I decided against doing a list of items you should purchase over the holidays. Instead, I present to you: books you should read over the holidays.... or you know.. in general.
First up, Pretty in Ink by Trina Robbins.
If the striking cover does not immediately have you looking up the price on Amazon or better yet to see if your local library has it available... then I sincerely hope the subject matter will. From Rose O'Neill and Nell Brinkley to recent stars such as Hope Larson and Fiona Staples and everyone in between - this book gives a breadth of history concerning women cartoonist in North America. Comic strips, Action Comics, Subway Ads, Indie Magazines, and standalone graphic novels are all featured. I adored learning about all of these women, plus getting to see so many beautiful examples of their work over the years. I found myself asking questions, like "Where is the Miss Fury movie?" or, the common question, "Why have I never heard of this wonderful cartoonist before?" At times the writer, a beloved cartoonist herself, repeats information, which you may find annoying. However - after careful thought, these are aspects that deserve to be repeated. For example how many women either changed their name, went by their additonal, or signed their comics with a nickname to either get published or to be "taken seriously" by readers, especially in the realm of action comics. At the same time, you also learn about the men who did not discriminate against women and their talent for example Stan Lee) and even fought for them to be part of the boy's club. Therefore, you get the struggles along with the successful stories, not to mention the wonderful illustrations. Absolutely, wonderful. If you picked this up just to read the comics instead, you will not be disappointed. You will instantly fall in love with the styles of Ethel Hays, Lily Renee, Dale Messick, Lynda Barry (who I refer to as a National Treasure), Lilli Carre, and many many more names. Happy Reading!
Here are a few works featured in Petty in Ink (to give you a sense of the variety you are in store for), plus scroll down to check out a video I found of the actual book. You can see this book is chock-full of comics. A thing of beauty.