, enduring first lady of DC Comics the deep exploration and historical analysis she deserves. The result is a decades-long story as absorbing and filled with twists as any of Lois’s front page scoops.” —Gwenda Bond, author of Lois Lane: Fallout and Lois Lane: Double Down

“This smart, funny, and thorough biography of the long-suffering woman behind the Man of Steel and her world-renowned multimedia career will have you rethinking damsels in distress and their central role in Western media faster than a speeding bullet. If only I’d had this book as a young journalist and Superman fan!” —Anne Elizabeth Moore, author of Unmarketable and cofounder of the Ladydrawers Comics Collective

It’s wonderful and humbling that such spectacularly talented people like the book, and I hope that you’ll like it too!

If you want to know a bit more about Investigating Lois Lane, here are a few interviews I’ve done about it:

Also, I’m going to be in Chicago soon for a few events, chatting about Lois Lane and signing books. I’ll put this up on its own in another post, but I’ll be at Women & Children First on Wednesday, March 16, at 7:30pm for a panel discussion on Lois and other female comics alongside the fantastic Anne Elizabeth Moore, Caitlin Rosberg, Katie Schenkel, and Lauren Burke! I’ll also be at C2E2 from March 18-20, signing at the Independent Publishers Group booth (#640) on all three days. My official times are Friday 3:00-4:00pm, Saturday 1:30-2:30pm, and Sunday 11:30-12:30pm. So if you’re in the area, come on by!

So yeah, hooray book birthday! If you’re a fan of Lois Lane, of women in comics, or of superheroes and comic book history generally, Investigating Lois Lane is the book for you. Check it out and let me know what you think. Also, if you enjoy the book, reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and the like are always super helpful and would be much appreciated. Thanks to all of you for reading and supporting the book!

The Legacy of Lois Lane Panel at Women & Children First, Chicago, IL – Wednesday, March 16 at 7:30pm

February 1, 2016

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I’m going to be in Chicago this March for C2E2 (March 18-20), where I’ll be signing my new book, Investigating Lois Lane, at the IPG booth. We’ll probably have my first book, Wonder Woman Unbound, on hand as well. But before all of that convention fun, I’m going to be part of a panel discussion on “The Legacy of Lois Lane” at the bookstore Women & Children First on Wednesday, March 16 at 7:30pm. It should be an excellent time, because the other panelists are FANTASTIC. We’ve got Anne Elizabeth Moore (Ladydrawers, Threadbare: Clothes, Sex, and Trafficking), Lauren Burke (Ladies Night Anthology), Caitlin Rosberg (The A.V. Club), and Katie Schenkel (Panels, The Mary Sue). We’re going to be talking about Lois Lane through the ages, as well as other great comic book heroines.

Here’s the official event description:

Lois Lane has been a constant presence in the world of superheroes for more than 75 years, a fearless reporter whose adventures are perpetually overshadowed by her co-star, Superman.  This panel brings her into the spotlight, discussing the history of the genre through the lens of Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, and a host of other heroines whose contributions have been all too often overlooked.  Panelists include:

Lauren Burke edits children’s books by day and produces comics by night. She has bullied three editions of the Ladies Night Anthology into existence, showcasing the work of diverse women in comics, and she is now working on a book about the mysterious disappearance of Agatha Christie. Her life, in short, is one long sprint to get files to the printer.  You can find her on her Facebook page.

Tim Hanley is a comic book historian and the author of Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine and Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter.  He also writes the monthly column “Gendercrunching” for Bleeding Cool, a statistical look at the gender breakdown of comic book creators.  You can find him on Twitter @timhanley01.

Anne Elizabeth Moore is an internationally renowned cultural critic. Fulbright scholar, UN Press Fellow, USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow and part of the team behind The Ladydrawers.  She is also the author of Unmarketable, New Girl Law, Cambodian Grrrl, and the upcoming Threadbare: Clothes, Sex, and Trafficking.  You can find her on Twitter @superanne.

Caitlin Rosberg is a writing, knitting, tea drinking, baking machine with all the requisite robotic enhancements. She writes about comics at The A.V. Club and is an editor for Ladies’ Night Anthology, an annual independently produced comic anthology. Ask her about Rhodey.  You can find her on Twitter @crosberg.

