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.

The following is a transcript of a focus panel on cartoonist and comics herstorian Trina Robbins, conducted at the 2016 meeting of the Comics Arts Conference at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, and moderated by Jennifer K. Stuller. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Jennifer K. Stuller: Since this is a focus on you, we're going to talk about your life, your work, and your influences. I know that you're from New York, yes?

Trina Robbins: Queens, New York, is where I grew up. Born in Brooklyn.

JS: And your mother used to bring home art supplies?

TR: Yes. My mother was a teacher, a second-grade teacher. She taught me to read when I was four, and I was immediately reading and writing and always drawing. She used to bring home reams of eight-and-a-half-by-eleven-inch board-of-education paper, and number 2 board-of-education pencils, and let me go.

JS: You went to art school, too, for a little while.

TR: One term. I'm not so much a dropout as a kick-out. I was tossed out of art school. I was making little drawings of real things on paper, and I got to art school hoping that they would help me draw even better, but they weren't into drawing at the time. They were teaching what was fashionable, which was huge wall-size abstracts that you threw paint on, and it wasn't my interest, so I simply stopped going and they threw me out.

JS: And you moved to Los Angeles?

TR: Yes.

JS: As you can see, I have these fabulous images [indicates fig. 1].

FIGURE 1.

Trina Robbins (center), Donovan (top right), and friends. All but Donovan are wearing Robbins's dress designs.

FIGURE 1.

Trina Robbins (center), Donovan (top right), and friends. All but Donovan are wearing Robbins's dress designs.

TR: Oh! Oh my God!

JS: I know!

TR: Those are all clothes I made. I was a clothing designer, a dressmaker—dressmaker to the stars, to a certain degree. Where did you get that picture?

JS: The internet.

TR: It's amazing, isn't it? Okay, that's me, but you can't even see my face because my bangs are down to my nose. And all of this is clothing that I made. In the middle, sucking on the lily, is Donovan. He's the only one who isn't wearing something I made.

JS: Then you left Los Angeles and came back to New York in 1966?

TR: Yes.

JS: And you came across the East Village Other?

TR: Yes. I had a friend, Eve Babitz—who is still with us, she's a writer—who at the time was the managing editor of the East Village Other, which was one of the earliest underground newspapers. I went to visit her at the East Village Other—let's call it EVO, that was its name for short—I went to visit her at the EVO offices, and pretty soon I got involved with EVO. I did comics for them. As you saw those clothes before, I opened a boutique on the Lower East Side and I made clothes for the East Village Other people, and in trade I had a constant ad for my boutique in the pages of EVO [indicates fig. 2]. But it was in comic form, and it was so abstract and psychedelic that most people didn't even know it was an ad; they just thought it was a comic

FIGURE 2.

Broccolistrip, Trina Robbins's ad for her boutique, Broccoli, ca. 1966.

FIGURE 2.

Broccolistrip, Trina Robbins's ad for her boutique, Broccoli, ca. 1966.

JS: What about this? [indicates fig. 3]

FIGURE 3.

Trina Robbins's first official published comic, “Suzy Slumgoddess,” 1966.

FIGURE 3.

Trina Robbins's first official published comic, “Suzy Slumgoddess,” 1966.

TR: That's the very, very first proto-comic that I drew in 1966, which they published.

JS: And this was actually a thank-you note, right? I don't know if you want to tell that story.

TR: Where did you get all this?

JS: The internet! I'm a pop culture herstorian, Trina—I find things out.

TR: It was the summer of ’66, and my then-boyfriend and I took acid and wandered the streets of Manhattan, on the Lower East Side.

JS: Like you do.

TR: Like you do. It got weird. A little too weird. We chanced upon the EVO offices and ran in there for refuge, basically. It was empty except for the editor and publisher, Allen Katzman, and I just went, “Whoa, Allen, we're on acid and it's weird.” And he started talking and being really reassuring. He told us about how he had given a talk at Sarah Lawrence while he was on acid and how strange that had been. He was basically making us feel, “You're not alone, I've had strange experiences too.” As I watched him—and he was making me feel better—as I watched him, he slowly turned into a rabbi in front of my eyes. It wasn't hard to imagine because he had the beard. But suddenly he had a yarmulke on, and the beard got longer, and then he would slowly morph back into Allen Katzman, and then he would become a rabbi again and then he would be Allen Katzman. It was soothing and encouraging. The next day, I drew that comic as a kind of a thank-you note, just a cute little note, and shoved it under the door of the East Village Other offices. And they printed it in the next issue.

