Diane Noomin – RIP The Daily Cartoonist

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Diane Noomin – RIP

Underground/alternative designer and editor Diane Noomin left us.

Diane Noomin (born Diane R. Rosenblatt)
May 13, 1947 – September 1, 2022

News of Diane’s passing is being shared on social media.

From Charles Kochman on the afternoon of September 1:

I am sorry to share the news that Diane Noomin passed away earlier this afternoon.

Diane was a leading creator of the underground comix movement, one of the few female writer/artists in this space. His first work dates back to 1973, in “Wimmen’s Comix”. She has also contributed regularly to “Arcade”, “Young Lust”, “El Perfecto” and “Weirdo”, and was the creator of DiDi Glitz and the co-creator of “Twisted Sisters” with Aline Kominsky-Crumb.

The introduction to Diana’s entry in the Encyclopedia of Jewish Women:

Diane Noomin is an acclaimed comic artist and editor and creator of her alter ego, the glamorous and bouffant DiDi Glitz. She has been a central figure in women’s comics since early feminist publications in the 1970s. From “Red Diaper Baby” (2003), in which Noomin reflects on her parents’ communist views and activities, through her comics on abortion, female masturbation, abusive relationships and miscarriages, through to his most recently edited volume, the multi-award-winning anthology Attracting Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment and Survival (2019), Noomin fearlessly defended feminism and autobiography with “humor [that is] self-mockery and irony.

  
A DiDi Glitz collection and Diane as DiDi

From a 2021 Comics Journal interview:

What was the relationship between female designers and male designers at the time?

I had no problem. I really didn’t. When I went to San Francisco, it was kind of a “wild and crazy” time, and somebody was throwing a party when they published a book…

When I got there, I met Bill and Art Spiegelman and cartoonist Michelle Brand. Michelle was kind and really helpful…

In a way, it felt like Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney were saying, “Let’s put on a show, kids.” If you wanted to, you’d say, “Let’s put on a comic strip, kids!” and you asked all the people you liked to see there. Bill and Art had started Arcade and I was inspired. I wanted to edit a comic, so in 1978 I edited a comic called Lemme Outta Here! : Growing up in the American dream. It has a cover by Michael McMillan and a back cover by MK Brown, there are long stories by me and Aline, and Bill did a story called “Is there life after Levittown?” And Crumb made a story about treasure island


DiDi Glitz and a DiDi and Zippy team-up in a jam by Diane and Bill

Have you ever found it hard to be in a relationship with a male designer and get people to focus on your work?

I avoided that. Aline and I did the opposites again. His thing was to change his name to Crumb, and I never changed my name. People who weren’t friends didn’t know for a long time that Bill and I got married. For about the first five years of my cartooning career, someone would ask me what I did and I would say, “I’m trying to be a comic book artist.” Eventually, I stopped caring what other people thought. But I still don’t use the name Bill, and I’d rather not be labeled as “the cute cartoon couple.”

   
Diane (left) and Bill (right) in the 1970s, and more recently

Back to Encyclopedia of Jewish Women:

Throughout her career as a cartoonist, Noomin has had considerable success as an award-winning female comics editor. Its beautifully presented edited volumes have continued to make comic book history through their choice of artists and subjects…

In 1976, Diane Noomin and Aline Kominsky Crumb published twisted sisters. In 1991, Noomin published Twisted Sisters: A Bad Girl Art Collectionfollowed by Twisted Sisters Comics and Twisted Sisters, vol. 2: Draw the line. Through its publications, Noomin is responsible for making many cartoonists known for the first time: “I am very proud of the twisted sisters anthologies…

In 2019, Noomin edited the critically acclaimed title Attracting Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment and Survival, which in 2020 received the Susan Koppelman Award for Best Anthology, Multi-Author, or Edited Work of Women’s Studies in Popular and American Culture, and the same year the Eisner Award for Best Anthology. Composed of 60 artists, this collection was described in the New York Times as a “flagship collection, beautifully crafted, [which] highlights an unrelenting and undesirable aspect of women’s lives” (Chute, 2019). Noomin revealed his motivation behind the anthology: “The idea came to me after seeing Trump bragging about sexual assault […] I was so angry and I had nowhere to put that anger. […] I decided at that time to create a book about real women exposed to sexual violence or threat by real men” (Mielke, 2019).

The Diane Noomin index at Comixjoint.

The Grand Comics Database listing of Diane’s comix.

Books by Diane Noomin on Amazon

Diane Noomin’s website

Excerpt from Diane Noomin’s presentation at the 2003 UF Comics conference:

Anyway, in this first Twisted Sisters: A Bad Girl Art Collection, it was all published before, and when it came out it got a huge response and people were like, “Where are all these strong female cartoonists coming from.”

It made a difference in my life. I think before that, I felt invisible. And after that, I felt that not only did I help all these other women become visible, but I was really proud to be part of this group. I was really proud of it and happy to be there, and that was the only reason I did it. I got asked a lot of questions about “How did you choose the artists and how come you don’t have any lesbians in there?” At various signings, you have different audiences. And basically, I did this: if I liked the work, I brought it in.

Rest in peace.

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