Women in Comics

  Work in English1860 1890 1900 1910 1920f1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
Spanish + Portuguese
Other European languages
Middle East

A first stop for people who want to explore, or for French people who just can't think of any female cartoonists. There are over 300 names here.

There are many other resources; the intent here is to present a wide-ranging list on a single page, with some basic information. A link is either to a review or to the work itself.

Ordered by the appearance of their first major work, which I think is more informative than birth date as it puts the work in context. Listed works are intended to be exemplary rather than exhaustive.

I'm happy to get corrections or new names! I'm particularly weak in manga, sorry.

—M.R., January 2016



Marie Duval
Actress and cartoonist; illustrated Ally Sloper (1867), a lowlife Englishman, written by her husband Charles Ross.


Rose O'Neill
A cartoonist as early as the 1880s. Created the first comic strip drawn by a woman (“The Old Subscriber Calls”, 1896). Created the cherubic Kewpies (1905) and drew them in many forms (including a syndicated strip) for a quarter century.


Kate Carew
Caricaturist; created The Angel Child (1902); defying the cute babies trend, her protagonist is neither cute nor angelic.
Marjorie Organ
Artist and cartoonist; created Reggie and the Heavenly Twins (1902)— Reggie, being too short, never got anywhere with the twins— as well as the Wrangle Sisters, about two squabbling sisters.
Grace Drayton
Illustrator and pioneering American newspaper cartoonist; created features such as The Campbell Kids (1904), Dolly Dimples (1910), and The Pussycat Princess.
Nell Brinkley
Her illos of active, modern girls (from about 1907) were so popular that the Ziegfield Follies included a line of “Brinkley Girls”. In 1918, created Golden Eyes, a girl whose dog finds a German spy in her back yard, leading to a series of adventures.
Margaret Hays
Illustrator, writer, and cartoonist; wrote Kaptin Kiddo (1909, drawn by her sister, Grace Drayton); created Jennie and Jack, also the Little Dog Jap.


Mary Hays
Illustrator; created Kate and Karl, the Cranford Kids (1911), about old-timey children; daughter of Margaret.
Fay King
Cartoonist (1911) and writer; resisting the trend of cute or pretty creations, her self-portraits look more like Happy Hooligan. Known mostly for single panel cartoons, but created the strip Girls Will Be Girls.
Katherine Rice
Created Flora Flirt (1913), who is fashionable but generally punished for being too interested in the boys.
Edwina Dumm
Early newspaper cartoonist; created Cap Stubbs and Tippie (1918) and later Sinbad. Tippie and Sinbad were both dogs. She kept Tippie going for 48 years.


Daisy L. Scott
Editorial cartoonist for the Tulsa Star— first regularly published female Black cartoonist.
Ethel Hays
Created Ethel, Flapper Fanny (1924), Marianne. Her flappers were elegant and Art Deco, rather than the florid Art Nouveau types drawn by Brinkley.
May Gibbs
Australian illustrator and writer; created Bib and Bub (1924), Australia's longest-running comic strip, as well as Tiggy Touchwood.
Helen Hokinson
Cartoonist for the New Yorker from 1925-47, known for her plump society women. She and her partner James Reid Parker also did a monthly cartoon, The Dear Man, in Ladies' Home Journal.
Eleanor Schorer
Illustrator and cartoonist; created The Adventures of Judy (1926), about a flighty rich girl with a tendency to borrow her father's clothes.
Virginia Huget
Created Babs in Society (1927), Campus Capers, Miss Aladdin, etc.— stories about fashionable, independent-minded young women. Later took over the adventure strip Oh, Diana and turned it into a teenager strip.


Gladys Parker
Fashion designer; continued Flapper Fanny (1931); created Mopsy (1939), about a young urban woman not unlike herself; at one point it was syndicated in 300 papers. Mopsy joined the WAC during WWII.
Martha Orr
Created Apple Mary (1934), a poor apple seller trying to get by in the Depression. If that wasn't enough, she has to raise her crippled grandson.
Fanny Young Cory
Illustrator for children's books in the early 1900s; best known for a syndicated girl's adventure strip, Little Miss Muffett (1935).
Marge Henderson Buell
Created several early strips, but her great success was Little Lulu, created in 1935, which moved as well to comic books and animated cartoons.
Jackie Ormes
Pioneering black newspaper cartoonist; created Torchy Brown (about a fashionable girl who moves from the South to the North; 1937), Candy (featuring a very self-assured maid), Patty Jo and Ginger (featuring a very politically aware schoolgirl) and Torchy Brown: Heartbeats. For an essay on Ormes and her work, see Deborah Elizabeth Whaley's Black Woman in Sequence.
Dale Conner
Assistant to Martha Orr; when the latter retired, co-created Mary Worth (1938), but got bored drawing talking heads, and passed the art to Ken Ernst. Also created Ayer Lane and Hugh Striver.
Anne Cleveland
Created Vassar (1938) along with fellow cartoonist Jean Anderson, collecting cartoons about life at the women's college; best known for It's Better With Your Shoes Off, about Westerners adjusting to life in Japan. Overview here. She has a beautiful, assured, brushy style.
Caroline Sexton
Created Luke and Duke, about two American doughboys during WWI. We're not in flapperdom any more.


Dale Messick
Created Brenda Starr, glamorous reporter pursuing global adventures, from 1940 to 1980.
Fran Hopper
Worked on Jane Martin (1940), Camilla, Mysta of the Moon, Gale Allen and the Girl Squadron, all for Fiction Comics, which enabled female cartoonists— as its male artists had been drafted.
Lily Renée
Escaped the Nazis, then worked on many of the same titles as Hopper. Created The Lost World (1940), a post-apocalyptic fantasy; Señorita Rio, and Werewolf Hunter. Later drew Kitty and Abbott and Costello.
Tarpé Mills
Created one of the first female superheroines, Miss Fury (decked out in sexy black catsuit), as a comic strip (1941-52).
Neysa McMein
Commercial artist; drew Deathless Deer (1942; written by Alicia Patterson); the title character is an Egyptian princess who takes an immortality potion and wakes up in New York.
Barbara Hall
Blonde Bomber (1942), camerawoman who gets into wartime adventures, Girl Commandos, an early multicultural group that fought the Nazis, and Black Cat, a superheroine.
Eva Mirabal
Muralist; first Native American on this list; her G.I. Gertie was a humorous strip about life in the WAC.
Ruth Atkinson
Another Fiction House alum; created Patsy Walker (1944) and Millie the Model.
Hilda Terry
Teena (1944) is about a teenage girl. Terry led the fight to bring women into the National Cartoonists Society. Later an animator for baseball scoreboards.
Olive Bailey
Drew Land of the Lost (1946; written by Isabel Hewson), an adaptation of Hewson's radio program about two children exploring an undersea kingdom.
Dorothy Bond
Created Chlorine (1947), about a sassy secretary.


Ramona Fradon
Drew Aquaman (1951) and Plastic Man, among others, for DC; originated Metamorpho; drew Brenda Starr from 1980-95.
Marty Links
Created teen-girl-oriented Bobby Sox, renamed Emmy Lou in 1951 when the sox had gone out of style.
Marie Severin
Colorist for EC in the 1950s, and Marvel in the 60s; moved into art, starting with Dr. Strange; co-created Spider-Woman and Howard the Duck.


