Ask anyone who was a kid in the 1970s and memories will abound of these two female superheroes who were the first to star in their own live-action, weekly, American television shows: Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman and Joanna Cameron's Isis. With a magical spin and an "Oh, mighty Isis!" they enchanted viewers everywhere, Wonder Woman in primetime and Isis on Saturday morning, showing that a hero could be strong, smart, and yes, female.
In the brand-new fourth print volume of the BRBTV fact book series, author Billie Rae Bates examines both of these groundbreaking television shows that she watched and loved in their original airings. From the 1975 debut of each through their seasons and syndication and the fantastic fandom beyond, "Superchicks"
"These are two important heroes I grew up with," the author says. "These are two females who showed me possibilities, not limitations. Two gals I could believe in. I developed this book to celebrate that, and to celebrate the message these two television shows conveyed to all of us kids of the '70s."
For Bates, the analysis didn't begin with this book, however. "All of this started with feature stories on each of the two shows," says Bates, 44, a Michigan native now living in Washington, D.C. "I talked to some of the folks behind the shows to produce some background for a feature story on each, and I published the resulting stories separately on Amazon's Kindle format, adding to them my own synopses for each of the episodes."
From there, to build the "Superchicks"
"I love this stuff," she says. "Any one of these guides I've produced, whether it's on 'Dynasty' or 'Dallas' or any of the others, has come from a love of the show itself, first and foremost. Every show I've analyzed and written about has been one I watched in the original airing. I'm a TV nut. And I want to share the love!"
And though "Superchicks"
"This one has a beautiful cover," Bates says. "This cover was designed by an actual artist," she quips, "rather than just cobbled together by me! Dale Cuthbertson does great stuff, and he is a big fan of the 'Wonder Woman' series and of Lynda Carter. So his work on this book comes from a love of the show, too."
A 312-page trade paperback, "Superchicks"
Bates graduated from Michigan State University with a journalism degree, spent 10 years in the daily newspaper business, and has also done broadcast journalism work over the years, interviewing myriad actors and artists on-camera for both her own projects and for the comic book industry.
"When you see the photos of the Wonder Woman and Isis comics in 'Superchicks,' those are actually my comics from when I was a little girl. You can tell, because I was silly enough to scribble my name on them!" she muses. "That's my own Wonder Woman Mego doll. I grew up with this stuff, and to be able to write about it now is a real blessing."
Her BRBTV has been a solid reference source on classic television shows since 1998, and "Superchicks"