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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Jen Wolfe Comic Book Collection

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1948-2006
Creator: Wolfe, Jen
Extent: 3.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0879
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Collection of comic books that mostly feature major female characters, are written and drawn by female artists, and/or chronicle stories of traditionally female interest, such as romance comics.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: This collection was donated by Jen Wolfe in June 2008.

Preferred Citation: Jen Wolfe Comic Book Collection, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

Sisters Sarah and Jen Wolfe began collecting zines in the early 1990s, during the birth and evolution of the riot grrrl movement. Their interest in zines was born out of their involvement with the underground and independent music scenes. The Wolfes operated a small mail-order distribution service (Agoraphobic Records, later renamed Septophilia) for zines and records, which helped keep them in contact with the world of independent music. Jen published her own zine Panophobia, and from 1995-1998 played bass for the band Bunnygrunt.

Zines (originally called fanzines) are amateur, DIY (Do-It-Yourself) publications produced non-commercially, designed to circulate among a small number of people sharing similar cultural or social interests. Generally speaking, zines are produced by a single individual - in a cut-and-paste fashion and photocopied - and distributed informally by hand or at concerts, zine fests, bookstores, music stores and other locations, or sent through the mail at low cost.

Zines are important methods of communication among members of distinct subcultures or social communities traditionally underrepresented by the societal mainstream. In the modern era, zines became popular during the emergence of science fiction fandom starting in the 1930s. SF fans created zines, which evolved out of the letter columns from SF literary magazines such as Astounding Stories, in order to communicate with each other and provide forums in which fans could express their own personal opinions about the genre and its media products. Zines fairly quickly became a distinct feature of SF fandom and remain so to this day.

Zines were taken up by other distinct cultural movements, including beat literature in the 1950s, underground comics in the 1960, punk music in the 1970s, and the feminist riot grrl movement in the 1990s. As methods of cheap photocopying and, later, the personal computer, became more widely available in the 1980s and 1990s the number and variations of zines exploded. With the advent of the Internet and the introduction of blogging as a tool of personal and creative expression, the number of print zines began declining, although the zine remains popular among particular subcultures as a tool of personal and creative expression and as a way of exchanging thoughts, ideas and opinions.

This collection consists of comic books, written primarily during the 1960s and 1970s. The collection was not officially organized around a single theme; however, the vast majority of the comics in the collection are what might be termed "female-driven." That is, most were written with a female audience, or at least an audience with an interest in female characters or "traditionally female" situations, in mind. (Jen Wolfe points out that her chief collecting strategy was, actually, finding which issues and publications were cheapest.)

A significant proportion of the collection consists of so-called "romance comics", such as For Lovers Only, I Love You, Love Diary, Teen Confessions, and Young Romance. Romance comics flourished from the late 1940s through the mid-1970s, and were marketed to a female audience, especially teenage girls. They were soap opera-like in plot and dialogue, and noted for a large dependence on melodrama. Romance comics first arose in 1947 with the creation of Young Romance #1 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby; they were born out of a postwar weariness with overblown heroics as portrayed in the superhero comics of the time. They reached a pinnacle of popularity in the 1950s.

Much of the collection is comprised of more traditional comic books centered around superheroes. Most of these either star a strong superheroine - i.e. Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Spider-Woman, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer - or are individual issues of other titles that feature a woman as a major character for that particular story. There are many issues of the DC title Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane, which manages to combine superhero and romantic comic themes with storylines centered around Lois Lane's love for Superman and her often outlandish attempts to manuever him into marriage.

There are a number of comics in the collection that are humor-based. Many of these are from the family of titles based around teenager Archie Andrews and his friends. (Jen Wolfe collected many of these because of the importance in the stories of Archie's girl friends Betty and Veronica.) Included are Archie spinoff comics with major female characters such as Josie (and the Pussycats) and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Most of the comics are from mainstream publishing companies such as DC, Marvel, and Charlton. However, there are a number of titles in the collection from smaller, independent companies. These tend to deal with more realistic and less fantastic plots and characters than do the more mainstream published comics.. A number of them, such as Action Girl Comics, are both written and drawn by women. This is a departure from the more mainstream companies and titles which are more often than not written and drawn by men.
WOLFE, SARAH AND JEN. Sarah and Jen Wolfe Collection of Riot Grrrl and Underground Music Zines, 1991-1998, 2003. 6 ft.