JS: The character's name was Suzy Slumgoddess. Where did that come from?

TR: That was from a song. There was a group called the Fugs; they were a local Lower East Side group made up of arty, very arty people, and poets. They were locally famous, they were just too clever and unusual to become nationally successful. They had a song called “Slum Goddess of the Lower East Side,” so that's where I got the name Suzy Slumgoddess from.

JS: I understand you'd been influenced by Pop art of the mid-1960s, but EVO changed that. You've written that it's a mistake to think that comics by default have to be about superheroes. When you found EVO, it wasn't superheroes, it was hippies.

TR: Yes! My boutique was called Broccoli—we had clever names in those days—and this photo [indicates fig. 4] shows the storefront of Broccoli, and me in a little flag dress that I made—I made clothes out of American flags. I made a jacket for the editor of the East Village Other, Walter Bowart, and it became his iconic jacket. He was always photographed in it. In return, they published my ads, which as I said most people didn't even know were ads.

FIGURE 4.

Trina Robbins in front of her Lower East Side boutique Broccoli, ca. 1967.

FIGURE 4.

Trina Robbins in front of her Lower East Side boutique Broccoli, ca. 1967.

JS: I have a little anecdote. Mad Men had an auction for all of their items that had appeared on-screen, and I bought this beautiful brass midcentury grasshopper paperweight. They threw a bunch of stuff in with the lot that I didn't even know was coming to me, and one of them was a 1968 copy of the East Village Other. I was like, hm, I wonder—and of course, there's a Trina ad, and it's fabulous. That one was on the Mad Men set—isn't that cool?—and I love that it just says “Trina.” Anyway, back to the timeline. Then you went to Laurel Canyon?

TR: Ah, how I got to Laurel Canyon. I mean, I had left lots of friends in L.A. In the winter of 1967, February 1967, I suddenly noticed that I hadn't made a single sale at my boutique that month. No one had come into the store; no one had bought anything for weeks. I realized that February in New York is terrible—nobody buys anything because the weather is so rotten, they don't even leave their house. They spent all their money on Christmas, and it's just too depressing because they know they've got another whole month of miserable weather. So people just don't shop. So in February of 1968, having learned my lesson in 1967, I closed the store for a month and let a friend of mine live there. I sublet my apartment—I lived in the same building as the store; the store was downstairs, my apartment was upstairs—and I went back to L.A. for a month where it was warm and beautiful. You know, like The Mamas and the Papas, singing, “California dreaming on such a winter's day.”

So, that's what I did. One of my friends was David Crosby of The Birds, and I visited him up in the canyon, and that's how I met Joni Mitchell, who was going with David at the time. Actually they had already broken up, but he was producing her first album, so that's how I met her, and she put me in a song.

JS: And then in December 1969 you moved to San Francisco.

TR: I usually say 1970. I really got to San Francisco in December of 1969, but if I tell people I got there in ’69, they think I was there for the whole year, but I was just there for the end of the year, so I always say 1970.

JS: You said it was like a migration of people moving from East Coast to West Coast.

TR: With flowers in their hair.

JS: Exactly. What role did the Bay Area play in your career, specifically San Francisco and Berkeley in the 1960s and 1970s?

TR: At that point I had really gotten into comics, and the underground comix movement was new, and very exciting, and you knew everyone—there were so few of us that you knew everyone who was doing comix. And it seemed like the mecca of underground comix was San Francisco. There were already two companies there publishing underground comix. It was Robert Crumb's home base—he at the time was living in the Haight—and it just seemed like the place to be. And of course it also helped that, I mean, everyone was coming to San Francisco. There was that song, you know, “If you come to San Francisco, be sure to wear—” but actually be sure to wear a sweater because it's always cold. So, yes, just like lemmings, we all went to San Francisco. We all went west as far as we could until we hit the ocean. But unlike lemmings, we didn't jump.

JS: And you came across the country's first feminist newspaper, It Ain't Me, Babe.

