Thursday, March 08, 2007

Today is International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day. In honor of this yearly celebration, I just want to take a moment to recognize a number of females I admire. I am purposely not going to mention women in politics because I have tried to keep that aspect of my life out of this blog. No offense, but I don't like to mix my passion for comic books and pop culture with my political views. Someday I may start a blog with a political slant, but at this point of time I am keeping it to myself.

Getting back on the subject, there are so many incredible women out there, that it is hard for me to pick a few to honor. If I generalize a bit, please bear with me.

My first shout out goes to the women creators and corporate females in the comic book industry. I would like to recognize Flo Steinberg, the woman behind Stan Lee to start with. She was most certainly the reason Stan could spend his time creating and looking at the broad picture. She was his right hand, and I like to think she didn't stand beneath him but equal to him. I also want to mention Marie Severin for her artistic greatness. To this day, I love the fact that she and writer Linda Fife were the female creative team behind The Cat from Marvel. (The Cat is now known as Tigra to more modern day Marvel fans). I also want to recognize Virginia Romita, who was the longtime traffic manager at Marvel. What a fantastic woman! Not only is she the beloved wife and mother of John Romita Sr. and Jr. but she is an excellent business woman.

In the present, I want to recognize the women out there working in the industry today. My most humble bow to Gail Simone, long may she reign. I appreciate that Gail isn't pigeon holed as a "female creator". She has transcended the label and is heralded for her talent. I also have to give Aimee Friedman and Christina Norrie props. I just got done reading their graphic novel "Breaking Up" and I loved it.

There are so many women to praise. Amanda Conner, Barbara Kesel, Louise Simonson, Laura Martin, Colleen Doran, Pia Guerra, Becky Cloonan, Mary Jo Duffy, Tara McPherson, Adrianna Melo, Mariah Benes... I apologise for not remembering more names off the top of my head. You ladies rock!

I also don't want to forget the women bloggers. There are so many of you that impress me day in and day out. I can't imagine the blogosphere without you. I am a bit hesitant to name you all because I dont' want to forget anyone. Let me just point to my sidebar and say "go check out the blogs there". I am indebted and amazed by you all.

To the ladies who own and work in comic retailing, I am on bended knee. You have a difficult but rewarding job. I would love to be brave enough to own a shop with my husband someday. It warms my heart to see you women out there working so hard and setting such a great example.

I also want to take a minute to recognize the females in my family. My grandma had polio in the 1950's and suffered a great deal. Rather then wallow in self pity, my grandma did the best she could. As a mother of five children with a husband who was out working so hard, her job was not one many could have handled. To see her love and kindness on a daily basis built the foundation of my determination to be a good person. I also would like to recognize her for a 62 year marriage to my grandpa. What an amazing achievement. I have always felt that marriage and parenting are two of the hardest jobs a person will ever have, and to see her succeed so brilliantly and stubbornly is a landmark in my life.

My mother is my personal hero in so many ways. She didn't have the opportunities for post high school education I have had. She had to work her way from secretary to high level executive through grit and determination. She is incredible on so many levels it is hard to articulate my feelings. When people tell me I am like my mother I smile and say "thank you".

My other hero is my sister. She works full time, co-owns a farm with my brother-in-law and is raising two amazing sons. I am in complete awe of her. Despite having bad days or busy days, she always keeps her faith and stays positive. She is such a role model for her children. Watching her with her boys restores my faith in the future of humanity. With her steering the boat, I know we can stay on course.

There are so many other women that inspire me. I feel like I would post all night if I tried to mention them all. My aunts, my co-workers, my friends, and the strangers that show me kindness- I want to just say "thank you".


Swinebread said...

Great post... I went the pop fictional character route… hmmm maybe next year I’ll do my favorite creators…

Carl said...

We need more women in comics, 'cause apparently what you get when "The Boys Club" completely takes over a company, like say Marvel, it destroys its universe in one misguided and barely written event.
I've actually met a bunch of the ladies you listed and all are kind and enthused that you are there to talk to them and get something signed or what have you. Barbara Kesel regularly attends the Florida cons down here and I see her all the time. Amanda Conner when I gushed about The Pro actually hand-colored a print for me! And I also bought an alternate cover to the book (The Pro) from her that I had never seen till then. Laura Martin was stunned that I had pretty much all her work and I talked to her for a long time, she was very sweet and uber-fan-friendly.
In summation, we need more women in comics. Every one of them I have met have always been happy to meet the fans and unlike some encounters I could mention, I've never been sorry I met them or made to feel like I was an annoyance. Someone once said, women civilized unruly males and them better people. Guess that explains a lot in the world of comics then, huh?

Heidi Meeley said...

Swinebread, I really enjoyed your post! Excellent thoughts, and the pictures brought it home. Beautiful!

Heidi Meeley said...

Carl, I agree that all the women creators I have met have been absolutely marvelous. I am sad that I forgot about Rachel Dodson though. I met her at a con with her hubby and she was extremely sweet and very talented.

Thank you for sharing your tales of female creators you have met. I really enjoyed reading about it.

As for the "Boys club", well in honor of International Women's Day I am taking the day off being sarcastic and mean to them! Hehe.

Lisa said...

Amazing post, Heidi. Thanks for doing it. I was so busy I didn't get around to it, so it's nice to read the tributes other great female bloggers did.