Liz Berube
Created newspaper strip Karen; worked on DC's dwindling line of romance comics.
Trina Robbins
First published in the East Village Other, 1966. Created anthologies: It Ain't Me Babe, All Girl Thrills, then the long-lasting Wimmen's Comix (1971). Premier historian of women in comics; first female artist for Wonder Woman.


Willy Mendes
Worked with Robbins on It Ain't Me Babe; created the psychedelic Illuminations (1971); later moved into painting.
Aline Kominsky Crumb
Best known for her work with Robert Crumb, her husband; indeed, her frazzled self-portrait is as self-critical as his own. First published in Wimmin's Comix (1972); for some years in the 80s she was editor of Weirdo.
Joyce Farmer and Lyn Chevely
Put out all-female sex comics, Tits & Clits (1972). Farmer published Special Exits, about her parents' last years, in 2011.
Shary Flenniken
Trots and Bonnie (1972) appeared in the National Lampoon, drawn in a deceptive schoolbook style but featuring pure-id stories of drugs, sex, and revolt. Among her other works are graphic novel adaptations of O. Henry and Mark Twain.
Lee Marrs
Contributed to Wimmen’s Comix; writer for DC; animation director. Created The Further Fattening Adventures of Pudge, Girl Blimp (1973).
Mary Wings
Come Out Comix (1973), first comic book about being a lesbian, and later Dyke Shorts.
Sandra Boynton
If you grew up in the 70s, you received many of her cards (“Hippo Birdie Two Ewes”), sold from 1973 on. She's written an array of children's and humor books and had a career as a songwriter as well.
Melinda Gebbie
Underground cartoonist, published in Wimmen's Comix in the 1970s; created the lush visuals for Lost Girls, written by Alan Moore.
Roberta Gregory
Created lesbian comic Dynamite Damsels (1976). Created Naughty Bits (1991), whose main character was Bitchy Bitch, as well as the fantasy graphic novel Winging It.
Cathy Guisewite
Aack! Cathy (1976) was a young woman dealing with the "four basic guilt groups"— work, love, food, and Mom.
Posy Simmonds
British cartoonist with a New Yorkerish style; created a weekly strip (a parody of girls' adventure stories) in The Guardian from 1977. Her Gemma Bovery (1999) is an entertaining modernization of Emma Bovary; Tamara Drewe is an adaptation of Hardy.
Lynn Johnston
For Better or For Worse (1978) is one of the most successful daily strips, appearing in over 2000 papers. (Canadian)
Roz Chast
New Yorker cartoonist since 1978, the muse of a certain exasperated NYC helplessness. Check out her graphic novel Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, about aging parents.
Wendy Pini
Co-creator of the long-running Elfquest series (1978), which puts elves (really pychic space aliens) through thousands of years of history on an earthlike planet.
Lynda Barry
Ernie Pook's Comeek (1979) was found in many an alternative weekly, concentrating on a close analysis of teen girlhood. She's also written two illustrated novels, The Good Times are Killing Me and Cruddy.


Louise Simonson
Edited X-Men (1980); wrote X-Factor, New Mutants, Superman: The Man of Steel, and Steel.
Dori Seda
Underground cartoonist, first published in Weirdo (1981). Most readily available in the collection Dori Stories.
Marian Henley
Created Maxine (1981), elegantly drawn reflections on life as a single woman.
Nicole Hollander
Created Sylvia (1981), “The unofficial cartoonist laureate of women’s studies programs around the country” [Audrey Bilger]; often features the title character musing about feminism, daily life, or the news.
Ann Nocenti
Wrote Spider-Woman (1982), Longshot, Daredevil (where she was known for introducing social issues), Kid Eternity, and Catwoman.
Alison Bechdel
Dykes to Watch Out For (1983) is the mainstay of lesbian comics and an acerbic running commentary on American life. Her memoirs Fun Home and Are You My Mother? are highly literate portrayals of a rather eccentric couple of parents.
Colleen Doran
Created A Distant Soil (1983), an ambitious and ongoing space opera; has also worked on a dizzying variety of DC and Marvel titles.
Jennifer Camper
Her cartoons about lesbian life from the 1980s were collected in Rude Girls and Dangerous Women. Edited gay/lesian comics anthology Juicy Mother.
June Brigman
Created pre-teen superteam Power Pack (1984) and drew various other Marvel and DC titles; drew Brenda Starr from 1995.
Mindy Newell
Wrote Action Comics (1985), Catwoman, Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Wonder Woman, and 2000 AD, among other titles.
Barbara Slate
Created cartoony but adult Angel Love (1986), as well as adaptations of Barbie and Beauty and the Beast; wrote Betty and Veronica; did autobiographical Getting Married and Other Mistakes.
Carol Lay
First noticed with Good Girls (1987), a parody of romance comics. Story Minute is a set of imaginative, stylized vignettes, often lightly fantastical, rarely going as you expect them to. Also created Simpsons comics, and Goodnight Irene.
Carol Tyler
Alternative artist first published in Weirdo in 1987; her trilogy You'll Never Know explores her father's hidden past in WWII.
Kate Worley
Writer for the erotic furry comic Omaha the Cat Dancer (1987?).
Joyce Brabner
Edited Real War Stories (1987) and other activist comics; co-wrote Our Cancer Year (1995), about husband Harvey Pekar's struggle with cancer.
Donna Barr
Created The Desert Peach, about Rommel's gay brother Pfirsich (1988), and Stinz, featuring a society of centaurs living in a mountain valley in Germany.
Nina Paley
Created the strips Nina's Adventures (1988) and Fluff; best known for her charming animated movie Sita Sings the Blues (2008).
Barbara Brandon
Created Where I'm Coming From (1989), featuring Feifferesque talking heads— the first nationally syndicated comic strip by a black woman since Jackie Ormes.