Katie Schenkel is a lifelong superhero fan who writes about comics, pop culture, LGBTQ+ issues, feminism, and all the ways those topics overlap. You can find her work on Comics Alliance, Panels, The Mary Sue, Playboy, Quirk Books, IGN, her website justplainsomething.com, and her twitter @JustPlainTweets.

Women & Children First is located at 5233 N. Clark St. in Chicago, and admission is free so if you’re in the Chicago area or are coming to C2E2 and are going to be in town early, you should come on by! The panel is going to be a lot of fun, and I know I can’t wait to hang out with my fellow panelists and get their perspectives on key moments in Lois Lane’s history. They’re a smart bunch, and it will be a great discussion. You should definitely check it out!

Wonder Woman Wednesday Interview #1: Anne Elizabeth Moore

January 22, 2014

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Every day is Wonder Woman day here at Straitened Circumstances, but for the next ten weeks leading up the publication of Wonder Woman Unbound we’re going to have a Wonder Woman Wednesday interview series.  I’ll talk to cool and interesting people about their favourite versions of Wonder Woman and how she relates to their particular fields and interests.  I’ve got a great group lined up, and leading off the series is Anne Elizabeth Moore!

Anne is a writer and cultural critic involved in a wide and fascinating array of projects.  She’s the founder of The Ladydrawers comics collective, a group of female, male, and non-binary artists, students, pros, and volunteers who research and publish comics about gender and labor.  Anne’s pet project is writing the “Ladydrawers” strip at Truthout, which is currently in the midst of “Our Fashion Year,” a yearlong look at international gender and labor issues.  She’s written two award winning books about Cambodia, Cambodian Grrrrl: Self-Publishing in Phnom Penh and New Girl Law: Drafting a Future for Cambodia, as well as an excellent and informative article about the recent garment worker demonstrations and deaths in Cambodia.  Plus, she’s the founding editor of the Best American Comics series.  In short, she’s pretty awesome.

Recently returned from Cambodia, Anne was kind enough to share some thoughts about Wonder Woman:

Tim Hanley: What was your very first encounter with Wonder Woman?

Anne Elizabeth Moore: I was a voracious reader of Superman comics when I was growing up in the 1970s. My dad must have collected old reprints for whatever reason—he was a doctor, and probably considered my interests in reading and drawing kind of a waste. So for whatever reason, I ended up with an old Superman reprint book collection that I read, over and over—the first half at least, because by the time Supergirl was introduced I was completely bored. I’d identified with Superman, you see, and for a character to all of the sudden be on offer that was both less than Superman and also supposedly aimed at me was insulting.

But my parents maybe thought I was already too much of a tomboy, or straight-up too masculine, or whatever, and I think they—or maybe some other relative—tried to get me into Wonder Woman comics. But it was already the same thing. It was so obvious: oh, a superhero that is sort of less than, for girls. Eff you. But somehow the TV show made the character more appealing. Maybe the way those early strips were drawn didn’t hit me right, or something, but the live-action Lynda Carter TV show was somehow less offensive. I know my friends watched it, and a girl in my neighborhood used to make me play Wonder Woman with her. She always wanted to be the young, cute sidekick, Wonder Girl, or Wonder Woman Lite, or Wonder hottie, or whatever her dumb name was. I was like, Cool. You wanna be the cute one? I will totally be the ass-kicker. Have fun with that. She works in the pharmaceutical industry. I travel the world working with and writing about young women on media and democracy issues. Although I think she makes a ton of money so it probably works out for everyone in the end.

TH: What is your favourite version of Wonder Woman?

AEM: It’s funny because probably after the Wonder Woman game started, and stuff with my family got really crazy, I developed this invisible friend of Wonder Woman. I think it’s important to note that I was like a separate person from her, so this was no stand-in for me or anything—I was always for sure going to be the one who did things first, which media tends to cast as a masculine trait. But Wonder Woman was the person that I could be like, “Oh this was really hard for me today,” and she could be like, “Oh yeah, I get it because once I defeated an army of zombies on an island with a made-up name,” and I could go, “yeah, you’re right, dealing with my brother is kind of like that,” or whatever.

Plus, I figured, she could be my invisible friend and it was totally legitimate because of the jet, not like some of these other, less legitimate invisible friends running around, which were clearly just a sign of insanity among my peers. So there’s this way that, although I’m really not so interested Wonder Woman as a feminist role model—she would have to have been created by, produced by, and published by active women for her to be any sort of real role model for me—I do feel like I have this personal relationship with her. So my favorite version of Wonder Woman is the one I made up in my head, for sure.

