Tuesday, July 19

Comic Book Legend: Lily Renée

She's always been modest, is she a legend just because she is female? No, I think she is a legend because she survived so much and just did what she had to do and what she was talented to do and was changing the world even when she didn't know it. Coming from a Viennese Jewish family, she was born in Austria and came to England, running from Nazis, not knowing if her parents were alive. Then her parents asked her to come to the US but UK refused to let her out, thinking she was a spy. A mysterious man helped her and she got a job fixing inking on comics and had to put up with sexism, lewd looks and lewd comments on the art itself. She was then given Sheena and given Werewolf Hunter and later Senorita Rio.

She left comics for nearly 50 years until Trina Robbins tracked her down. Her children never knew she drew comics until she told her grandchildren. n 2007, she attended her first comic book convention, Comic-Con International in San Diego, and Friends of Lulu nominated her to their Hall of Fame. She still lives in Manhattan, near Madison Avenue. In a recent Newsweek article, she remained humble, saying she was under appreciated in her time and over appreciated now. She says that back when during the war, she got messages from army men thanking her and calling 'Mr. Renee' as she often signed as L. Renee.

Her art evoked German expressionist films and her women were dressed in the high fashion of the day.

For the past 40 years I’d been told by big burly men that girls don’t like to read and don’t like to draw comics,” said Trina Robbins, a comic artist and historian who ultimately tracked down Phillips. “I knew somewhere inside me that that was wrong.”
Related: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/30/a-real-life-comic-book-superhero.html
| http://flashbackuniverse.blogspot.com/2008/12/free-comics-monday-planet-comics.html