Mary Fleener
Created Slutburger (1990) and Life of the Party; her vivid experimental style, influenced by cubism, made a great impact on Scott McCloud.
Diane DiMassa
Creator of Hothead Paisan, Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist (1991). Well, hey, comics are actually a pretty good way to let off steam.
Kris Kovick
Essays and cartoons collected in What I Love About Lesbian Politics Is Arguing With People I Agree With (1991).
Diane Noomin
Various alternative works; won Inkpot Award in 1992. Best known character: Didi Glitz.
Dame Darcy
Artist, illustrator, and cartoonist, best known for Meat Cake (1992); also created graphic novels such as Frightful Fairytales and Gasoline.
Jessica Abel
La Perdida follows an American girl let loose in Mexico City. Her earlier book Artbabe (1992) reminded me a lot of Jaime Hernandez. She's also done a comic in collaboration with Ira Glass explaining how to put together a radio show.
Patty Leidy
Zero Hour (1992) centers on two girls sharing an apartment: the irrepressible Ant and the only slightly more responsible P.J. They're a lot of fun, especially for an old Mad reader: Leidy crams her panels to bursting with activity, and then writes more jokes outside.
Jill Thompson
Fairy Godmother is her most personal creation, and has been adapted to animation. She's probably best known to comics fans for illustrating Brief Lives (1992), and for writing/illustrating Sandman spinoffs Dead Boy Detectives and Li'l Endless. Also drew Wonder Woman and other DC titles.
Jana Christy
Co-creator of Very Vicky (1993), a singularly odd comic featuring anachronistic sophisticate Vicky, her misfit friends, and God. Now a children's book illustrator.
Rachel Pollack
Mostly a novelist, but wrote Doom Patrol from 1993-95; also wrote New Gods.
Megan Kelso
Known for Girlhero (1993), Watergate Sue, Artichoke tales, Queen of the Black Black.
Trudy Cooper
[Australia] Created the series Platinum Grit (1993); Creates the gorgeous visuals for the sex webcomic Oglaf (2009?).
Elizabeth Watasin
My favorite from the Action Girl artists, and definitely the best artist. Her stories of Susanoo the Brawler are hilarious; her series Charm School focuses on a lesbian romance at a school for teenage monsters. Her early Adventures of A-Girl! (1993) are cute and memorable.
Heidi MacDonald
Editor for Vertigo and Disney Adventures; instrumental in founding Friends of Lulu (1994).
Renée French
Created Grit Bath and The Ticking— “French's perverse, malevolent, and creepy portrayal of childhood and the adult world is just amazing.” [Amazon reviewer]
Amanda Conner
Drew a wide variety in comic books, including Vampirella (1994), Painkiller Jane, Gargoyles. Drew and wrote Power Girl (with Jimmy Palmiotti, 2009); co-wrote Harley Quinn plus Harley Quinn Power Girl, about one of the unlikeliest team-ups ever.
Jennifer Berman
Satirical syndicated cartoon (Berman) in various alt papers; collected in Why Dogs are Better than Men (1994).
Molly Kiely
That Kind of Girl is a lively and inventive piece of erotica; I'd love to see more of her writer protagonist Dez Diva or her irrepressible friend, cowgirl Ruby Justice. Other works include Diary of a Dominatrix (1994) and Tecopa Jane
Elaine Lee
Wrote two volumes of Skin Tight Orbit (1995), fantasy & sf erotica with an edge; much of it plays with virtual reality and other new sexual predicaments people in the far future may fall into. Also wrote Vamps and Starstruck.
Hilary Price
Created syndicated gag strip Rhymes with Orange (1995).
Sarah Dyer
Created Action Girl, both a manga-influenced teen superheroine and a 1990s comics anthology featuring female cartoonists (1995). Contributed to Superman and Batman animated series as well as to Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
Abby Denson
Created Tough Love (1996), a story of two gay teenagers, as well as Dolltopia.
Deb Aoki
Illustrator and cartoonist; created gag stirp Bento Box.
Caitlin Kiernan
Weird fiction writer; wrote The Dreaming (1996), a spinoff of Sandman, as well as Alabaster.
Carla Speed McNeil
Finder (1996) is a very ambitious and beautifully drawn look at a far future society; the main character is Jaeger Ayers, apparently Native American, a tracker and a sort of professional scapegoat.
Linda Medley
Castle Waiting (1996) is a very well drawn medieval fantasy. Previously worked as an artist for DC and Image.
Ellen Forney
Her I Was Seven in '75 (1997) is a delightful evocation of childhood; her erotic comics are also worth a look. Also, the autobiographical Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir.
Titane Laurent
[New Zealand] Created God's Stuff (1997), mostly reflections on the Bible.
Leanne Franson
[Canadian] Liliane (1997) is near-autobiographical, centering on Liliane, a 'bi-dyke'. Fun and cartoony, though the material not infrequently gets heavy. Works as a children’s book illustrator.
Jen Sorensen
Slowpoke (1998) is satirical political cartooning, reminiscent of Tom Tomorrow.
Joan Hilty
Chronicles of urban lesbian life— Bitter Girl (1998). Editor for DC and then for her own line Pageturner.
Paige Braddock
Created Jane's World (1998), the first nationally distributed lesbian-themed daily strip.
Phoebe Gloeckner
Worked as a medical illustrator; many alternative pieces collected in A Child's Life and Other Stories (1998); graphic novel The Diary of a Teenage Girl dives into 1970s counterculture in SF.
Ariel Schrag
Created a series of autobiographical comics, starting with Awkward (1999); also worked as a writer for The L Word.
Faith Erin Hicks
[Canadian] Demonology (1999) deals with a demon girl being raised among humans. Adventures of Superhero Girl is a blend of everyday life and superhero adventures (the twentysomething title character has trouble paying the rent and dealing with her more successful older brother); Friends With Boys is an autobiographical teenage story; The Nameless City is about a city that keeps getting conquered by new invaders.
Leela Corman
Created Queen's Day (1999), about women on journeys, and Unterzakhn, set in the Lower East Side in the early 1900s.


