In the 1970s and 1980s, different women adult comic book writers would revolutionise the medium, their vignettes constituting a reconsideration of feminine representation. Far from the predominant idealism and opposite the disregard promoted by the social and political context of the time, these women with different backgrounds, knowledges and art-making established a remarkably diverse stylistic and narrative landscape.
The first reference point in the vindication of women’s role in society through the comic book and illustration came from Núria Pompeia, a pioneer in articulating an activist and militant body of work. Despite this precedent, it wasn’t until the end of the dictatorship that different artists managed to find a space in the world of adult comic books — it was at this time that vignettists like Rosa Lleida, Sara Presutto and particularly Montse Clavé, Isa Feu, Mariel Soria and Marika Vila surfaced. Some of them had started their careers working on comics for young girls, but would soon seek to develop their own cartoons from a place outlying sexist canons and produced vignettes with a combative stance and stories packed with feminist protest and socio-political objections.
From 1979, and while the aforementioned artists were still working, a new generation appeared which knew how to make use of the way paved by their predecessors. Among them were Marta Guerrero, Pilar Herrero Bendicho, Ana Juan, Mamen la del Cafó, Victoria Martos, Ana Miralles, Roser Oduber and Laura Pérez Vernetti, a new generation characterised by a shift towards the playful and the festive. Although the defence of women’s freedom and unreserved sexuality would continue to take centre stage, their creations are generally more hedonistic. The university education of many of these women artists allowed their works to encapsulate a free and more experimental aesthetic, while from narrative they would approach personal issues and concerns.
Thus, Young Ladies the World Over, Unite! Women Adult Comic Book Writers (1967–1993) looks to contribute to disseminating the work of these cartoonists, placing the stress on the work they developed as screenwriters or illustrators for some of the era’s major publications. Women who, through their work, opened the way for other female artists who today openly send out their messages and from a place of recognition.
Monday to Friday, from 9am to 9pm
Guillermo Cobo and Alberto Medina
Documentary Exhibitions, Library and Documentation Centre
Action and Radical Imagination
Thanks to our colleagues Almudena Gómez, Raquel Jimeno and Carolina Santamarina for their help and advice during the development of the show. To Elisa McCausland and the Colectivo de Autoras de Cómic for having faith in the project from the outset, and to Montse Clavé, Isa Feu, Marta Guerrero, Laura Pérez-Vernetti and Marika Vila for giving up their time and offering their experience while the interviews were being recorded.
Exhibition information text: Young Ladies the World Over, Unite! Women Adult Comic Book Writers (1967–1993)