and drawings, including me—I had worked on the Shirley Chisholm campaign, in 1972, and drew posters for her presidential run as an independent candidate. This was my first political introduction.
Patty Moodian asked me to attend a meeting to decide on the name for the magazine, and on how to operate it as a collective. We wanted to rotate editorship so that there would be no hierarchy. We were all going to contribute. Also, 50% of each issue was going to be open to new contributors because we wanted to encourage women to draw and publish. We were paid, but it wasn’t much. One important concept was that the artists retained their
own copyright. We owned our own work, which was unheard of, ever. Marvel, DC, Disney, or any other
owned the rights to your material, but I can say that, to this day, nobody owns any of my material. I copyrighted everything.
The meeting was at Patty’s house. There was a group
of women, and the first issue was already underway when I attended that meeting. Therefore, I wasn't able to contribute to that issue, but I did participate in several other meetings where we got together as a group to discuss how to call the comic.
Trina Robbins and Michelle Brand, who had also contributed to It Ain't Me, Babe were there, too. So were Aline Kominsky, Lee Marrs, and Lora Fountain. These were the women—and of course, I was in—who were the founding sisterhood of Wimmen’s Comix. I think it was at the second or third meeting that we decided on the actual title for the comic. We went round and round. We didn’t want to use the spelling of women because of the “men” in there, but then we wanted to be humorous because the people in the feminist movement were taking everything soooo seriously. Then, somebody said: “Let’s call it Women’s Comics but change the spelling!” That’s how Wimmen’s Comix was born, and it remained until the last issue. It was finally changed to Wimmin's Comix removing the "men."
The very first issue came out in 1972. Patty was the editor. I participated from the second issue on, which came out about a year later. There were 17 issues from 1972 to 1992. I was involved in the first eight issues, and then, because of other commitments and the fact that I was doing a lot of work for magazines, I sort of dropped out for a while. I recommitted for issue #15. So, I'm not in all of the issues, but I think that I'm in seven or eight of them.
Ceres: What were the topics of the comic, and what was the editorial process?
Terre: Nobody told us what to draw, nobody told us what to write. In our editorial meeting, we would go over our work, and if somebody was submitting something, and if it wasn’t quite right yet, maybe the lettering was off, or the sizing was incorrect for the format, or their balloons not readable enough, etc… we would work with them, and comment on the changes they needed to make before resubmitting. Even Cathy Guisewite, who created the comic strip Cathy, submitted and we turned her down, but in a very positive and loving way. Her strips were well written but her drawings were actually quite horrible. We said, “Cathy you're gonna have to go back to the drawing board and learn how to draw,” and she did. And she created Cathy, but we
"Nobody told us what to draw, nobody told us what to write."
20 | Ceres Magazine | Fall 2016
Cover of the first print run, showing Olive Oyl, Little Lulu, Wonder Woman, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, Mary Marvel and Elsie the Cow, fists raised, and the words "women's liberation." Photo: Lands of Void with the permission from Terre Richards.