Shaenon Garrity
Editor and cartoonist; created Narbonic (2000), about daily life in a (female) mad scientist's lab; wrote Smithson, Li'l Mell and Sergio, and Skin Horse.
Dylan Meconis
Created Bite Me! (2000, about the hard time vampires had during the French Revolution), Family Man (a young academic joins a family-run university in 1768), and Outfoxed.
Jennie Breeden
Created comic autobiographical webcomic The Devil's Panties.
Kaja Foglio
Co-wrote steampunk webcomic Girl Genius.
Colleen Coover
Small Favors (2002) is that remarkable thing, an entirely wholesome porno romp, with an all-female cast. She's worked on several Marvel titles, notably X-Men: First Class, and created Banana Sunday for children. Illustrates Bandette, about a charming teen girl thief.
Emily Flake
Lulu Eightball (2002) Don't be fooled by the quiet illustration style, which hides a quirky and prickly sensibility.
Mikhaela Reid
Created The Boiling Point (2002?), mostly political cartoons.
Pia Guerra
[Canadian] Artist for Y: The Last Man (2002).
Sophie Crumb
Created Belly Button (2002); created “Enid”'s drawings for the film Ghost World.
Erika Moen
Her Oh Joy Sex Toy started out as graphic reviews of sex toys, but soon branched out to cover all sorts of subjects relating to sex. I don't think anyone else is quite as good at making male and female genitalia cute. Also see her autobiographical comic Dar: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary (2003).
Gabrielle Bell
Created Lucky (2003), about 20somethings living in NYC; The Voyeurs mixes “autobiography, surrealist magical realism, and spare stories of isolated urban creatives” [Shaenon Garrity].
Jenn Manley Lee
Created Dicebox, about two female factory workers in The Future.
Gail Simone
Comics writer who has worked on The Simpsons, Deadpool, Birds of Prey (2003), Action Comics, Wonder Woman, and Batgirl. Her list of “Women in Refrigerators”— female comics who are injured or killed in comics as a plot device— put a name to a questionable trope.
Petra Waldron (author) and Jennifer Finch (artist)
Lesbian School Girl (2003), very nicely drawn erotica. Sadly, I can’t find any more info about either creator.
Becky Cloonan
Drew Demo (2003) and later Conan; created East Coast Rising (about “punk rock pirates”); first woman to draw the main Batman title.
Danielle Corsetto
Created Girls With Slingshots (2004), mostly humorous comic on the life of twentysomethings.
Ursula Vernon
Digger (2004?) stars a wombat, who goes through a patch of "bad earth" that leaves her loopy, gets chased by threatening hyenas, and surfaces in a temple of Ganesh, whose statue starts to talk to her. And that's only the first issue.
Hope Larson
Salamander (2005) is a fantasy being befriended by a young girl. Web comic SOLO; adapted A Wrinkle in Time as a graphic novel; wrote Who Is AC?. Writer for Batgirl.
Leah Moore
Wrote Albion (2005), in which old comics characters are imprisoned, and Wild Girl, about a girl who can talk to animals.
Spike Trotman
Created an alternate history webcomic, Templar, Arizona (2005); wrote Yes, Roya; edited Smut Peddler (erotic comics by women) and Sleep of Reason (horror comics).
Marisa Acocella Marchetto
Wrote Cancer Vixen (2006) about her battle with breast cancer, and Ann Tenna, about a columnist who tries to reform after a near-fatal car accident.
Miriam Katin
Created We Are On Our Own (2006), about surviving the Holocaust, and many other graphic novels, often on Jewish themes.
Rashida Lewis
Black cartoonist; created Sand Storm (2006), about an Egyptian princess fighting for her right to rule.
Michelle Billingsley
Black cartoonist; created webcomic Joe! (2006), a humorous strip about a mischievious 10-year-old.
Stephanie Yue
Children’s book illustrator; self-published autobiographical comics (2006).
Sana Takeda
Drew Ms. Marvel, X-Men, X-Men Fairy Tales (2006), X-23, Monstress— amazing and colorful works.
Ashley Woods
Black illustrator and storyboardist; created Millennia Wars (2006), about an endless colonial war between humans and elves.
G . Willow Wilson
Wrote Cairo (2007) and Air; Writer of Ms. Marvel, who is reinvented as Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American who gets superpowers and then has to hide them from her uptight parents.
Marguerite Dabaie
Created The Hookah Girl, about being Palestinian-American, and Voyage to Panjikant, about Central Asians on the 7th century Silk Road.
Madeleine Rosca
[Australian] Created Hollow Fields (2007), about a young girl accientally enrolled at a school for mad scientists, where the teachers are cruel robots.
Nicola Scott
Australian; drew Birds of Prey, Earth 2, Secret Six, Wonder Woman.
Jillian Tamaki
[Canadian] Illustrator; created SuperMutant Magic Academy and (with her cousin Mariko Tamaki) Skim (2008) and This One Summer, about preteen girls.
Kate Beaton
Creator of the webcomic Hark! A Vagrant (2008), particularly known for its use of science and history. Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands (2022), about her working in the Alberta oil industry, is much darker.
Katie Rice
Co-creator (with Luke Cormican, 2008) of Skadi, a barbarian whose noble quest is to defeat and then dine on every beast on the planet, as well as the dark Camp Wedonwantcha, about a camp where unwanted kids are left.
Leah Hayes
Funeral of the Heart (2008) is a set of fantasy stories, done entirely in scratchboard.
Lucy Knisley
French Milk (2008) and An Age of License both focus on travel; also see Displacement, An Age of License, Relish: My Life in the Kitchen.
Molly Crabapple
Illustrated Backstage (2008); created steampunk webcomic Puppet Makers; activist and journalist— autobiography Drawing Blood. Her website.
Allie Brosch
Does Hyperbole and a Half (2009) count as comics? It had better. Her stories are painfully funny, and her account of depression is the best inside account I've read.
E.K. Weaver
Created The Less than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal (2009). Amal calls off his arranged marriage, comes out as gay, gets disowned and then drunk, and starts a 3500-mile road trip with TJ.
Laurie Sandell
The Impostor's Daughter (2009) is cartoony and light-hearted, but tackles a heavy subject: dealing with a father who's colorful, but an entirely unreliable con man. She's also created a graphic novel about the Madoff scandal.
Marjorie Liu
Novelist; wrote Dark Wolverine (2009), Black Widow, Astonishing X-Men; now writing epic fantasy Monstress.
Der-shing Helmer
Game and comic artist; created The Meek (2009), about a young girl who has to save the world, and the sf comic Mare Internum.
Leisl Adams
Black Canadian storyboard artist, illustrator, video game designer; created webcomic On the Edge, which say says is based on the question “'If the devil had to get a job, what would it be?' My answer was that he would be a therapist.” Also made the graphic novel Lover's Leap, about a 19th century suicide.
Karen Hallion
Illustrator and cartoonist since 2009; has done covers for Marvel, Disney, and others.


