It’s unusual for anyone to wish they could be as cool as a cartoonist, but Julie Doucet is the rare exception to that rule. In her groundbreaking 1990s series, Dirty Plotte, Doucet delineated an aesthetic that was brazen, clever, funny, and broke taboos like they were cheap ceramic plates. Reading her comics, you could be excused for wishing you had an ounce of her fearlessness, at least when it came to putting ink on paper.

Now, all 12 issues of that seminal series have been collected in the rather massive The Complete Dirty Plotte, an impressive two-volume slipcase that also includes stories done for anthologies, essays, interviews, and other esoterica. More… “Dirty Plots”

By day, Chris Mautner is the mild-mannered social media producer for By night, he writes about really nerdy things for The Comics Journal . . . and this site. He is one-quarter of the podcast Comic Books Are Burning in Hell.


We are here to claim our rights as women, not only to be free, but to fight for freedom. It is our privilege, as well as our pride and our joy, to take some part in this militant movement, which, as we believe, means the regeneration of all humanity.

So said Christabel Pankhurst in a speech about suffragist rights in Britain, 100 years ago. Pankhurst, dubbed “Queen of the Mob,” was arrested time and again at the beginning of the 20th century, fighting for voting rights for women.

A Woman’s Place: An Oral History of Working Class Women 1890-1940 by Elizabeth Roberts. 256 pages. Wiley-Blackwell. $43.95.

The Women’s Social and Political Union was in many ways a livelier counterpart to their American sisters fighting for the same rights in the States. The Americans mostly believed in nonviolent protest and… More…

It wasn’t like I hadn’t seen this woman before. Anyone with the slightest introduction to Renaissance art knows Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Venus. With her spiraled hair, her sly look, her curved belly and hips, she is, in many ways, an iconic representation of the goddess of love and beauty.

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. 240 pages. Plume. $15. Hidden in the Shadow of the Master: The Model-Wives of Cezanne, Money, and Rodin by Ruth Butler. 376 pages. Yale University Press. $35. Lucas Cranach the Elder: Painting Materials, Techniques and Workshop Practice by Gunnar Heydenreich. 462 pages. Amsterdam University Press. $69.50. The Real Real Thing: The Model in the Mirror of Art by Wendy Steiner. 232 pages. University of Chicago Press. $32.50.


But there was something about this visit to see the Cranach paintings, when… More…