As I discussed in an earlier post, pre-Comics Code comic books are full of fascinating women superheroes who’ve been more or less forgotten in the decades since WWII. Born in the era of Rosie the Riveter, when there was a national campaign to get women into workplaces, these costumed heroines were brassy, hard-assed, snarky, and sometimes just plain weird. They displayed remarkable grit and independence, and were portrayed as better crime-fighters than the inept, sexist cops that got in their way.
Even removed from their intriguing, important place in sociocultural history, these stories are compelling bits of pure comics nerdery - eg, the fact that 1941’s Spider Queen was almost certainly the unacknowledged inspiration for Spider-Man. These characters deserve to be better known. Happily, the astonishing www.digitalcomicmuseum.org hosts full-issue scans of scores of public domain pre-Code comics. Which means you can read these comics right now, for free!
Here are a few of my favorite lost superheroines from the 1940s. Click on a character’s name to access an archive of their adventures!
FANTOMAH - Arguably the first woman superhero, and to this day one of the strangest. Fantomah is a near-omniscient (blonde) jungle spirit with incredible magical/psionic powers. She is always threatening her enemies with “a jungle death!” and she turns into a green skull with beautiful hair when she’s angry.
LADY SATAN - Sometime Nazi-killer, sometime occult detective, Lady Satan roams the land in her stylish automobile, using gun, garrote, and fire magic to take out Reich agents and child-snatching werewolves.
MOTHER HUBBARD - Looking like a cartoon witch, speaking only in rhyme, Mother Hubbard uses her bizarre occult powers to battle everything from fifth column saboteurs to Disney-esque dwarves that steal kids’ eyeballs.
THE WOMAN IN RED - A gun-toting jujitsu expert, the Woman in Red is a sort of costumed private detective. She’s the bane of both criminals (especially those who prey on women) and inept male cops. But to the women she saves she’s quite…tender.
THE SPIDER QUEEN - A chemistry lab assistant becomes a wise-cracking costumed herowho uses wrist-strapped web shooters to swing around the city and tie up bad guys. But this is 1941, and our hero is a woman.
THE VEILED AVENGER - Although she’s the frilliest-looking of 40s superheroines, the Veiled Avenger might be the hardest. She uses her crop to make criminals shoot each other…and themselves. And in her civilian life as a District Attorney’s secretary, she scolds dumb cops who endanger witnesses.
Sadly, these heroines all disappeared by the 1950s. As the national project of getting women out of the workplace took hold, bold self-sufficient superheroines became scarce on the ground. Despite some great work by amazing artists over the years, comics still doesn’t have enough of them.
[And now, a plug: I’m working on a longer piece on these heroines, and on some other stuff you might find interesting. You can learn more about all that here.]
The marine iguana is an iguana located only on the Galápagos Islands that has the ability, unique among modern lizards, to live and forage in the sea, making it a marine reptile. The iguana can dive over 30 ft into the water.
So, basically this is what mutates into Godzilla.
LETS BE FRIENDS
Babies are strapped into airplane seats enroute to LAX during “Operation Babylift” with airlifted orphans from Vietnam to the US. April 12, 1975.
This looks dangerous as fuck 😒
ikr? I was thinking how they would not have been secure if the plane crashed only to find out that one of the planes in the operation did crash.
Most of the babies taken to the United States by “Operation Babylift” were not orphans in the first place; they were children from refugee camps who were fraudulently designated as orphans by American relief workers — most of them with religious affiliations — who believed they’d be “better off” being raised by white Americans.
Operation Reunite is an amazing nonprofit run by Babylift victims which seeks to use DNA testing to find and reconnect with their real families back home in Vietnam.
So basically look at this photo of kidnapped babies.
If you’re not in Seattle/King County this doesn’t apply to you, but I had more to say than would fit on Twitter, so…
So there’s this little ballot measure that’s coming by this month, and it’s a special ballot. There’s only one thing on it, and that’s to further fund budget shortfalls in our metro bus system. This is not NEW funding, or ADDITIONAL funding, this is just to keep the budget from getting slashed as a previous source of funding ends.
Please vote yes. Please.
If they can’t get funding, they’ll cut 74 bus routes, including one of the very few that actually go through my neighborhood.
If you live in Seattle and have ever tried to catch one of the 70, 71, 72, or 73 routes during peak times, you have probably already experienced the sardine-can conditions of a route that’s already at peak capacity - assuming you aren’t left standing at the stop because the bus is already too full.
Losing the 66 and 67 route means that anyone in the University District or Eastlake neighborhoods will have to take an additional bus DOWNTOWN before going to Northgate. Anyone who lives in the Northgate area of Seattle who happens to work at the University? Well, they get to ride a bus all the way downtown and then hope that there’s still space on one of the 70 routes I mentioned before. If you’re lucky. That turns a 45-60 minute commute into something more like 2 hours. Will it still be physically possible to get to work? Sure, but if you’ve ever lived somewhere where your daily route does not sync up with existing bus lines, you know how much of a pain that is.
Look, I don’t have a car. I can’t afford a car. The biggest reason I sold mine when I moved into Seattle proper was that the combination of repairs, insurance, gas, and parking was way out of my budget. Losing some of these metro routes would seriously mess up my ability to get around and I have it lucky because I am physically able to walk the mile and a half to and from work, but there are others who can’t.
Right-wingers (and the Seattle Times, apparently, good job jerks) are advocating sending a no vote to tell metro to figure out ways to pare down its service. Nope! Voting no will actually just completely screw over the people who need these bus routes. I’ve only talked about the routes that directly involve me, but like I said, there are 74 routes on the chopping block if the metro isn’t funded.
The opposition is also making the laughable claim that this is “bad for low-income voters”. Explain to me how it’s bad for low-income people to have accessible public transportation? Especially considering that part of this funding is going to be used so that we can have low income reduced fares? It’s notable that labor organizations, low income and disability advocacy groups are behind the statement in support, while the statement against consists of a group of people who are allergic to all taxes. Welp!
Public transit helps those of us who can’t afford cars, don’t or can’t drive, or who choose not to. Public transit reduces overall congestion on the roads and… come ON people, what century is this? What city is this?
Seattle, it takes five seconds to save our buses.
Please vote Yes on Proposition 1 by April 22.
Ronald Epps by Marley Kate - Styled by Ian Bradley (Preview)
Photo is from Mark Seliger’s book Listen.
Title: Nude, New York, June 26, 2009
Platinum palladium print, 40 x 30 in (101.6 x 76.2 cm
Medusa’s Hair Care
A last minute doodle for a little MECA illustration alumni zine
I’m so in love with this
gladtoknowcha: Elva Hook
"Respect the Creative Commons"
Computer Workstation, CC-BY, lorisflickr @ Flickr
Artist with Pipe, CC-BY, pdbreen @ Flickr
Band in Studio, CC-BY-NC-SA, jgarber @ Flickr
Eyes Looking Up, CC-BY-NC-SA, dob @ Flickr
Silver Glasses, CC-BY, jancissmells @ Flickr
Guilty Eyes, CC-BY-NC, raider3_anime @ Flickr
Big Eyes, CC-BY-NC-SA, Doug88888 @ Flickr
Insane Eyes, CC-BY-NC-SA, ClintJCL @ Flickr