Collection of amateur publications arising primarily from the feminist riot grrrl movement of the 1990s, together with numerous zines documenting various independent/underground music scenes. MsC0878.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Action Comics [DC Comics] #289 (June) - 1962
  • Action Comics #446 (April) - 1975
  • Action Girl Comics [Slave Labor Graphics] #1-2 (October, January) - 1994, 1995
  • Action Girl Comics #3-4 (April, July) - 1995
  • Action Girl Comics #5-6 (October, January) - 1995, 1996
  • Action Girl Comics #7-8 (April, July) - 1996
  • Action Girl Comics #9-10 (October, January) - 1996, 1997
  • Action Girl Comics #11, 13 (May, October) - 1997
  • Action Girl Comics #14-15 (July, August) - 1998
  • Action Girl Comics #16-18 (October, February, June) - 1998, 1999
  • Adventure Comics [DC Comics] #303 (December) - 1962
  • Adventure Comics Starring Supergirl #383 (August) - 1969
  • Adventure Comics Starring Supergirl #386 (November) - 1969
  • Adventure Comics Starring Supergirl #392 (April) - 1970
  • Adventure Comics Starring Supergirl [DC Comics] #397-398, 401 (September, October, January) - 1970, 1971
  • Adventure Comics Starring Supergirl #405-406 (April, May) - 1971
  • Adventure Comics Starring Supergirl #408 (July) - 1971
  • Adventure Comics Starring Supergirl [DC Comics] #410 (September) - 1971
  • Adventure Comics Starring Supergirl #419 (May) - 1972
  • Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld [DC Comics] #3 (March) - 1985
  • Archie [Archie Comics] #132 (November) - 1962
  • Archie #160 (December) - 1965
  • Archie #168 (November) - 1966
  • Archie #179 (February) - 1968
  • Archie #354 (January) - 1988
  • Archie Annual [Archie Comics] #18-19 - 1966-1967, 1967-1968
  • Archie Annual #22 - 1970-1971
  • Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica [Archie Comics] #91 (July) - 1963
  • Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica [Archie Comics] #106 (October) - 1964
  • Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica [Archie Comics] #112 (April) - 1965
  • Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica [Archie Comics] #120 (December) - 1965
  • Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica [Archie Comics] #122 (February) - 1966
  • Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica [Archie Comics] #160 (April) - 1969
  • Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica [Archie Comics] #203 (November) - 1972
  • Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica [Archie Comics] #230 (February) - 1975
  • Archie Giant Series Magazine Presents [Archie Comics] Betty and Veronica Summer Fun #140 (August) - 1966
  • Archie Giant Series Magazine Presents: Betty and Veronica Christmas Spectacular #465 (December) - 1977
  • Archie's Mad House [Archie Comics] #56 (September) - 1967
  • Archie's Pals 'N Gals [Archie Comics], issue and date unknown
  • Archie's TV Laugh-out Starring Sabrina the Teenage Witch [Archie Comics] #23 (December) - 1973
  • Archie and Me [Archie Comics] #9 (August) - 1966
  • Arm's Length [Third Wind Press] #1 (July) - 2000
  • Artbabe [Jessica Abel] Vol. 1: No. 5 - 1996
  • Artbabe [Fantagraphic Books] Vol. 2: No. 1-3 - 1997-1998
  • Bathroom Girls [Modern] #1 - 1998
  • The Batman Family [DC Comics] #7 (September-October) - 1976
  • The Batman Family #9 (January-February) - 1977
  • The Batman Family #16 (February-March) - 1978
  • Berlin [Black Eye Books] #4 (February) - 1998
  • Betty and Me [Archie Comics] #55 (September) - 1974
  • Betty and Me #72 (February) - 1976
  • Betty and Me #90 (February) - 1978
  • Betty and Veronica Spectacular [Archie Comics] #28 (March) - 1998
  • Big Shot [Columbia Comic Corporation] #88 (April) - 1948
  • Black Cat [Harvey Comics] #65 (April) - 1963
  • Boy Loves Girl [Lev Gleason Publications] #39 (October) - 1963
  • Breakfast After Noon [Oni Press] #1-2 (May, August) - 2000
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Dark Horse Comics] #1 - 1998
  • Buzzy [DC Comics] #45 (September/October) - 1952
