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Funny GirlsGuffaws, Guts, and Gender in Classic American Comics$
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Michelle Ann Abate

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496820730

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496820730.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 07 March 2021

“It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s an Elementary-Aged Girl!”

“It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s an Elementary-Aged Girl!”

Remembering a Time in American Comics When Young Female Protagonists Ruled

(p.3) Introduction “It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s an Elementary-Aged Girl!”
Funny Girls

Michelle Ann Abate

University Press of Mississippi

The Introduction provides necessary historical background information. It gives an overview of the book's overall aims and argument, and it also summarizes the project's methodology and organizational plan.When critics, scholars, and fans think about major developments in American comics from the first half of the twentieth century, they commonly think of events like the advent of the Sunday newspaper supplement, the rise of the comic book, and the backlash against the industry by individuals like Fredric Wertham. The Introduction to this project makes a case for adding another phenomenon to this history: the popularity of young female protagonists.As it explains, examining figures like Little Lulu, Nancy, and Little Orphan Annie-both individually and as part of a larger tradition-yields compelling new insights about the industry during the first half of the twentieth century. Remembering and recouping the cadre of Funny Girls who played such a significant role in the popular appeal and commercial success of American comics during the first half of the twentieth century challenges longstanding perceptions about the gender dynamics operating during this era.

Keywords:   US newspaper comic strips, US comic books, Popular culture, 20th- centuryUS history, gender and girlhood

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