Joyce Farmer
BornJoyce Farmer [1]
1938 (age 85–86)
Los Angeles, California
NationalityAmerican
Area(s)Cartoonist, Writer, Artist, Editor
Notable works
Tits & Clits Comix
Special Exits
AwardsNational Cartoonists Society's Graphic Novel Award, 2011
Inkpot Award, 2011[2]

Joyce Farmer (born 1938 in Los Angeles, California)[3] is an American underground comix cartoonist. She was a participant in the underground comix movement. With Lyn Chevli, she created the feminist anthology comic book series Tits & Clits Comix in 1972.

Biography

Joyce Farmer was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1938. She briefly attended Art Center School (now ArtCenter College of Design) in Pasadena in the 1950s before dropping out.[4] After living in Phoenix, Arizona with her first husband,[5] in 1965, Farmer moved to Laguna Beach, California with her son. She later attended the University of California, Irvine, where she obtained a bachelor's degree in the Classics.

In 1972, Joyce Farmer and Lyn Chevli founded Nanny Goat Productions, a feminist publishing company which they established in order to publish their own underground comix, Tits & Clits Comix.[6] Nanny Goat Productions published seven issues of Tits & Clits Comix in total, in addition to another underground comic book titled Pandoras Box (1973).

In June 1973, following the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision on abortion, Farmer and Chevli published Abortion Eve, an educational comic begun the year before about women's reproductive rights.[7] Drawing upon their experiences as birth control and pregnancy counselors at Laguna's Free Clinic, the single-issue comic book presented the stories of five women – all of them named variations on Eve, each in differing circumstances – going through the process of obtaining abortions. Farmer later shared about her personal experience with abortion, which partially inspired the comic.[8]

Some of Farmer's earliest cartooning work work is signed Joyce Sutton, causing people to believe this is her birth name,[9] rather than her husband’s last name. She changed her legal name back to Farmer in the mid-1970s.[1]

In 1973, Farmer and Chevli were forced to stop producing underground comix due to the arrest of local booksellers from Fahrenheit 451 Books on obscenity charges for selling underground comix.[10] They resumed publishing Tits & Clits Comix in 1976. While their first few comics (Tits & Clits Comix α, Pandoras Box, Abortion Eve, Tits & Clits #2, and Tits & Clits #3) were created solely by Farmer and Chevli, beginning with issue #4 the women of Nanny Goat Productions invited other contributors to their comic, including Trina Robbins, Lee Marrs, Sharon Rudahl, Shelby Sampson, and others. Farmer and Chevli acted as editors for the series.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Farmer also contributed to the other all-woman underground comix anthology, Wimmen's Comix, in addition to other underground comix such as Wet Satin.[1] She later acted as the editor for Wimmen's Comix #10: The Internationally Politically Incorrect Issue (1985).[11]

In 1980, Chevli sold her share of Nanny Goat Productions to Farmer. Farmer published one final issue of Tits & Clits Comix, Tits & Clits #7 with co-editor Mary Fleener, in 1987, before ceasing publishing underground comix.[12]

Since she never made much money from underground comics, Farmer struggled financially occasionally through the 1970s and 1980s.[3] Farmer worked as a bail bondsman in addition to her cartooning, even opening her own bail bonds business in the early 1980s.[13]

Farmer began to care of her aging father and stepmother in the 1990s.[3][14] She started documenting in comics form the sad and sometimes humorous episodes of her parents' final years,[15] sending samples to former fellow underground cartoonist Robert Crumb. Crumb convinced her to finish the book. Fantagraphics published this graphic memoir in 2010 under the title Special Exits.[3] Because of Farmer's macular degeneration, Special Exits took her 13 years to complete.[16]

Farmer's work has also appeared in anthologies such as ZeroZero (2000), What Right (2002), No Straight Lines (2012), Best American Comics (2012), Graphic Reproduction (2018), Drawing Power (2019),[17] and Menopause (2020).

In 2023, Fantagraphics issued a collection of all of Nanny Goat Productions' comic books, Tits & Clits 1972-1987.

Awards

In 2011, Special Exits won the National Cartoonists Society's Graphic Novel Award.[18]

References

  1. ^ a b c Farmer entry, Lambie Comiclopedia. Retrieved on 2011-2-27.
  2. ^ Inkpot Award
  3. ^ a b c d Vankin, Deborah. "R. Crumb: Joyce Farmer’s Special Exits on par with Maus," "Hero Complex," Los Angeles Times (November 28, 2010).
  4. ^ Dueben, Alex (2010-12-29). "Farmer on "Special Exits"". CBR. Retrieved 2023-01-28.
  5. ^ Vanesian, Kathleen. "A New Times Art Critic Reconnects with Underground Comic Icon Joyce Farmer, the Person Who First Inspired Her to Be One". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2023-01-28.
  6. ^ "The Forgotten History of Outrageous Women-Made Comic "Tits & Clits"". Bitch Media. Retrieved 2023-01-28.
  7. ^ "The Comic Book That Guided Women Through Abortion Months After 'Roe'". Rewire News Group. 2016-06-08. Retrieved 2023-01-28.
  8. ^ Farmer, Joyce (2011-05-12). "Joyce Farmer: Day Four". The Comics Journal. Retrieved 2023-01-28.
  9. ^ Kois, Dan (March 6, 2011). ""Inexhaustible Imagination and a Graphic Look at Declining Years."". The Washington Post.
  10. ^ Meier, Sam (15 September 2016). "The Bust: Orange County's War on Underground Comix – Comic Book Legal Defense Fund". Retrieved 2023-01-28.
  11. ^ "Wimmen's Comix; International Politically Incorrect Issue. No. 10 by Joyce Farmer on Alta Glamour". Alta Glamour. Retrieved 2023-01-28.
  12. ^ "Tits & Clits 1972-1987". Fantagraphics. Retrieved 2023-01-28.
  13. ^ Farmer, Joyce (2011-05-13). "Joyce Farmer: Day Five". The Comics Journal. Retrieved 2023-01-28.
  14. ^ Gallagher, Paul. "Such Small Increments: Joyce Farmer's Special Exits a Moving and Unique Graphic Novel on Old Age and Death," Huffington Post (December 17, 2010).
  15. ^ Wolk, Douglas (2010-12-03). "Comics". The New York Times Sunday Book Review. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  16. ^ "She Changed Comics: Golden Age, Silver Age, & Undergrounds – Comic Book Legal Defense Fund". cbldf. 11 March 2016. Retrieved 2023-01-28.
  17. ^ Noomin, Diane (17 September 2019). Drawing Power Women's Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival. Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 978-1-4197-3619-3.
  18. ^ Spurgeon, Tom. "Richard Thompson Wins Reuben; 2011 NCS Division Awards Winners, Comics Reporter (May 28, 2011).

Reviews

Interviews