This interview with Trina Robbins took place during a panel at the 2016 Comics Arts Conference conducted by Jennifer K. Stuller. Robbins, known both for her work as a groundbreaking cartoonist and for her histories of female comics creators, discusses her early days in New York during the 1960s, owning a clothing boutique and writing comics for the East Village Other; the creation of It Ain't Me, Babe, the first all-female comic compilation, and Wimmen's Comix, the long-running feminist underground comix series; and her work both as a “herstorian,” uncovering the overlooked role of women in comics production, and as a mentor to female creators. Fashion provides a through-line in Robbins's histories, underpinning her creative work and her feminist critiques.
Focus on Trina Robbins
Award-winning herstorian and writer Trina Robbins has been writing books, comics, and graphic novels for nearly fifty years. She has written and drawn comics from Honey West to Barbie, and was the first woman to draw Wonder Woman. Her books The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913–1940 (Fantagraphics, 2009) and Tarpe Mills and Miss Fury (IDW Publishing, 2011) were nominated for Eisner awards and Harvey awards. Her all-ages graphic novel Chicagoland Detective Agency: The Drained Brains Caper (Graphic Universe, 2010), the first in a six-book series, was a Junior Library Guild Selection. Her graphic novel Lily Renee: Escape Artist (Graphic Universe, 2011) was awarded a gold medal from Moonbeam Children's Books and a silver medal from the Sydney Taylor Jewish Library Awards. Robbins's most recent book is Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896–2013 (Fantagraphics, 2013), her final and definitive history of women cartoonists. In 2013 Robbins was voted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.
Jennifer K. Stuller is a writer, media critic, and feminist pop culture historian. She is the author of Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology (I. B. Taurus, 2010) and the editor of Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Intellect, 2013). She has been published in BBC News, Bitch Media, and Geek Monthly. Additionally, Stuller is a cofounder and former board president of GeekGirlCon. A sought-after speaker, she brings her messages of media literacy and positive fandom to a variety of audiences, and speaks about geek culture and activism at conferences, libraries, and schools in the United States and internationally. Stuller is a rebellion built on hope, and has vowed to use her powers only for good.
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Trina Robbins, Jennifer K. Stuller; Focus on Trina Robbins. Feminist Media Histories 1 July 2018; 4 (3): 119–134. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2018.4.3.119
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