  • Career Girl Romances [Charlton Comics] #42-43 (October, December) - 1967
  • Career Girl Romances #44 (December) - 1963
  • Career Girl Romances #55 (February) - 1970
  • Casual Heroes [Image] #1 (April) - 1996
  • The Cat [Marvel Comics] #1 (November) - 1972
  • Catwoman: Secret Files and Legends [DC Comics] #1 (November) - 2002
  • Chili [Marvel Comics] #4 (August) - 1969
  • The Close Shaves of Pauline Peril [Gold Key Comics] #4 (March) - 1971
  • Confessions of the Lovelorn [American Comics Group] #109 (November) - 1959
  • Cookie [American Comics Group] #23 (February/March) - 1949
  • Cynthia Doyle, Nurse in Love [Charlton Comics] Vol. 2: No. 2 (October) - 1963
  • Dark Horse Presents [Dark Horse Comics] #118 (Hectic Planet/Monkeyman O'Brien) (February) - 1997
  • A Date With Millie [Male Publishing] #4 (April) - 1960
  • Dazzler [Marvel Comics] #1-2 (March, April) - 1981
  • Dazzler #5-6 (July, August) - 1981
  • Dazzler #7-8 (September, October) - 1981
  • Dazzler #13 (March) - 1982
  • Dazzler #16-17 (June, July) - 1982
  • DC 100-Page Super Spectacular: Love Stories Replica Edition [DC Comics] - 2000
  • DC Super-Stars [DC Comics] #17 (November/December) - 1977
  • Dirty Plotte [Drawn & Quarterly] #11 (September) - 1997
  • A Distant Soil [Aria Press] #1-3 (June, February, January) - 1991, 1992, 1993
  • A Distant Soil #4-6 (February, June) - 1993
  • A Distant Soil #17-18 (December, February) - 1996, 1997
  • Dork [Slave Labor Graphics] #4-6 (March, January, May) - 1997, 1998
  • Dork #10 (September) - 2002
  • Dotty Dripple Comics [Harvey Comics] #11 (April) - 1950
  • Eightball [Fantagraphics Books] #19 (May) - 1998
  • Falling In Love [DC Comics] #89 (February) - 1969
  • Falling In Love #121 (February) - 1971
  • First Love [Harvey Publications] #8 - 1950
  • For Lovers Only [Charlton Comics] #73 (September) - 1973
  • For Lovers Only #76 (November) - 1974
  • For Lovers Only #80-81 (August, October) - 1975
  • Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion [DC Comics] #10 (March/April) - 1973
  • Forty Winks [Oddjob, Limited] #1 (November) - 1997
  • Four-Star Spectacular [DC Comics] #1 (March-April) - 1976
  • Box 2:
  • Geisha [Oni Press] #1-4 (September, October, November, December) - 1998
  • Generation X Underground [Marvel Comics] #1 (May) - 1998
  • Girl Comics [Cornell Publishing Group] #9 (July) - 1951
  • Girl Talk [Fantagraphics Books] #4 (Summer) - 1996
  • Girl's Love [National Romance Group] #73 (September) - 1960
  • Girl's Love #114 (October) - 1965
  • Girl's Love #127 (May) - 1967
  • Girl's Love #143 (May) - 1969
  • Girls' Romances [DC Comics] #131 (March) - 1968
  • Girls' Romances #137 (December) - 1968
  • Girls' Romances #139 (March) - 1969
  • Girls' Romances #155 (March) - 1971
  • Go-Go And Animal [Tower Comics] #11 (November) - 1968
  • High School Confidential Diary [Charlton Comics] #3 (October) - 1960
  • House of Secrets [DC Comics] #89 (December/January) - 1970-1971
  • How To Draw Comics [Longmeadow Press] - 1994
  • I Love You [Charlton Comics] #29 (July) - 1960
  • I Love You #84 (March) - 1970
  • I Love You #109 (November) - 1974
  • I Love You #120-121 (October, December) - 1976
  • I Love You #123 (June) - 1979
  • I Love You #128 (February) - 1980
  • I Love You Special [Avalon Communications] #1 - 1998
  • Josie [Archie Comics] #9 (October) - 1964
  • Josie #17 (December) - 1965
  • Josie #23, 25 (October, February) - 1966, 1967
  • Josie #38-39 (December, February) - 1968, 1969
  • Josie and the Pussycats #56 (August) - 1971
  • Just Married [Charlton Comics] #44, 53 (November, July) - 1965, 1967
  • Just Married #63, 67 (March, October) - 1969
  • Just Married #70-71 (April, June) - 1970
  • Just Married #114 (December - 1976
  • Kid Blastoff [Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics] #1 (June) - 1996
  • King-Cat Comics and Stories [John A. Porcellino] #56 (December) - 1999
  • Kiss & Tell #3: Artists on Parade [Patricia Breen] (Winter) - 1997
  • Lady Cop [DC Comics] #4 (July) - 1975
  • Laugh [Archie Comics] #62, 96 (April, March) - 1954, 1959
