PATTEN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Even if you're one of the millions of fans who saw the new Wonder Woman movie over the weekend, you don't know her full origin story until you've heard how a Maine woman factored into her creation.
In her book The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Jill Lepore tracks the development of the character from the mind of William Moulton Marston, onto the comic book page and across the popular culture landscape. Lepore shows how deeply Marston's interest in the women's suffrage movement influenced his writing, including the illustrations of Lou Rogers from Patten, Maine.
A profile of Lou Rogers can be found on the website for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF). The organization supports freedom of expression through comic books and fights efforts to censor them. Rogers's commitment to those principles earned her an entry in a subsection of the CBLDF website devoted to female pioneers of the medium under the heading She Changed Comics.
According to her CBLDF profile, Annie Lucasta (Lou) Rogers was born on a farm in northern Maine. She launched her career as a political cartoonist in the early 20th century. Rogers used her talent to advocate for women's suffrage by drawing images of powerful women as they broke free from their bonds of servitude. At one of the magazines that featured her cartoons, Rogers worked alongside Harry George Peter who would go on to become the first artist to draw Wonder Woman in her published adventures.
Rogers's contributions to art and politics are also recognized in her home state. The University of New England preserves some of her correspondence in its Maine Women Writers Collection. A search of the Maine writers database through the Maine State Library turns up the two adventure books that she wrote for children, The Rise of Red Alders and Ska-Denge.
Adventurer, crusader for justice, role model, Mainer. If not for that last word, it's a description that could apply just as easily to Wonder Woman as Lou Rogers.
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