POUGHKEEPSIE – Legendary comic artist Ramon Fradon, comic book writer and editor Louise Simonson and New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly will discuss the changing role of women as creators of and characters in comics from 2 to 4 p.m. on Feb. 28 at Arts-Mid Hudson, 696 Dutchess Turnpike (Rte. 44), Poughkeepsie.
The panel discussion is part of a month-long gallery show, Komic Kreators of the Mid-Hudson Valley, being held at the arts organizations’ location. Tickets are $10 for the event.
While women have appeared in comic images in magazines, comic strips, and books since the early 20th century, recently the emphasis on women as characters has been heightened with Marvel Comics rebirth last fall of its Thor series with a woman cast in the title role. This debut was followed in early February with Marvel’s announcement that it is introducing the A-Force, an all-female Avengers team to join several of its other all-female titles. The A-Force comic is being written by two female Marvel writers. Comic reports say these are efforts to draw more women to its fan-base, as well as present stories from a different view point.
Fradon is regarded as one of the first female creators to distinguish herself in the comic book medium and was inducted into the Women Cartoonists Hall of Fame in 1999. She is widely recognized for her contribution to the character of Brenda Starr, and from 1980 until her retirement in 1995 drew the newspaper strip Brenda Starr. Her work includes co-creating Metamorpho, drawing Plastic Man and Freedom Fighters, and penciling Super Friends for almost its entire run. Fradon contributed to the graphic novel “The Adventures of Unemployed Man,” wrote and illustrated “The Dinosaur That Got Tired of Being Extinct” (2012), and was the author and artist of “The Art of Ramona Fradon.”
Donnelly is a cartoonist and writer for The New Yorker Magazine, for which she has been drawing cartoons about culture and politics for more than 30 years. She is also a columnist and cartoonist for Forbes.com, specializing in politics and women’s rights, and a featured weekly political cartoonist for Medium. She is a Cultural Envoy for the U.S. State Department, traveling around the world speaking about freedom of speech, cartoons and women’s rights. Donnelly is the author/editor of 15 books including “Women On Men,” a collection of her cartoons and writing which was a finalist for The Thurber Prize in 2014. She also wrote and illustrated seven children’s books for Scholastic Inc.
Louise Simonson has worked in comics publishing for 40 years, first as an editor, then as a writer. For Marvel Comics, she created and wrote Power Pack and wrote X-Factor, New Mutants, and Web of Spider-Man and co-created the characters Apocalypse and Cable. For DC Comics, she wrote Superman: Man of Steel and created and wrote Steel, as part of the Death of Superman storyline. With her husband Walter Simonson, she co-wrote World of Warcraft for Wildstorm. Her “Super Secret Crisis War” graphic novel for IDW, set in a Cartoon Network universe, is on sale now. She has also written more than 30 books for kids and adults, many of which featured comic book heroes.
For more information and tickets, log on to www.artsmidhudson.org, or call 845-454-3222.