Rashida Jones
Actress and writer; conceived and co-wrote Frenemy of the State (2010), about Ariana, a socialite who is also a CIA operative— though as the title indicates, her relationship with her employers is complicated.
Ashley Cope
Created webcomic Unsounded, about the “daughter of the Lord of Thieves” and her undead companion.
Emily Carroll
Best known for horror graphic novels His Face All Red (2010), Through the Woods
Joy Ang
(Canada) She has some comics which may make you think she can just do simple and cute, and then you notice her completely awesome full-color work. Edits The Anthology Project (2010).
Raina Telgemeier
Known for autobiographical graphic novels, Smile (2010) and Sisters; co-wrote X-Men: Misfits.
Sophie Campbell
Created the teen-centered graphic novel Shadoweyes (2010); illustrated Jem and the Holograms.
Kate Leth
Created webcomic Kate or Die (2010) and several Adventure Time graphic novels; writer for Hellcat.
Kelly Turnbull
Created webcomic Manly Guys Doing Manly Things (2010; about “dudes who are too macho to function in society”), and Platinum Black.
Vanessa Davis
Published Make Me a Woman (2010), about growing up and navigating one's twenties, from a Jewish perspective.
Tana Ford
Created Duck! (2010), about a group of lesbians in Provincetown; best known for drawing Silk (2015) and other work for Marvel; artist for LaGuardia.
Magnolia Porter Siddell
Cartoonist and writer, creator of webcomic Monster Pulse (2011), about monsters made from human body parts by a shady corporation, and The Golden Boar.
Elizabeth Pich
Co-creator of webcomic War and Peas (2011), gag strips with a morbid sense of humor; created Fungirl (2021); the name is ironic.
Jen Wang
Created Koko Be Good (2011)— “Wang’s swooping brushwork, capturing the characters’ limpid-eyed emotion and details of up-until-dawn city life with equal skill, makes this poetic coming-of-age story glow.” [Shaenon Garrity] Also does a webcomic, The White Snake.
Jess Fink
In We Can Fix It! (2011), Jess lives in The Future, so she puts on a sexy green jumpsuit, borrows her boyfriend's time machine, and goes back to perv out on her younger selves, as well as attempt to keep them from making mistakes. Her Chester 5000, an "erotic robotic Victorian romance", began as a webcomic and has been published as a graphic novel (2011).
Afua Richardson
Comics artist who has worked on various titles, including Genius (2011) and Pilot.
Vera Brosgol
Animation artist and cartoonist; created Anya's Ghost (2011), about a girl who befriends a ghost with issues.
Margaret Trauth
Created Decrypting Rita, which is cyberpunk dialed up past 11. The beautiful coloring turns out to be coded to help navigate this very complex story.
Fiona Staples
[Canadian] Created Saga (2012), a sf/fantasy series; illustrated a Western fantasy, North 40.
Kyla Vanderklugt
Artist for Spera (2012); an expert at full-color adventure work.
ND Stevenson
(He identifies as bigender, so I’ve kept him on the list.) His comic Nimona (2012) features a supervillain's assistant— a rambunctious teen girl who's also a powerful shapeshifter; it’s been made into an animated movie. With Shannon Watters and Grace Ellis, did Lumberjanes, which “follows a group of five friends who attend Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, where they face supernatural creatures and creepy puzzles” [Bustle]. Now best known as the creator of the She-Ra reboot.
Molly Ostertag
Drew Strong Female Progagonist (2012; written by Brennan Lee Mulligan; about a young woman who's given up the superheroing in order to study) and Painted Warrior (with Sharon Shinn; about a world suffering under occupation by aliens).
Blue Delliquanti
Illustrator, created webcomic O Human Star (2012), about a robotics pioneer who comes back from the dead as a robot, and his relationship with his colleague and lover Brendan, and another robot clone of himself who’s turned out to be trans.
Sarah Roark
Creator of After Daylight (2012), a webcomic where the existence of vampires is no longer a secret, and comedy ensues.
Natalie Nourigat
Director and storyboard artist who also does comics, notably I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation (2019) and the college memoir Between Gears (2012).
Nara Walker
Black cartoonist with a manga-influenced style; Legacy of Light (2012) portrays a frustrated romance between an angel and a demon; Songbirds is a shonen-ai story of a frustrated gay romance.
Melanie Gillman
Webcomic As The Crow Flies (2012), drawn in lovely colored pencils, follows a young queer black girl feeling very out of place at a camp filled with white Christian girls. Also see Stage Dreams (2019), about a trans girl and a bandit woman in the Old West who counter a Confederate plot and find the time to fall in love.
Nilah Magruder
Created M.F.K. (2012), which starts, like any respectable epic, with sand farmers in the middle of nowhere. Nicely drawn, and doesn't reveal too much at once.
Yumi Sakugawa
I'd buy these for the titles alone: I Think I'm in Friend Love With You (2013); Your Illustrated Guide to Being One With The Universe.
Kylie Summer Wu
Trans Girl Next Door (2013), extremely cute webcomic about being an Asian trans woman.
Tess Fowler
Drew Rat Queens (2013), about an all-female band of adventurers, and Kid Lobotomy (2017), about a cursed hotel.
Annie Mok
Screentests (2013) includes a story about trans actress Candy Darling and another about family abuse; Shadow Manifesto depicts street harassment and the emotional results. Heavy stuff, told with an expressionistic flair.
Hazel Newlevant
If This Be Sin (2013) explores queer women in music. "The stories are super sweet and hopeful, but also have a touching gloominess to them." [Sophie Campbell]
Annie Wu
Drew Hawkeye (2013) and Black Canary.
Madéleine Flores
Help Us! Great Warrior (2013): Great Warrior defeats all the monsters she attacks, so you'd better not complain that she looks like a green bean and loves candy. A cute sendup of Conan-style comics, started as a webcomic, now a rather beautiful print comic.
Megan Prazenica
Animator and cartoonist; created Leave Me in La La Land (2013), about being young and queer in Los Angeles.
Cathy G. Johnson
Creator of Jeremiah (2013; which comicsbulletin calls a “Midwestern Gothic”) and Dear Amanda, about a romance between a cis butch and a trans woman.
Sarah Andersen
Best known for the cartoony Sarah's Scribbles (2013), a comic "for barely-functioning people"; but she is also an excellent illustrator. Not to be missed: the adorable Fangs, about the romance between a vampire goth girl and an extremely mellow werewolf.
Marguerite Bennett
Wrote Lobo (2013), Lois Lane (2014), DC Comics Bombshells (2015— a reimagining of the DC universe in WWII where the superheroines come first), Josie and the Pussycats (2017).
Maya Kern
Monster POP! features a college that's half-monster and half-human; the main character is a pansexual cyclops girl named George. The art style is cute enough to eat.
Anna Bongiovanni
"My work tends to be either super upbeat and super queer, or kinda dark, introspective, and weird." Selfie and Grease Bats fall in the first category, Out of Hollow Water (2013) in the second.
Anya Ulinich
Lena Finkle's Magic Barrel (2014) is a comic graphic novel about dating as a single mother.
Lucy Bellwood
Created Baggywrinkles: a Lubber’s Guide to Life at Sea (2014), on working aboard square-rigged sailing vessels; also 100 Demon Dialogues, about her petulant inner critic; and all sorts of other stuff.
Kelly Sue DeConnick
Bitch Planet (2014) features a revolt against white men who run a penal colony… do you think there's a message there? Has written various works mostly for Marvel; currently writing Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble. Wrote Pretty Deadly, about Death's daughter.
Katie Skelly
Created Operation Margarine (2014), Nurse Nurse, and the wicked but beautiful My Pretty Vampire.
Seo Kim
[Canadian] Did charmingly drawn Cat Person (2014); storyboard artist for Adventure Time.
Shing Yin Khor
Ongoing webcomic: The Center for Otherworld Science (2014), which she tells us is about "a crytozoology institute with questionable ethics". But don't miss the story of trying to use a tribble as a masturbation device…
Liz Prince
Tomboy (2014) is an autobiographical graphic novel about growing up as a girl with, as she says, “gender identity issues”.
Sophia Foster-Dimono
Illustrator, animator, cartoonist. Sex Fantasy (2014) shows "human interactions gone awry with art that blends cartoon influences with Chris Ware".
Mildred Louis
Black illustrator and cartoonist; created magical girl webcomic Agents of the Realm (2014).
Katie O'Neill
Has several comics; e.g. the adorable queer heroic romance “Princess Princess” makes a nice balance to the sad apocalyptic short “Don't Let Go”.
Kat Leyh
Supercakes (2014) is about girlfriends who also happen to be superheroes, or vice versa.
Ariel Ries
[Australia] Witchy follows (2014) a young witch named Nyneve in a kingdom run by witches, where your magic depends on how much hair you have.
Yáo Xiāo
Illustrator; writes webcomic Baopu (2014) for Autostraddle, about a “young queer emigrant”.
Emma Ríos
Artist for Marvel; drew Pretty Deadly (2014), Mirror.
Carey Plietsch
Drew Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift and several issues of Lumberjanes; created Keepsakes (2014) and Lost Haven.
Aatmaja Pandya
Created Travelogue (2014), about three friends traveling together in a magical world.
Jennifer Hayden
Cancer memoir, The Story of My Tits (2015).
Heather Antos
Comics editor; co-creator of Gwenpool.
Allysa Verner
Created Blown Away (2015), “a sci-fi noir comic book series about weather and friendship”.
Samantha Davies
Created Stutterhug, seriously adorable wordless comics mostly about animals looking for love.
Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu
Created Mooncakes, about two queer Chinese-American teens who also happen to be a witch and a werewolf.
Sophie Goldstein
Has created a bunch of comics, the best known being The Oven (2015), about a couple that wants a child in a dystopian world with scant resources.
Rachael Stott
British; artist for Doctor Who (2015), Fantastic Four (2018) and other Marvel comics.
Joyce Chin
Has mostly done covers for DC/Marvel/etc (2015 on); artist for Red Sonja.
Erica Henderson
Best known for her playful drawing of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2016); she's also worked on Howard the Duck and the Archie comics.
Yishan Li
Illustrator with a manga-influenced style; has worked on Batwoman, Blue Beetle, Hellboy, and a number of indie projects such as Swing and Paradox Girl.
gg Wong
Created I'm Not Here (2017), about a somewhat messed-up Asian-American family, with a gorgeous borderless grayscale style.
Olivia Jaimes
Reinvigorated Nancy (2018) with an unexpectedly clever Internet-savvy wryness.
Ming Doyle
Illustrated DC Comics: Anatomy of a Metahuman (2018), and various DC titles.
Nnedi Okorafor
Sf novelist, writer for LaGuardia (2018), about alien immigration to an alternate Earth; and several Black Panther titles, including the series Shuri (2018).
Meredith McClaren
Created Super Fun Sexy Times (2019), erotic comics featuring a very diverse selection of superheroes, in a very colorful near-borderless style.
Jen Bartel
Artist for Blackbird (2019), about secret magic cabals in LA; also plenty of DC/Marvel work.
Cayti Bourquin
Wrote Paradox Girl (2019), featuring a girl who can teleport any time and place she likes, which is good as half the time she needs to redo the timeline to fix her messups.


