Great strip, Lea!
Just read the last thread--I'll concur that the manga style was not embraced at that time. I can think of maybe two comics that were done back then by U.S. creators that were moderately successful and were Manga influenced--Ninja High School which was self-published, and Shuriken, both by men, and both during the black and white boom in the mid 80s. By 89 the black and white boom had busted and that was that. Eclipse had minor success with a few Japanese imports. Akira was at first an isolated success. There were no digest-sized manga. Few anime had been translated, and a lot of anime fans still watched anime with fan subs and plot summaries.
Now I may have some of that wrong, but that's my memory of it.
As for how women were treated in the comics industry then? See: Colleen Doran's blog. She goes into it pretty extensively. It's gotten better, but not by much. And if Tess Fowler and Mari Naomi's recent confessions are any indication, we have a long way to go.
Creator-ownership outside of self-publishing was a rare thing indeed, particularly in genre comics--in other words, 99.9% of the industry, and by 1989, you'd have to be a little nuts to want to self-publish.So I could easily see how Lea's chances were shitty to nil. And it's not like she gave up. It's a testament to her persistence that she stuck with it long enough to have the success that she has.
I don't know anything about Gainax--this hasn't interfered with my enjoyment of the strip, though a few details about what they do and what fans make of them might be helpful to folks like me. But I imagine that's yet to come. I haven't had any problem with the continuity. I like the hand-lettering here! I wish the whole strip were lettered this way!
Looking forward to more.