Pa. exhibit traces history of female comic artists

Uncle Sam's Girl Shower - illustration by Nell Brinkley (1886–1944).

PITTSBURGH (AP) - An exhibit in Pittsburgh is celebrating the history of female comic artists, some of whom began laying the groundwork 100 years ago for the success of women in the industry today.

The exhibit at the Toonseum includes originals by Nell Brinkley, who created masterful drawings of curly-haired working girls starting in about 1907.

Toonseum director Joe Wos notes that even successful female artists faced difficulty at first. Their characters and stories were mostly related to fashion and women's experiences, while male comic artists could write about anything.

The barriers began to break down in the 1940s and then again in the '70s as an underground movement led to female artists freely creating stories about sexuality and discrimination.

The exhibit called Wonder Women, On Page and Off runs until March 30.

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