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Friday, September 18, 2015

Number 1789: Favorite Females Week: Señorita Rio

Here is the third and final post in our Favorite Females Week, Señorita Rio, drawn by one of our real-life favorite females, Lily Renée (born Lily Renée Wilhelm). She was, you may recall, a war refugee from Austria, who ended up in New York. She was fortunate to be reunited with her parents, who had also made their way from war-torn Europe. Her mother saw an ad for artists wanted at Fiction House, and encouraged teenage Lily, who had a talent for drawing, to apply. Rio was a regular character appearing in Fight Comics, and Ms Renée also regularly drew “The Lost World” for Planet Comics, and “Werewolf Hunter” for Rangers Comics.

In this entry, from Fight Comics #41 (1946), Rio faces off against an impersonator. Renée said she drew Rio in clothes she herself would like to wear, and for Fiction House, that meant the less clothes the better. On Rio, that is. I am not sure how Lily presented herself, but I guess she didn’t go to work dressed like Carmen Miranda.










More Rio:


11 comments:

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

I thought the third post would have been a Jungle Girl... anyway this is a better choice. Another character I didn't know.
Nice character. Lily Reneè was one hell of an artist. As a kid, I had this naive idea that only men could draw sexy girls, just putting on papers their lusts and fantasies... silly, no?.
Nice plot too, in the vein of "Odessa". I like this more than the "Commie busting" craze of the 50's.
I can't find the book now, but I remember that in Burne Hogarth's "Drago" we can actually listen to Hitler's voice (recorded) urging his minions to keep on fighting... impressive.

Ryan Anthony said...

I didn't realize that Renee is still alive, living on Madison Avenue. She even attended the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con. That makes her one of the last of the Golden Agers, whom I thought were extinct. And Trina Robbins has helped to introduce her to the younger generation by publishing a graphic biography, Lily Renee, Escape Artist, in 2011. It seems she also inspired some of Michael Chabon's The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I'm sure it was tough for her being one of the few female comics artists in the Golden Age, especially with all the sexual harassment she endured (she was a busty looker just like Seniorita Rio, except with fashionable short hair). But she did endure, turning out some nice stuff, like today's story. And, unlike a lot of her colleagues in the biz, she's had happiness, with a career beyond comics, love, and grandchildren who like that she was a four-color scribbler.

For anyone interested, Robbins wrote up an interview she did with Renee in 2006. It's available here:

http://web.archive.org/web/20070228043424/http://www.tcj.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=466&Itemid=48

Also, there are some quotes from her in a 2010 Newsweek article done about her:

http://www.newsweek.com/real-life-comic-book-superhero-74267

And there's a neat, downloadable 225-page book of Renee's comics stuff on Robbins' website:

http://www.trinarobbins.com/Women_at_War.pdf

Ryan Anthony said...

Wow, Pappy, you've got almost 700 registered members! Congrats!

Alicia American said...

Yah she lookded just like Rio THIS She's still alive & still a fashionista @ 90 yo! THIS She & Tarpe Mills both drew charactars that lookded just like them yo #BADASS My artist dont look ANYTHING like me LOL duz ur artist look like u, Pappy?

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Checked Lily Reneé's story. She was lucky, indeed.
Makes you think that the untimely loss of every single human life deprives us of something potentially beautiful and important ... those who don't care about their neighbor should read it.

Pappy said...

Alicia, how do you draw yourself? I have no artist except for me. When I draw me I look just like me...or how I see me.

Pappy said...

J D, I have always wondered what humanity has lost when human potential is not allowed to flourish, especially by discrimination or worse, genocide.

Pappy said...

Ryan, thanks for the links. Some of them I have seen, but I have not seen the downloadable Lily Renée stories.

Pappy said...

Ryan, nearly 700 members, yes. I would like to top 700 by the end of 2015. Tell your friends!

Pappy said...

J D, as a youth in school I caught two girls in the back of the classroom giggling. They usually spent their free time drawing girls in fashionable clothes, but this time they had been drawing naked women! They caught me looking goggle-eyed and smirked at me.

There is no copyright, or sex-of-artist specification, for drawing pretty women. If you look further into my blog you will find some comics featuring the movie comedy stars Abbott and Costello, drawn by Lily and her (then current) husband. He drew the males, she drew the females.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Maybe they were just drawing mannequin - paper dolls?... you know, the kind that you have to dress with paper's clothing... :-)
Sorry for Lily's husband, if he had to draw Abbott and Costello... guess she had a reputation for doing fine gals.