Yolanda Vargas Dulché
Mexican writer and telenovelista; at her height her comics sold 25 million copies a month. Most of her comics featured a young black boy named Memín Pinguín (1947). (Unfortunately her artists chose a stereotyped style which would not be acceptable on this side of the border.)
Laerte Coutinho
Brazilian trans cartoonist, known for Piratas do Tietê (1983; the titular pirates restrict themselves to the river near São Paulo), and the satiric superhero Overman.
Ana Mirallès
Spanish artist, known for erotic comics; illustated El Brillo de una Mirada (1990); co-created series Eva Médusa; drew Djinn (written by Jean Dufaux).
Maitena Burundarena
Argentine cartoonist; the major subject of Mujeres Alteradas (1993) is the everyday trials of being a woman in the modern middle class.
Erica Awano
Brazilian artist, best known for drawing Holy Avenger (1999), a comic set in a medieval fantasy world associated with an RPG setting, Tormenta.
Cristina Durán Costell
Spanish illustator and cartoonist; created several comics with Miguel Ángel Giner, including Una posibilidad entre mil (2009).
Mia Rose Elbo
Becoming Me (2014), webcomic (in English) about Mia, a 20ish queer trans woman in Chile. Drawn in a lovely simple style, sometimes funny, sometimes wrenching.
Núria Tamarit
Spanish illustrator with a gorgeous style; drew (with Xulia Vicente) Anna Dédalus Detective (2015).
Míriam Bonastre Tur
Spanish artist; created webcomic Hooky, about a pair of sister-and-brother wizards.

FRENCH (including Québec)

Nicole Claveloux
One of the first French BD artists, starting with The Secret Journey of Hugo the Brat (1967). Created Grabot, Louise XIV, The Small Vegetable who Dreamed of Being a Panther.
Claire Bretécher
Cellulite (1972) is about a frustrated princess in a parody Middle Ages; Les frustrés is a Feifferesque exploration of how French intellectuals think and relate. With Gotlib and Madryka, founded the comics magazine L'Écho des savanes.
Annie Goetzinger
Created Casque d'or (1976); artist for series Portraits souvenirs, Félina, Agence Hardy, etc.
Bernadette Després
Drew Tom-Tom et Nana, a comic about life in a restaurant, written by Jacqueline Cohen, as well as other books and comics for children.
Chantal Montellier
Creator of about thirty albums; series include Andy Gang (1979) and Julie Bristol.
Florence Cestac
Parodic detective Harry Mickson (1982), Les Déblock, Laura et Ludo, Le démon de midi.
Jeanne Puchol
Created many albums, starting with Ringard! (1983); drew humor series Judette Camion; won Artemisia prize in 2031 for Charonne - Bou Kadir, dealing with the Algerian revolution.
Sylvie Rancourt
A Québécoise artist who created a remarkable series (Mélody, 1985) about her life as an exotic dancer; her cute style disarms the often creepy behavior that surrounds her.
Julie Doucet
A Québécoise alternative artist-- mostly dream and slice-o-life stories, in a busy, hallucinatory B&W style; her book was Dirty Plotte (1988).
Lynn Paula Russell
A British dancer, painter, and actress who has also created beautifully drawn comics mostly in French: Sophisticated Ladies (1990); Vacances d’été, Sabrina 1 & 2, My life: A Sexual Odyssey, Painful Pleasures, The young governess, Beatrice. Her website is here.
Isabelle Dethan
French cartoonist, with a particular flair for ancient Egypt. Created Mémoire de sable (1993), Sur les terres d'Horus, Khéti, fils du Nil, Les ombres du Styx.
Arbrelune and Jour de pluie
Created Les Marsouines (1997), about a commune of lesbians, their amorous intrigues, and their explorations of lesbian feminist theory.
Sandrine Revel
Children's series Un drôle d'ange gardien (1998); various adult albums, including Glenn Gould, une vie à contretemps, which won the Artemisia prize in 2016.
Marjane Satrapi (41#2)
Persepolis (2000) is a kid's eye view of the Iranian Revolution, which has been turned into a charming animated film.
Lucie Durbiano
Artist on Lulu Grenadine (2000), creator of Mastic, etc.
Johanna Schipper
Created Les Phosfées (for children, 2000); won Artemisia prize in 2008 for Nos âmes sauvages.
Catel Muller
Created children's series Lucie (2003), Les Papooses, Bob et Blop, and many other albums; won Artemisia prize in 2014 for Ainsi soit Benoîte Groult.
Lisa Mandel
Creator of Nini Patalo (2003), Eddy Milveux, and many other albums; won Artemisia prize in 2009 for Esthétique et Filatures, drawn by Tanxxx.
Capucine Deslouis
Created Corps de rêve (2004), Boule de neige, artist for Premières fois, etc. Perhaps not fair to count her collaboration with Boulet, Joli Coco.
Marguerite Abouet
Writer of Aya (2005; artist: Clément Oubrerie), a depiction of life in middle-class Abidjan (in better days). Aya herself is a little too studious to be fun, but her friends and relatives supply the irresponsible fun.
Punk cartoonist; created Rock Zombie (2005) and her self-named series (2007); won Artemisia prize in 2009 for Esthétique et Filatures, written by Lisa Mandel.
Catherine Meurisse
Only female cartoonist at Charlie Hebdo (from 2005), who escaped being murdered because she was late the day of the attack. Illustrator for other magazines and children's books. Created several albums, such as Mes Hommes de letters, Savoir-vivre ou mourir, Moderne Olympia; illustrated many more, including the series Elza.
Aude Picault
Creator of Moi je (2005), Les Mélomaniaks, and other albums.
Artist on Le journal de Carmilla (2006), Un crayon dans le cœur, Les enquêtes surnaturelles de Mina; wrote and drew Cerise. Also cofounded a studio creating games for mobile phones.
Anne Simon
Illustrator; created a dozen albums for children, including the series Gousse & Gigot (2006).
Zeina Abirached
Lebanese artist writing in French; created Beyrouth-Catharsis (2006) and 38, Rue Youssef Semaani.
Anouk Ricard
Creator of the series Anna et Froga (2007), about a girl and her animal friends, and a large number of other volumes, mostly aimed at children.
Pénélope Bagieu
Known for her comic blog Ma vie est tout à fait fascinante and for her albums about Joséphine (2008), a thirty-year-old single woman; created wonderful bios of unconventional women in Culottées/Brazen; has illustrated albums written by Boulet and Joann Sfar.
Marion Montaigne
Created webcomic Tu mourras moins bête (2008) and several other albums; Wikipedia says she is known for popular science comics.
Writer; created erotic series Premières Fois (2008) and other works, including C’est pas toujours pratique d’être une créature fantastique.
Nine Antico
Creator of Le Goût du paradis (2008), Coney Island Baby, Girls Don't Cry, Tonight, etc.
Margaux Motin
Illustrator, with a clean elegant line; her blog has generated several comic albums, starting with J'aurais adoré être ethnologue (2008).
Chloé Cruchaudet
Created Groenland Manhattan, which won the Goscinny prize, Ida (about a 19C female traveler), and Mauvais genre, based on the true story of a man who deserted in WWI and lived as a woman to escape the authorities.
Laureline Mattiussi
Created L'Île au poulailler (2009), drew La Lionne; won Artemisia prize for 2010.
Julie Maroh
Le bleu est une couleur chaude (Blue is the Warmest Color) (2010) is the heartbreaking story of a lesbian relationship, which has been made into a live-action film. Her next comic, Skandalon, explores the fall of a rock star.
Clarie Braud
Her comic Mambo (2011) won the Artemisia prize in 2012.
Aurélie Neyret (Clo)
Drew children's series Les Carnets de Cerise (2012).
Barbara Yelin
Irmina won the Artemisia prize in 2015.
Marie Spénale
Illustrator and BD creator with an ultra-cute style.
Marie Ecarlat
French illustrator with a gorgeous simple style.
Tiphaine Rivière
Created Notes on a Thesis (2015), a hilarious account of the travails of writing a PhD in Paris. Will not make you want to write a PhD.
Florence Porcel
Writer and actress; wrote Mars Horizon (2017), the story of a pioneering Mars colony.
Héloïse Chochois
Created La fabrique des corps (2017), on body augmentation, and wrote a comic on AI.


