Friends of Lulu Newsletters, Volume 1, 1995-1996

Friends of Lulu logo

I came across these while cleaning up after the move, and I thought I’d share them, for anyone interested. The following links reprint the first year of Friends of Lulu newsletters, “Lulu’s Clubhouse”. (Note that all addresses listed, including my old one, are no longer valid.)

They’re quite the time capsule, particularly since the editors (Jackie Estrada and Heidi MacDonald) aimed to cover comic news overall. In the first issue, the Sailor Moon cartoon was announced as coming to US TV, Kim Yale writes a letter about the need for comics to aim at women, and Marvel just bought Skybox. Deni Loubert provided advice on marketing with a press release, a column that’s still relevant.

The organization itself was incorporated May 25, 1995, and there were two local chapters: the Bay Area and New York. Plans were proceeding for chapters in Seattle and Chicago. With “over a hundred members”, FoL was “one of the largest professional organizations in the comic book industry!” (By the second issue, membership had doubled.) Later, a Hollywood chapter was mentioned.

Friends of Lulu newsletter heading

Issues mention tough times in the comic industry, including layoffs at Acclaim, Milestone, Tekno, and Capital (all of which no longer exist), plus Diamond and Marvel. Controversy featured as well, with a response to Dave Sim trying to side-track the group with free speech debates and a gossipy “Lulu’s Diary” column requiring a grumpy response from Jim Shooter, among others.

The first board of directors of the organization consisted of Estrada, MacDonald, Loubert, Liz Schiller, Anina Bennett, Cheryl Harris, and Martha Thomases. The readership survey revealed that the most popular titles among women were (in order) Sandman, Bone, Love and Rockets, Spawn, and Gen13. (Sums up the era, doesn’t it?) A retailer survey suggested an average of 13.41% of comic shop customers were female.

Volume 1, Number 1, June 1995, pages 1-2, pages 3-4
Volume 1, Number 2, October 1995, page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6
Volume 1, Number 3, March 1996, page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, pages 5-6
Volume 1, Number 4, June 1996, page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6, pages 7-8

As I get a chance to scan other years (and try to fill in gaps — the offer to purchase still stands, or I can scan and return copies to you), I’ll be posting more.

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