During the golden age of comics (the late 30s to the early 50s) dozens of companies got into the comic book game. During this time, though superheroes were certainly popular, no single genre dominated the industry. Publishers experimented with crime stories, tales of romance, fantasies, westerns, war tales, comedies and more. Comics of the time were mainly anthologies containing multiple stories, often as many as a dozen per issue. As one might imagine this means writers and artists were constantly creating new characters of all sorts. Most of those characters were male...

... but not all. In fact, travel through the archives of the golden age and you find a surprising number of strong, capable female leads. Better yet, many of the comics containing those stories of powerful, intelligent, and skilled women have lapsed into the public domain due to the intellectual property laws of the time.

That's the purpose of the Golden Dames Project: to find those golden age comic stories of female empowerment that have lapsed into the public domain and spotlight them here, three days a week, complete with commentary that gives insight into the characters, creators, books, and publishers of the time.

If you want to learn more about the golden age of comics, especially the characters and books that have fallen into the public domain, please consider visiting the following sites:

If there is a specific golden age heroine you want to see spotlighted, please contact the Golden Dames Project via the contact button up above.

J Gray has been a camp instructor, a factory worker, a janitor, a bookseller, a waiter, a graphic designer, a printing press operator, a data entry specialist, and a community college instructor. He's also a lucky husband and the father of two beautiful children. In addition to running the Golden Dames Project, J is the writer/creator of Mysteries of the Arcana, a tarot-inspired fantasy webcomic. He also gives out advice on Twitter using the hashtag #webcomictruth.

All comics presented on the Golden Dame Project are, to the best of our ability to tell, in the public domain and legal to post. If you feel we are presenting a work currently protected by US intellectual property law please contact us so we can make proper arrangements to resolve the situation.

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All comics presented on the Golden Dames Project are, to the best of our knowledge, in the public domain.

Original content is copyright 2014 by J Gray.