Posts Tagged ‘Investigating Lois Lane’

Read an Excerpt From Investigating Lois Lane at The Atlantic!

March 14, 2016


In what is one of the very coolest and sort of unbelievable moments of my career thus far, The Atlantic has run an excerpt of Investigating Lois Lane.  I’m honoured to be on the site, and I’m so glad that everyone can get a nice peek inside the book and see what it’s like.  I mean, you can’t beat a free sample!

They picked one of my favourite parts of the book, the section that focuses on Lois Lane’s brief feminist revolution in Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane in the early 1970s under editor Dorothy Woolfolk.  I won’t spoil it for you because you can go ahead and read it, but Lois gets into women’s lib and makes some big life changes that, while short lived, were huge and fascinating.

It’s a great era for Lois, and was also a fun opportunity for me to write about one of my favourite people in the history of comics, Dorothy Woolfolk.  As Dorothy Roubicek, before she was married, she was an assistant editor on Wonder Woman in the 1940s, and then returned to DC a few decades later to revolutionize their romance line with pro-women’s lib themes before taking on Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane.  Woolfolk is a fantastic and criminally underappreciated part of comic book history, and I’m always glad to shine a spotlight on her any time I can.

The excerpt is from Chapter 5 of the book, which in its full form also includes a look at Lois’ earlier, super problematic attempts to become more relevant and engage in issues surrounding race.  The portion that’s excerpted at The Atlantic is also a bit longer in the book; they trimmed it slightly for length, so there are some more cool little bits in Investigating Lois Lane.

Anyway, huge thanks to The Atlantic for running the excerpt!  You can go check it out now, and then pick up the book if you like what you see.

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

March 4, 2016


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

Investigating Lois Lane_cover

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


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, 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!

Check Out the Investigating Lois Lane Fun on Tumblr

January 11, 2016


With my new book, Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter, set to debut on March 1, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the important, fun, and amusing moments from her past. I’ve set up a new tumblr to do just that, where I’ve got a slew of awesome panels and pictures lined up and randomly sorted; my plan is to post two a day, along with short blurbs about why the images are significant. Here’s a fun one I put up yesterday, from way back in the Golden Age:


There’ll be other random things in the mix too, because there’s a lot of rad stuff on tumblr. I reblogged some David Bowie stuff today because we all are, really; that’s a tough loss. But yeah, the main focus will be fun Lois Lane bits that will illuminate key bits from my upcoming book. I’ve got five Lois Lane moments up all ready, including Lois getting shot while embedded with American troops in Umec, Lois’ disdain for her wedding shower gifts, Superman making Lois cry to get her a movie part in the Silver Age, and a look at Teri Hatcher as Lois, plus Lois’ Golden Age agitation that I posted above. And there’s so much more to come, covering the full run of her history. I have a post scheduled for this afternoon that’s one of my favourite panels ever. Here’s a sneak peek:


So if cool moments from Lois Lane’s history are something you’d like to see twice a day, Straitened Circumstances is now on tumblr and can hook you up with regular fun from one of the best characters in comics. You can read the posts at or follow the blog if you’ve got a tumblr account.

My New Book, Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter, Coming This March!

January 5, 2016

I’ve mentioned this occasionally over the past several months, but now that the holidays are over it’s time to ramp up the excitement: I wrote another book! My first book, Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine, came out in 2014 and went over very nicely, so thanks so much to everyone for reading and supporting it. I’m back with Chicago Review Press for my second book, a quasi-sequel to the first that digs into the history of everyone’s favourite reporter, Lois Lane:

Investigating Lois Lane_cover

Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter covers the entire history of Lois Lane, from her first appearance in Action Comics #1 in 1938 through to the present day, across a variety of media. I explore her more than 75 years of comic book fun, but I also look at the Superman radio show, animated shorts, Broadway shows, all of the television shows (live action and cartoon), all of the movies, and even video games. If Lois was in something, it’s covered here.

Here’s the official back cover description, for a quick summary:

Sometimes a fearless heroine, sometimes a damsel in distress, and often both, Lois Lane is a paragon of journalistic integrity and the paramour of the world’s strongest superhero. Across comics, television, movies, and the radio, Lois has spent decades defiantly chasing front page stories despite the Man of Steel’s myriad attempts to rein her in. Investigating Lois Lane brings her out from Superman’s shadow and into the spotlight, exploring the depths of this mercurial woman who has fought for truth and justice for close to eighty years, without a cape or tights.

Or, as Liz Lemon says, it’s basically about this:


The book covers the high points one would expect from the history of Lois Lane: her Golden Age origins, her Silver Age series, Superman: The Movie, the death of Superman, Lois & Clark and Smallville. It’s structured to take us through her primary narrative, with built-in tangents to explore the weirder aspects of her history. We’ll dig into fun things like:

  • Superman co-creator Joe Shuster’s infatuation with his model for Lois Lane.
  • A letter writing campaign in the early 60s from kids demanding Lois be punished for annoying Superman.
  • What Looney Tunes, Mighty Mouse, and Underdog have to do with Lois.
  • Lois’ brief pro-women’s lib, feminist revolution in the 1970s and why it only lasted for 7 issues.
  • The women who wrote Lois in the 1980s (and beyond).
  • The many mysterious “deaths” of Lois Lane.

And so much more!

Investigating Lois Lane is scheduled to come out on March 1, 2016, and you can pre-order it now on Amazon and anywhere else that fine books are sold. With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on the horizon, might I humbly suggest both of my books as a fine primer on the two heroines who are totally going to steal the movie from those angry, angsty superbros.

Keep your eyes here and on my twitter page (@timhanley01!) for lots of cool promotions and Lois Lane fun over the next couple of months. I’m really excited about the book, and I can’t for everyone to get to check it out and get into Lois’ fascinating history. She’s been such a staple of the superhero industry for so long, and it was a real pleasure to put the focus on her for a change and explore the character as well as the history of the genre from her perspective.

Anyway, more soon. But for now, HOORAY, new book! And HOORAY, Lois Lane! This is a really fun one, gang.

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