As one audience member pointed out in the Q&A afterwards, there was no talk of women publishers or editors. The talk focused on writers and artists only, which is a shame; it would have been nice for the other side of the creative fence to have been explored. Nevertheless, some extraordinary characters were brought to life in this densely packed lecture. I enjoyed hearing about the cross-dressing actress Emilie De Tessier, who met her husband after an on-stage accident forced her to retire. She went on to be her husband's silent partner in comic Ally Sloper, going on to invent several conventions of comic art, such as wavy lines to denote fear, or multiple limbs to indicate movement. We were guided through women such as Rose O'Neil, Nell Brinkley, Shirley Bell and Marjane Sartrapi, among many others.
I was exposed to quite a few people I hadn't heard of before, and now can't wait to get my hands on the reading list. I'm also very pleased to have discovered the Glasgow Women's Library, which is a treasure trove of materials and a great learning centre.
If you missed this talk, there is a Hysterical Women and Graphic Grrrlz exhibition, running from the 1st to the 12th of May at Edinburgh Central Library. Heather will also be running a workshop on the 16th of May at the Glasgow Women's Library.
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