TH: Wonder Woman was a mascot for Ms. magazine and its brand of feminism in the early 1970s. Is Wonder Woman a mascot for the Ladydrawers comics collective, four decades later?

AEM: Oh, we don’t need images of superheroes to aspire to—we have each other.

TH: You do a lot of work in Cambodia. Is Wonder Woman known/popular there, and if so how is she viewed?

AEM: No. Batman’s the only US superhero that’s really made it across that pond, and it’s only because of the movies. Wonder Woman would never fly there anyway: she dresses immodestly, she’s too aggressive. The image of a strong woman there is more subtle, although she definitely uses her mind far more than any physical prowess to get ahead. If Wonder Woman got some pants and a decent short-sleeved blouse and maybe traded in the jet for an invisible motorcycle, she might do OK, but she’d have to learn to speak very respectfully while she was rounding up baddies, and also have a husband and kids that were totally satisfied with her day job of saving the world.

TH: Finally, if Wonder Woman were to leave Paradise Island and come to our world for the first time today, what do you think she’d find most surprising about it?

AEM: Well, I’m going to go with what my favorite Wonder Woman version would do here—the one I made up myself. I think she’d be really flummoxed that so much of the stuff that goes on these days that is evil or committing injustice is actually committed by folks with no clue how evil their actions are. People that are just so not understanding the real way the world goes down that they justify doing horrible things, and they’re generally done out in the open, and lots of people buy in, equally “innocent.”

Take Goldman Sachs for example. I don’t just mean corporations, either, but the entire way that stuff happens under globalization. Neoliberalism in general. In comics, on TV, you need the hero to be evil. To be committing evil acts because they despise people, and that makes it all very easy to capture them and send them off to jail or punish them until they see people are wonderful and duly reform. I was just in Cambodia where the democratically elected government had five people killed largely because they were seen as a threat to continued economic prosperity after generations of national poverty. And the opposing political party sort of pushed it. Where’s the black and white there? Who are you gonna lasso for a confession? Everyone wants to survive, and thrive, and everyone wants power. Superheroes generally operate under the presumption that there is a difference between good and evil, but the world’s actually much more complicated than that now.

* * * * *

Big thanks to Anne Elizabeth Moore! Anne is @superanne on Twitter, and you can learn more about her many fascinating projects at her website.

The Wonder Woman Wednesday interview series will continue next week, and be sure to look for the next Wonder Woman Unbound preview panel this Monday.

The Ladydrawers’ Hulk 101: Accident Fallacy OR Fun Hulk Stats

December 11, 2013

Last night in Chicago, the Ladydrawers Comics Collective held their “Hulk 101: Accident Fallacy” event, where panelists talked about the Hulk in all sorts of fascinating ways.  The Ladydrawers are a group of writers and artists (female, male, and non-binary) who research and publish comics about labour and gender, and the topics last night ranged from Jack Kirby to Feminist Hulk to self identity to artistic appropriation.  They had slideshows, clips, and art to go along with the discussion; it all sounded, in a word, incredible.

I’m half a continent away, so I couldn’t go, but I was there in spirit, having provided some stats for Hulk comics from the 21st century.  ALL of the Hulk comics from the 21st century, in fact.  Lindsey Smith presented the stats, while Rachel N. Swanson did some fantastic art to go along with the numbers:

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As you can tell by the displeased Hulk, the stats weren’t great for the Hulk comics.  Here are a few things that I found:

  • Marvel’s overall percentage of female creators over the past three years is about 11%.  For the Hulk books over the past thirteen years, it’s only 4%.
  • The total for female writers was only 3%, all of which were Audrey Loeb writing one-page comedy strips in a few issues.  No women have written the main story in any Hulk book in the 21st century.
  • The total for female artists was just over 1%, which is paltry but, given how poorly the Big Two do with female artists, that Elena Casagrande drew a few issues is an impressive achievement, relative to the rest of Marvel’s output.
  • The best books for overall percentage of female creators were the two She-Hulk series, which continues the trend of publishers having more female creators on books with a female lead character.

I’m sure the Ladydrawers dug out lots of other fun tidbits in the data I sent them.  It was some dispiriting stuff, but so it goes when you’re digging into stats by gender at the Big Two.  Thanks to Anne Elizabeth Moore and the Ladydrawers for letting me be a part of such a cool event!


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