The Inking Woman by Cath Tate and Nicola Streeten
The Inking Woman is a groundbreaking picture-led celebration of the work of over 100 named British artists, and a few more anonymous ones, revealing a wealth of women’s wit and insight spanning 250 years. 'Like so much art, women have taken a back seat. Now they are forefront and I am SO proud!' Sandi Toksvig
Hardback: 144 pages. Language: English. Publisher: Myriad Editions. Publication date: 2018. Size: 216 mm x 278 mm
For many years, the world of cartoons and comics was seen as a male preserve. The reality is that women have been drawing and publishing cartoons for longer than most people realise. In the early 1760s, Mary Darly illustrated, wrote and published the first book on caricature drawing published in England, A Book of Caricaturas.
In the nineteenth century, Britain’s first comic character, Ally Sloper, was developed by the actress and cartoonist Marie Duval (1847–1890). Cartoons were used by the suffragettes, and, during the Great War, artists such as Flora White and Agnes Richardson produced light-hearted propaganda comic postcards. From the 1920s, a few women cartoonists began to appear regularly in newspapers. The practice was for artists to sign with their surname, so most readers were unaware of the cartoonist’s gender. In 1920, Mary Tourtel created Rupert Bear for the Daily Express, and nearly a hundred years later her character is still going strong. From the 1960s, feminism inspired cartoonists to question the roles assigned to them and address subjects such as patriarchy, equal rights, sexuality and child rearing, previously unseen in cartoons. Over the last thirty years, women have come increasingly to the fore in comics, zines and particularly graphic novels.
This wide-ranging curation of women’s comics work includes prints, caricatures, joke, editorial and strip cartoons, postcards, comics, zines, graphic novels and digital comics, covering all genres and topics. It addresses inclusion of art by women of underrepresented backgrounds. Based on an exhibition of the same name, held at the Cartoon Museum in 2017, this book demonstrates that women have always had a wicked sense of humour and a perceptive view of the world.
Nicola Streeten is an anthropologist-turned-illustrator, cartoonist and comics scholar. She is the author of Billy, Me & You (Myriad, 2011) and co-founder of the international comics network Laydeez Do Comics. Her PhD from the University of Sussex is The Cultural History of British Feminist Cartoons and Comics from 1970 to 2010, with a particular focus on the use of humour. Cath Tate is an author of humourous books and has been publishing the work of women cartoonists for over 30 years as featured in The Guardian
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