  • Laugh #153, 164 (December, November) - 1963, 1964
  • Laugh #198, 337 (September, April) - 1967, 1979
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman [DC Comics] #1, 4 (May, August) - 1986
  • Legends of the DC Universe: Batgirl [DC Comics] #10 (November) - 1998
  • The Legion of Super-Heroes [DC Comics] #301 (July) - 1983
  • Lenore [Slave Labor Graphics] #1 (February) - 1998
  • Life With Archie [Archie Comics] #80 (December) - 1968
  • Life With Millie [Male Publishing] #14 (December) - 1961
  • Little Audrey and Melvin [Harvey Comics] #28 (January) - 1967
  • Love and Romance [Charlton Comics] #2 (November) - 1971
  • Love Diary [Charlton Comics] #51, 57 (October, December) - 1967, 1968
  • Love Diary #58, 62 (February, October) - 1969
  • Love Diary #54, 86 (January, September) - 1970, 1973
  • Love Diary #89 (September) - 1974
  • Mad About Millie [Marvel Comics] #5 (November) - 1969
  • Maggie and Hopey Color Special [Fantagraphics Books] #1 (May) - 1997
  • Magic Boy and the Word of God [James Kochalka] - 1996
  • Marge's Little Lulu [Gold Key Comics] #180 (June) - 1966
  • Marvel Romance Redux [Marvel Comics] #1 (April) - 2006
  • Mazie [Magazine Publishers, Inc.] #13 (March) - 1954
    A second issue in this folder is unnumbered and undated
  • Measles [Fantagraphics Books] #1, 4 (Christmas, Summer) - 1998, 1999
  • Milk and Cheese [Slave Labor Graphics] #7 - 1997
  • Millie The Model [Sphere Publications] #63,95-96 (October, March, May) - 1955, 1960
  • Millie The Model [Marvel Comics] #178 (January) - 1970
  • Millenium Edition: Showcase [DC Comics] #9 (January) - 1957, 2001
    Originally published in 1957
  • Millenium Edition: Wonder Woman [DC Comics] #1 (August) - 1942, 2000
    Originally published in 1942
  • Millenium Edition: Young Romance Comics [DC Comics] #1 (April) - 1947, 2000
    Originally published in 1947
  • Miss America [Miss America Publishing] #12, 25, 51 (July, August, April) - 1948, 1949, 1953
  • Ms. Marvel [Marvel Comics] #9 (September) - 1977
  • My Girl Pearl [Atlas Magazines] #10 (February) - 1961
  • My Only Love [Charlton Comics] #9 (November) - 1976
  • My Own Romance [Zenith Publishing] #75 (May) - 1960
  • Nancy [Dell Publishing] #150 (January) - 1958
  • Naughty Bits [Fantagraphics Books] #15 (February) - 1995
  • Non [Redink] #2, 4 (February, June) - 1998, 1999
  • Nowhere [Drawn & Quarterly] #1-4 (October, April, October, June) - 1996, 1997, 1998
  • The Nurses [Gold Key Comics] #3 (October) - 1963
  • Oni Press Summer Vacation Superstar Fun Special [Oni Press] (July) - 2000
  • Optic Nerve [Drawn & Quarterly] #4-5, 7 (April, February, June) - 1997, 1998, 2000
  • Optic Nerve (Mini-Size) [Adrian Tomine] #7 (Summer) - 1994
  • Patsy and Hedy [Gem Publications] #30, 58, 73 (August, June, December) - 1954, 1958, 1960
  • Peanut Butter and Jeremy [Alternative Comics] #2 - 2001
  • Penny Century [Fantagraphics Books] #2 (March) - 1998
  • Pep [Archie Comics] #139 (June) - 1960
  • Pep #144, 174 (January, October) - 1961, 1964
  • Pep #195, 206 (July, June) - 1966, 1967
  • Playful Little Audrey [Harvey Comics] #91 (October) - 1970
  • Ponytail [Carlton Comics] #15 (March) - 1970
  • Private Secretary [Dell Publishing] #1 (December/February) - 1962-1963
  • Reggie [Archie Comics] #15 (September) - 1963
  • The Return of Lum: Urusei Yatsura [Viz Select Comics] #7 - 1998
  • Rhubarb the Millionaire Cat [Dell Publishing] #563 - 1954
  • Romantic Secrets [Charlton Comics] #28 (August) - 1960
  • Romantic Story [Charlton Comics] #88, 98, 103 (June, January, November) - 1967, 1968, 1969
  • Box 3:
  • Sabrina The Teenage Witch [Archie Comics] #14 (September) - 1973
  • Secret Hearts [DC Comics] #131-132 (October, December) - 1988
  • Secret Romance [Charlton Comics] #4, 41 (December, November) - 1969, 1976
  • Secrets of Sinister House [DC Comics] #14 (October) - 1973
  • The Sensational She-Hulk [Marvel Comics] #37 (November) - 1989
  • Shazam! [DC Comics] #12 (June) - 1974
  • Showcase #98 -- Presents Power Girt! [DC Comics] (March) - 1978
