Like many in the FAR community, I participated in the world-wide 2017 Women’s March. So did Madge, the bodacious cartoon character who took me by surprise in 1990 and went on to become the narrative character of The Maeve Chronicles. Her life in print, as the first century Celtic Magdalen, satisfied her until….November 8th, 2016 when Madge returned, mouthy as ever, to rejoin us in our own times.
On the first anniversary of the historic march, I’d like to share a little of Madge’s millennia-spanning story and a few images from her two books of cartoons, now published in one volume.
Madge first appeared to me in 1990 as a line drawing of an ample woman sitting naked at a kitchen table drinking coffee. I had recently finished writing a novel, The Return of the Goddess, A Divine Comedy, and felt I had nothing more to say. I decided to play with magic markers for a while. Madge, as the naked woman introduced herself, was far from done with words. Fleshed out with peach magic marker, Madge told me she wanted “fiery neon orange” for her hair color. She also required speech balloons for her theological queries. (For example: If we are all members of the body of Christ, who is the twelve-year molar, the kneecap, the colon?) Enchanted with her sass, I invited her to be in my next novel. I pitched ideas to her. She rejected them all as too dull and said, “I want my own book of cartoons first.” Continue reading “Happy Anniversary, Women’s March, with love from Madge by Elizabeth Cunningham”