Posts Tagged ‘Ms. Magazine’

Wonder Woman Unbound Preview #11: A Bungled Return To Her Roots

March 24, 2014

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Every Monday until Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine comes out this April, we’re taking a look at a comic panel that captures a key moment in Wonder Woman’s history and highlights an important point from each chapter.

In the last two weeks, we’ve looked at Wonder Woman’s bizarre mod era.  These changes didn’t go over very well with many women involved in the burgeoning women’s liberation movement who grew up reading Wonder Woman, especially Gloria Steinem and her cohorts at Ms. magazine.  When DC announced that Wonder Woman would return to her Amazon roots, Steinem and her friends were quite enthusiastic.  They put Wonder Woman on the first cover of Ms., and released a book that collected several of Wonder Woman’s Golden Age stories.  One of things they were most excited about was that Wonder Woman would be helmed by a female editor, Dorothy Woolfolk.

However, by the time Wonder Woman came back there was a change of plans.  Robert Kanigher, chronicler of Wonder Woman’s Silver Age adventures, was back on the title, and Dorothy Woolfolk was gone.  Here, in our penultimate preview panel, is how Kanigher addressed Woolfolk’s departure on the first page of Wonder Woman #204 in January 1973:

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Kanigher managed to insult both Ms. and Woolfolk, murdering the editor of a woman’s magazine whose name was a thinly veiled analogue for Woolfolk.  One would hope that this was a bad joke rather than a vindictive jab, but we don’t know Kanigher’s intentions.  Regardless, it was surely a disappointed for the feminists who were excited about Wonder Woman’s return.  She had her powers and costume back, but the book lacked any modern relevance; in fact, Kanigher rehashed several of his own Silver Age stories before he left the book.  The next arc of the series involved Wonder Woman having to prove (to a majority male team) that she was worthy to rejoin the Justice League.  It was hardly an auspicious return to the uniform.

To read more, you’ll have to wait until Wonder Woman Unbound comes out just over a week from now!  Be sure to come back next Monday, when we’ll talk about Wonder Woman in the Modern Age, and also check out the final installment of my Wonder Woman interview series this Wednesday; we’ll be talking with Colleen Coover and Kate Leth!

Wonder Unbound Unbound is available for pre-order now, online or at your local comic shop.

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Wonder Woman Unbound Is In Ms. Magazine!

March 13, 2014

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WHAT?!  This is super cool.  Wonder Woman Unbound is in the “Bookmarks: Great Reads for Winter/Spring 2014” section of the current issue of Ms. magazine!  Take a look:

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Here’s the blurb typed out:

Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine

By Tim Hanley

Chicago Review Press

A streak of bondage fetishism, a hint of lesbianism – Wonder Woman was more complicated than your everyday comic book superhero.  It was no accident she became a feminist icon, appearing on the first Ms. cover and starring in a TV show; her creator, William Moulton Marston, believed in women’s superiority and purposefully made her, according to Hanley, a sort of “super-powered Rosie the Riveter.”

It’s ridiculously fun that my name and my book are mentioned in Ms. magazine, along with five words that I wrote.  Ms. has been such an important bastion of feminism for forty years now, and it’s a real honour to be included in their book recommendations.  It’s exciting for a first time author to be in any publication, I suppose, but to be in Ms. means a lot, both as a feminist and a Wonder Woman enthusiast.

I mean, come on:

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This was the first issue of Ms. magazine, and the catalyst that turned Wonder Woman from a little-read superhero floundering in a chaotic comic book series into a feminist symbol known and loved the world over.  Wonder Woman was in a bad way when Ms. came along and adopted her as their unofficial mascot and established her as an icon.  Without Ms., there wouldn’t have been a TV show, and without Gloria Steinem the superpowerless Diana Prince era might still be going on.

Now, Ms.’ adoption of Wonder Woman was ostensibly a celebration of her Golden Age incarnation but in actuality Steinem and her associates projected their own values onto her original comics;  they essentially remade Wonder Woman, and in many ways the icon has overwritten her bizarre past.  That’s actually what Wonder Woman Unbound is about, rediscovering Wonder Woman’s lost history and exploring her journey to becoming a feminist icon.  Not that remaking Wonder Woman was a bad thing; there’s something absolutely wonderful about a group of women who grew up reading Wonder Woman recasting her for a new generation based on their interpretation of the character.

Anyway, Ms. is such a key part of Wonder Woman’s history, and a key part of Wonder Woman Unbound as well, and I’m beyond thrilled that the book got a mention in the magazine.  It’s available on newsstands now, and you should definitely check it out.

RIP Mary Thom, Founding Editor of Ms. Magazine, 1944-2013

May 2, 2013

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Mary Thom, a founding editor of Ms. magazine, passed away last weekend following a motor vehicle accident.  Thom was a part of Ms. from day one, and anyone associated with the early days of Ms. is thus associated with Wonder Woman:

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Gloria Steinem gets most of the Ms.-related attention, and with good reason since she was the public face of the magazine, and of women’s lib generally.  But Ms. was a large enterprise with several woman working together to edit and create it, and Mary Thom was a key member of this team.  A graduate of Bryn Mawr College in 1966, Thom was very involved in the anti-war and civil rights movements, and took on the cause of women’s liberation in the movement’s early days, ultimately co-founding Ms. in 1972, where she worked as an editor for the next 20 years.

Ms. magazine was remarkably groundbreaking.  At the time, magazines aimed at women focused mainly on fashion and/or housekeeping, teaching women to be well-dressed housewives.  Ms. sought to present a more well-rounded approach to womanhood.  Essays on feminist theory appeared next to how-to columns on home and auto repair.  The magazine promoted sexual health, abortion rights, women in the workplace, and aimed to help women become more politically active and self-reliant.  It was a massive shift from pretty dresses and cake recipes.  Not that there’s anything wrong with pretty dresses or cake recipes.  It’s that there were ONLY pretty dresses and cake recipes.  Ms. offered women a great many alternatives.

Mary Thom died tragically last weekend, but she also went out doing what she loved.  The 68 year old Thom was a motorcycle enthusiast who had just gotten her bike out for her first ride of the spring.  While it sadly ended in a fatal accident, it wasn’t the sort of end you’d expect for a woman in her 60s.  Thom thwarted the expectations placed on women for her entire life, even on her last day.

Wonder Woman Is Back On The Cover Of Ms. Magazine!!

September 25, 2012

It’s Ms. magazine’s 40th anniversary this year, and in celebration they’ve put Wonder Woman back on the cover for their special anniversary issue.  The cover is by Mike Allred, now pretty famous outside of comics for doing the art for the Wonder Woman MAC cosmetics campaign last year.  The cover may or may not be coloured by Laura Allred.  They usually work together, but the cover doesn’t specify.

This is a fantastic cover!!  I love the tie-in to the current war on women and the need to vote in the upcoming election.  Having a lady in a “This is what a feminist looks like” t-shirt is really fun too.  And, of course, the cover is an homage to the very first Ms. cover from 1972:

That issue also included some actual Wonder Woman comics, a few pages of her origin story from All-Star Comics #8.  I wonder if we’ll get something similar this time?  A few pages of Mike Allred doing a Wonder Woman comic would be really fun.

Apparently, if you sign up for a subscription you get the issue AND a poster, which is awesome.  It seems to only be available in the US though.  Boooooooooo.  If anyone wants to send me a poster, I’ll be your pal forever.

Anyway, Wonder Woman is back on the cover of Ms.!!  That’s very fun.  Look for the issue on newsstands soon, and pick it up.  It looks like a good one!!


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