Comic Art Friday: Wonder Woman Day 2010

If you’ve read here often over the past six years, you know that I’m not a big holidays guy. My idea of a good holiday is something like International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which I celebrate faithfully every September 19, or National Gorilla Suit Day, which falls on January 31 each year.

Or, to the point of this post, Wonder Woman Day.

Wonder Woman, pencils by June Brigman, inks by Roy Richardson

Wonder Woman Day was inaugurated five years ago by Andy Mangels, a writer whose stock in trade is popular culture in general, and comics and comics-related media in particular. Andy teamed with Bradley Angle House, a nonprofit shelter for women and children located in Portland, Oregon, to come up with a unique event to raise funds for Bradley Angle, while simultaneously raising public awareness of the need to empower women against domestic violence. Andy’s brilliant idea was to get dozens of comic book artists to donate images of Wonder Woman — the greatest icon of female empowerment — that would then be auctioned off, both online and live at a comics shop in Portland, to support the shelter.

And Wonder Woman Day was born.

Being the avid Wonder Woman fanatic that I am, I’ve been a proud supporter of Wonder Woman Day — even though I got shut out of the auctions the past couple of years. (I have two nice pieces in my Temple of Diana from previous WWDs — one by Michael Bair, and another by Al Rio, the latter of which was later inked by Bob Almond.) When I heard that this year’s event would be the last — I don’t know the reasons, but I suspect that DC Comics’ legal department issued a cease-and-desist — I was determined to come away with another addition to my Wonder Woman gallery.

In fact, I came up with two.

The inked drawing at the top of this post is the work of one of comics’ few married artistic teams, penciler June Brigman and her husband, inker Roy Richardson. I’ve admired June’s work for quite some time — she cocreated (with writer Louise Simonson) Marvel Comics’ juvenile superteam Power Pack, and for the past 15 years she’s been the artist on the syndicated newspaper strip Brenda Starr (which she took over after the retirement of Comic Book Hall of Fame artist Ramona Fradon). When I saw that June and Roy had contributed one of their collaborations to Wonder Woman Day, I knew I had to own it.

Wonder Woman, pencils by comics artist Roger Medeiros

The pencil drawing above is by Roger Medeiros, a Brazilian artist whose work was previously unknown to me. Roer has done some licensing art for Hasbro Toys (G.I. Joe packaging), and contributed to one of the recent Dungeons and Dragons volumes. If this gorgeous drawing is representative of his talents — and trust me, Roger’s design sense and pencil technique is pristine viewed up close — this young man is going to be a star in the comics world in short order.

I’m sorry to see Wonder Woman Day go. I understand that the event will evolve into another format next year — probably into “Superheroines Day” or something similar — but I thought its connection to the most recognizable female icon in comics gave it cachet. Don’t things always suck when the attorneys get involved?

Remember this: Every day in America, thousands of women and children become victims of domestic violence. As a society, we can’t afford to turn a blind eye. We need to teach our sons that abusing those who are physically weaker is never, ever acceptable behavior, and that violence is never, ever an appropriate channel for anger. We need to teach our daughters never, ever to accept being abused, and never to fear calling for help when they need it.

And that’s your Comic Art Friday.

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