comic history

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Joan B. Lee: The Woman Who Saved the Marvel Universe

Joan Boocock was born on August 3, 1924, in Gosforth, Newcastle, England. In the 1940s she moved to New York City, where she married an American GI and worked as a hat model. Working at the agency, she met a young comics editor named Stanley Lieber, who worked under the pen name Stan Lee. The two fell in love instantly and she left her husband for him.

In the early 1960s, Stan Lee was feeling depressed and unhappy with his job and was seriously considering quitting the comics industry. Joan told him "Before you quit, why don’t you write one comic you are proud of?” Lee obliged and together with Jack Kirby, he created the Fantastic Four, the flawed, dysfunctional family of heroes that Lee always wanted to make. The comic was an instant success, reinvigorating Lee and convincing him to stay on at Marvel. He even went on to give his favorite hero, Spider-Man, a love interest based off his wife: Mary Jane Watson. In later years, after the couple’s two children were grown-up, Joan would have a short career as a voice actress, voicing the recurring character of Madame Web in the Spider-Man animated series, as well as having small parts in the Iron Man and Fantastic Four series. In 2016 she had a cameo with her husband in X-Men: Apocalypse. 

The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men, the Avengers, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Doctor Strange, Black Panther. While these heroes were created or co-created by Stan Lee, we may never have had them or the Marvel Universe without Joan. Thank you.

Joan Boocock Lee - August 3, 1924 – July 6, 2017

Continuing our Black History Month celebrations with...

Add Oil Comics (@addoilcomics​)

Originally posted by addoilcomics

Add Oil Comics explores social justice issues through the use of, well, comics. Some reblogged, some original, some inspired by submitted or found text. The one above illustrates a passage taken from Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. See the full comic here.

CFBG Tips (@cfbgtips​)

Originally posted by cfbgtips

One part young woman’s journey on how to find her “mystical Carefree Black Girl essence,” one part tips on how you can do the same. Wholly good.

The Revolutionary Times (@therevtimes​)

Originally posted by therevtimes

The Revolutionary Times features two dudes discussing the things we all talk about with our friends: gentrification, worry and anger regarding the current presidential administration, Star Wars. Sometimes they’re time travelers, but usually they’re not. It’s a good read, and we suggest you start with their comics on Tumblr tag.

Follow these too:

  • Black Comics Chat (@blackcomicschat​)—Not just comics (though they do have that), but also a space for Black people to talk with others about Black comics.
  • Black Action Figures and Comics (@blactionfiguresandcomics​)—Fan art, action figures, movie stills, and more. Heavy on the reblogs, it’s a good reminder of the power of a curatorial Tumblr.

Thanks for celebrating Black History Month with us, Tumblr. Everything we’ve been highlighting here on the staff blog ultimately comes from you all. We couldn’t ask for better users.

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There’s a book out there that’s either one of the last great unsolved cyphers or a massive medieval hoax. Welcome to the weird world of the Voynich Manuscript. And no, it isn’t solved yet.

I did this comic for The Nib last year (The Nib is an amazingly great place for comics on Medium if you don’t know that already). You can follow all my work on Medium here.

Let’s talk about prairie, history, and language. For communities so focused on “native plants”/”native gardening”/etc there’s so little acknowledgement or engagement with indigenous Americans and their history. 

When we talk about science, there’s a baseline assumption of objectivity. Science is Truth, something apart from messy cultural ideas. The reality is, culture and all it’s messes bleed into science, like here in ecology. We gotta be conscious of the histories we inherit in science.