  • Silly Daddy [Joe Chiappetta] #10 (March) - 1996
  • Skeleton Key [Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics] #14 (August) - 1996
  • Skeleton Key [Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics] Vol. 2: No. 2 - 1999
  • Slow News Day [Slave Labor Graphics] #1 (July) - 2001
  • Sparkle Comics [United Features Syndicate] #28 (April/May) - 1953
  • Spider-Woman [Marvel Comics] #1, 6, 17 (April, September, August) - 1978, 1979
  • Spider-Woman #41, 43, 50 (December, April, June) - 1981, 1982, 1983
  • Starfire [DC Comics] #1 (September) - 1976
  • Steven's Comics [Yell Comics] #3 - 1996
  • Strangers In Paradise [Abstract Studio] #13 (March) - 1998
  • Stray Bullets [El Capitan Books] #10 (August) - 1996
  • Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes [DC Comics] #232 (October) - 1977
  • Supergirl [DC Comics] #3, 5, 10 (February, June, October) - 1973, 1974
  • Superman [DC Comics] #256, 281, 336 (September, November, June) - 1972, 1974, 1979
  • Superman Adventures [DC Comics] #21, 39 (July, January) - 1998, 2000
  • The Superman Family [DC Comics] #167, 174 (November, December/January) - 1974, 1975-1976
  • The Superman Family #181, 198 (January, November/December) - 1977, 1979
  • Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane [DC Comics] #35, 41, 50 (August, May, July) - 1962, 1963, 1964
  • Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #76, 78, 81 (August, October, February) - 1967, 1968
  • Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #82-83, 85 (April, May, August) - 1968
  • Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #87-89 (October, November, January) - 1968, 1969
  • Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #92, 94, 97 (May, August, November) - 1969
  • Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #101, 103, 107 (May, August, January) - 1970, 1971
  • Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #110, 113, 123 (May, October, June) - 1971, 1972
  • Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #125, 136 (August, January/February) - 1972, 1974
  • Suzie [Archie Comics] #79 (February) - 1951
  • Sweetheart Diary [Charlton Comics] #53, 58 (July, May) - 1960, 1961
  • Sweethearts [Charlton Comics] #33, 104 (February, June) - 1956, 1969
  • Sweethearts #111, 129, 136 (July, November, October) - 1970, 1972, 1973
  • Swing With Scooter [DC Comics] #13 (June/July) - 1968
  • Teen-Age Love [Charlton Comics] #54-56 (July, September, November) - 1967
  • Teen-Age Love #68, 71, 80 (January, July, December) - 1970, 1971
  • Teen-In Spring Issue [Tower Comics] (Spring) - 1969
  • Teen Confessions [Charlton Comics] #6 (July) - 1960
  • Teen Confessions #56-57 (June, August) - 1969
  • Teen Confessions #58, 60-61 (November, February, April) - 1969, 1970
  • Teen Confessions #63, 71, 77 (August, December, December) - 1970, 1971, 1972
  • Teen Confessions #96-97 (September, November) - 1976
  • That Wilkin Boy [Archie Comics] #15, 40 (October, June) - 1971, 1977
  • Thirteen Going On Eighteen [Dell Publishing] #6, 11, 17 (February-April, May-July, January) - 1963, 1964, 1966
  • Tippy Teen [Tower Comics] #21-22 (November, March) - 1968, 1969
  • Walt Disney Scamp [Western Publishing] #32 (November) - 1976
  • Wonder Woman [DC Comics] #86 (November) - 1956
  • Wonder Woman #132, 178 (August, September/October) - 1962, 1968
  • Wonder Woman #85, 191 (December, December) - 1969, 1970
  • Wonder Woman #201-202 (August, October) - 1972
  • Wonder Woman #203-204 (December, February) - 1972, 1973
  • Wonder Woman #217 (May) - 1975
  • Wonder Woman #241-242 (March, April) - 1978
  • Wonder Woman #244, 262 (June, December) - 1978, 1979
  • Yeah! [DC Comics] #2 (November) - 1999
  • Young Love [DC Comics] #109, 119, 123 (May, January, January) - 1974, 1976, 1977
  • Young Romance [DC Comics] #207 (October) - 1975
  • Young Romance [Feature Publications] #5 (August/September) - 1960
  • Zody, The Mod Rob [Gold Key Comics] #1 (July) - 1970

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.


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