Tove Jansson
Creator of Moomintroll and Moomin Valley. Though well known as a series of children's books, the Moomins also appeared as a classic comic strip, starting in 1947.
Lina Buffolente
Pioneering Italian cartoonist, known for the westerns Liberty Kid and Il Piccolo Ranger, the soap opera Fiordistella, and many other series, beginning with Tom Bill (1948).
Erika Fuchs
Beloved in Germany as the editor and translator for Donald Duck and other Disney comics (1951).
Marie Marcks
German cartoonist; author of Immer ich (Always me), about the frustrations of a female teenager, Die paar Pfennige (Only a few cents), on wasting energy;, her autobiography Marie, es brennt! (Marie, it burns!), and many more.
Franziska Becker
German illustrator and cartoonist, first published in feminist magazine EMMA (1977). Bestsellers include Feministischer Alltag, Männer, Weiber, Feminax und Walkürax (a parody of Astérix).
Karine Haaland
[Norwegian] Created strip Piray (1996); an intriguing later title is Våre venner menneskene (Our Friends the Human Beings).
Gerrie Hondius
Dutch artist; wrote strips De Vriendinnen and De Man in de Straat (1996); autobiographical comic Als Je Je Niks Verbeeldt Dan Ben Je Niks (If You Don't Pretend You're Nothing).
Lise Myhre
Nemi (1997) is a Norwegian goth, whose chief interests are fantasy, drinks, and boys, thought the mundane boys she brings home sometimes run screaming later.
Barbara Stok
Dutch artist; autobiographical webcomic led to first collection Barbaraal Tot Op Het Bot (1998). “Her early comics mostly dealt with loud music, sex and drunkenness, but later on she used other themes like burnout, capitalism and fear of death.“ [Lambiek]
Ulli Lust
[Austrian] cartoonist, created autobiographical comic strip Heute ist der letzte Tag vom Rest deines Lebens (2000), which won the Artemisia prize in 2011.
Coco Moodysson
Swedish creator of autobiographical alternative comics, collected in Coco Platinum Total (2001). Never Goodnight, the story of a punk band started by three teenage girls, has been made into a movie.
Maaike Hartjes
Dutch artist; created Lyla and Maaike's Dagboekje (book form 2002).
Liv Strömquist
Swedish cartoonist and activist; created series Hundra procent fett, as well as titles like Einsteins fru and Prins Charles Känsla; wrote Drift (drawn by Jan Bielecki), feminist stories of sex.
Judith Vanistendael
Dutch artist; created De Maagd en de Neger (2007), about her relationship with an African refugee, and Toen David zijn stem verloor, about cancer and death.
Sara Granér
Swedish cartoonist; created Det är bara lite AIDS and Med vänlig hälsning; her style features grotesque, vividly colored animals.
Bianca Bagnarelli
Founded imprint Delebile (2010); Fish is a graphically striking exploration of a child's grief.
Minna Sundberg
Finnish-Swedish; created webcomics A Redtail's Dream (2011), about a young man and his shapeshifting dog, and Stand Still. Stay Silent, about post-apocalyptic Scandinavia. Both are available in English.
Edith Kuyvenhoven
Dutch artist; wrote Elp de Cavia featuring a depressed guinea pig, Ik, God en mijn oma, about her relationship with her grandmother.
Mirka Andolfo
Italian artist; created Sacro/Profano (2013); worked on Vampirella; now draws DC Bombshells.


Nigar Nazar
Pakistani, invented Gogi (1970) as a daily strip to comment on issues important to women.
Menekse Cam
Turkish artist, who moved into political cartoons ~ 1990.
Omayya Joha
Palestinian; first female political cartoonist for a daily newspaper (1979); winner of Arab Journalism Award in 2001.
Lina Ghaibeh
Lebanese comics creator, animator, and scholar of comics. Contributed to From Beirut, about life in wartime.
Marjane Satrapi
see above as she writes in French.
Rutu Modan
Israeli cartoonist; edited Hebrew Mad, founded Actus Tragicus comics group (1995). Works include Exit Wounds, The Murder of the Terminal Patient, The Property.
Bayan Yani
A Turkish magazine of comics by and for women, started in 2001.
Hana Hajjar
Cartoonist for Arab News (2007). "For Saudi Arabia's lone female cartoonist drawing is more than just satire, it's a duty" [CNN].
Doaa Eladl
Egyptian political cartoonist, active since 2007; a sample here.
Nadia Khiari
Tunisian cartoonist; her creation is Willis the cat.
Siham Zebiri
Algerian cartoonist


Machiko Hasegawa
One of the first female manga artists; created the newspaper strip Sazae-san, about a Japanese housewife, in 1946. It has also been adapted to anime.
Yumiko Ōshima
Debuted with Paula's Tears (1968); best known for the series Gu-Gu Datte Neko de Aru. Her Wata no Kuni Hoshi (The Star of Cottonland) popularized the catgirl.
Moto Hagio
A star of shōjo, who started in 1969; most readily available in English is A Broken Dream. I particularly liked her short “Iguana Girl”. Some key works include The Heart of Thomas, Juichinin Iru!, Poe no Ichizoku, and Marginal.
Keiko Takemiya
“In the Sunroom” (1970) is perhaps the earliest shōjo story featuring gay boys. Best known for Toward the Terra (an sf series available in English) and Kaze to Ki no Uta.
Ryoko Yamagishi
Known for Shiroi Heya no Futari (1971, perhaps the first yuri (lesbian) shōjo, though it ends tragically), Hi Izuru Tokoro no Tenshi, and Terpsichora.
Riyoko Ikeda
best known for Berusaiyu no bara (The Rose of Versailles, 1972), focusing on Marie Antoinette and her fictional bodyguard Oscar de Jarjayes— actually a woman raised as a man. She has dozens of other series.
Sumika Yamamoto
Created Ēsu o Nerae! (Aim for the Ace!, 1973), about a girl who wants to be a tennis star.
Rumiko Takahashi
First published in 1978. Amazingly prolific and approachable, she's responsible for Ranma 1/2, Maison Ikkoku, Lum / Urusei Yatsura, Mermaid Saga, and Inu Yasha. Ranma himself, a boy who turns into a girl when splashed with cold water, could be a dissertation in himself. She is said to be the top selling female cartoonist in the world.
Yukari Ichijo
Created Yūkan Kurabu (Yūkan Club, 1982), and Pride (about an aspiring opera singer).
Akimi Yoshida
Created Banana Fish (1985, centering on a young gang leader), Kisshō Tenny, Yasha.
Kyoko Okazaki
Created unconventional comics such as Pink (1989): “Yumi is an office lady by day, a call girl by night, and does it all to keep her pet crocodile fed.” [Shaenon Garrity] River's Edge looks at the emptiness of Japanese life in the bubble years.
Yumi Tamura
Best known for Basara (1990), about a future post-apocalyptic Japan, and a young woman who leads a revolt against its oppressive ruler, complicated by the fact that she and the ruler have fallen in love (neither knowing the other's true position). Other series include 7 Seeds, Chicago, and Tomoe ga Yuku!. (Disappointingly, Chicago is not named after the city, but a bar in Tōkyō.)
Naoko Takeuchi
Created Sailor Moon (1991), one of the best known and best selling shōjo series (subtype mahō shōjo, magical girls), and successful in anime as well. Features one of the first non-tragic lesbian couples in manga.
CLAMP studio (Satsuki Igarashi, Nanase Ohkawa, Tsubaki Nekoi, Mokona)
Mahou Kishi Reiāsu (Magic Knight Rayearth, 1993), in which three young girls are transported to another planet, Cephiro, learn to pilot giant robots, and attempt to find the girl responsible for maintaining Cephiro by prayer.
Chie Shinohara
Red River (1995), about a Japanese teenager who is summoned to the ancient Hittite empire to be a human sacrifice. The story draws heavily on actual Hittite history.
Yu Yabuchi
Creator of Mizuiro Jidai (1996) , Naisho no Tsubomi, Hitohira no Koi ga Furu.
Chiho Saito
Creator of Shōjo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena, 1996); Utena attends a school whose focus is a yearly duel to possess the “Rose Bride”— another girl.
Fumi Yoshinaga
creator of The Moon and the Sandals (1996), Antique Bakery, Ōoku: The Inner Chambers.
Arina Tanemura
Creator of I.O.N. (1997), Full Moon o Sagashite, Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura.
Natsuki Takaya
Creator of Phantom Dream, Tsubasa: Those with Wings, Songs to Make You Smile, Fruits Basket (the second best selling shōjo series; started 1998), Hoshi wa Utau, Liselotte and Witch's Forest.
Hiromu Arakawa
Created Fullmetal Alchemist (2001; the title character has a metal body due to an alchemy accident) and Silver Spoon.
Hwei Lim
Malaysian artist with a luscious eye for watercolors. See especially her series Boris and Lalage (2001). Writer for Mirror, drawn by Emma Ríos.
Nakamura Yoshiki
Created Skip Beat! (2002), where a girl betrayed by a boy takes her revenge, by making it big in the entertainment industry.
Bisco Hatori
Created Ouran High School Host Club (2002), about a girl who joins a club of gigolos, each of which is a satire of common shōjo tropes.
Kaoru Mori
Known for exhaustive historical research and spectacular art; created Emma (2002), set in Victorian London, and Otoyomegatari, set in Central Asia.
Temari Matsumoto
Creator of Just My Luck (2003), The Loudest Whisper: Uwasa No Futari, Shinobu Kokoro: Hidden Heart, Cause of My Teacher.
Go Ikeyamada
Creator of Get Love!! (2003), Uwasa no Midori-kun!!, Suki Desu Suzuki-kun!!, Kobayashi ga Kawai Sugite Tsurai!!
Shinobu Ohtaka
Creator of Sumomomo Momomo (2004), about warring martial arts clans, and Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, which starts in a magic-filled medieval Middle East.
Katsura Hoshino
Created shōnen series D. Gray-Man (2004), about an attack on 19C England by monsters called Akuma.
Yuhki Kamatani
Created Nabari no Ō (2004), a shōnen series about a depressed boy discovering his ninja powers.
Yana Toboso
Created Black Butler (2006), a shōnen series about a boy who fights crime in Victorian England with the help of a demonic butler.
Ching Nakamura
Created Gunjo (2007), about a woman who asks a lesbian friend to kill her husband for her; Chinman (2009), Avare Senki (2011).
Jun Mochizuki
Created Pandora Hearts (2009): a young aristocratic boy is suddenly thrown into a prison for supernatural beings.
Kazue Katō
Created Blue Exorcist, a shōnen story about a teen boy who becomes an exorcist in hopes of defeating his father, Satan.
Currygom (카레곰)
Korean; created webcomic Kubera (2010), about a girl who wants revenge for the destruction of her village.
Akiko Higashimura
Best known for Kuragehime (Princess Jellyfish) (2010) and Kakukaku Shikajika. “Her work is introspective and thoughtful, with a spare but communicative and graphically bold style.” [Meredith Alden]
Kabi Nagata
Created My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness (2016), an autobiographical manga, lauded for its intense honesty.


A lot of these comics are on my bookshelf. Sarah Dyer's Action Girl, Roz Warren's Dyke Strippers, and Ted Rall's Attitude 2 were early sources for exploration. Maurice Horn's The World Encyclopedia of Comics provided some information.

Trina Robbins has been the great chronicler of women in comics; her latest book is Pretty in Ink (2013). Without it the first decades of this list would be mighty bare. For black women cartoonists, Deborah Elizabeth Whaley's Black Women in Sequence (2016) was eye-opening.

Googling can do wonders, and I haven't kept track of all the sites I found. This post on Autostraddle and this one stood out in highlighting queer and trans women.

Alert readers who've suggested names: Boudewijn Rempt, Adrian Morgan, Dennis Paul Himes, Avery Katko, Hans-Werner Hatting, Narrative Priorities, Antonin Brault, Michael Barenberg, Constanze, Meredith Alden, Cees Huisman, Steve Hawley.