TR: Yes! Someone showed it to me because I had totally gotten into what we at the time called women's liberation. I'd totally gotten into it. It didn't help that the male cartoonists were quite threatened by women's liberation, so, we were kind of drifting apart. And I saw this newspaper, and I thought, wow. I phoned them and said, “I'd love to work with you.” I met your staff at a be-in at Golden Gate Park, and we got along swell. I wore a T-shirt I had designed—it was unique, because it was never put into production so it was just a sample—showing this angry-looking super-powered woman. Underneath it said “Super Sister,” and they loved that.

JS: And you started to work for them.

TR: Yes. I was doing covers for them—not for every issue, but a lot of covers. I was also doing a comic for the back cover that was not particularly subtle propaganda, feminist propaganda.

JS: And that led to—

TR: —It Ain't Me, Babe comix! Like I said, the men were a little threatened—actually very threatened, extremely threatened—by feminism, and I was a feminist, and so I wasn't included in their work. I wasn't included in their social functions. I wasn't included in their books. But I was welcomed by the feminists of the newspaper It Ain't Me, Babe, and with their moral support, I decided that I could do a comic book, too—I didn't have to wait for the guys to invite me into their comic books. So I produced It Ain't Me, Babe comix, which was the first-ever all-woman comic in the world.

JS: Submissions were often from women who had never drawn comics before, and that was important to the mission of inclusivity.

TR: Oh, yes. Of course. To start with, there were only two women drawing comics in San Francisco at the time, me and a woman named Barbara Mendes, who went by the name Willy. We were friends, and between the two of us, we did probably three-quarters of the book. But there was still a quarter of the book that needed to be done, and I found these women who were very good, who could draw. The entire group did the center spread, which echoed the cover. It was the comic book women rebelling!

JS: I love this [indicates a comic panel] because it's so different from what else was coming out in the comic book world.

TR: Oh my god, you've got the “Super-Chicks.” That's hilarious.

JS: In 1966, you had Wonder Woman and Supergirl decide to throw off their superhero costumes and run away to France to make out with French men and be in fashion shows [in The Brave and the Bold, no. 63, “The Revolt of the Super-Chicks”]. And then in It Ain't Me, Babe you have Little Lulu going, “Fuck this shit.” Very different. That's what happens when women write comics. So Wimmen's Comix was a response to the misogyny of the boys’ club. You've said, “Male cartoonists didn't accept me; this was a place I felt accepted. This was a place that felt good.” Did it indeed feel good?

TR: Of course it felt good. My god, it was home. It was a safe place. There were other women drawing comics. We would get together. That's the first issue, by the way, by Patricia Moodian. You know, if the group of the ten of us ever found new mommies, Patricia Moodian is the grandmommy, because she was the one who called the other nine of us to come to her house and form a comic. And that is what we did. So she got to do the first cover. What were your words exactly about Wimmen's Comix?

JS: A reaction to the misogyny of the boys’ club.

TR: Sure, but it was more. It wasn't just a reaction to the misogyny, it was that we can do this too, we can do our own book, we don't need those guys.

JS: I love it. Tits & Clits was happening at roughly the same time.

TR: It was amazing. We were in Northern California, in San Francisco, and they were in Southern California. We didn't know each other. We didn't know anything about each other. And yet they beat us to the newsstands by two weeks. There they were, these two Southern California tan blondes reacting to the treatment of sex and women by the guys, who wanted to do a book with a completely shocking title. They wanted to do the women's reaction. At our second Wimmen's Comix meeting someone held up a copy of Tits & Clits and said, look what they're doing in Southern California. It was fantastic. We hadn't even met each other.

JS: You've said that underground comix weren't as political as people thought at the time.

TR: If there was any politics, it was “off the pigs,” you know. It was mostly sex, drugs, and rock and roll, with an accent on the sex and drugs.

JS: Here's your contribution to the first issue of Wimmen's Comix, “Sandy Comes Out.” What's the story behind it?

TR: “Sandy Comes Out” is why we're regarded as the first comic about an out lesbian, but actually even before that, in ’71, I was drawing comics with lesbians and lesbian scenes. They're just not as well-known as this one.

JS: And Ms. magazine wouldn't run ads for Wimmen's Comix?

TR: The Supreme Court had passed a ruling, Miller v. California, that put decisions about obscenity into the hands of local governments. So that something that was not considered obscene in, say, New York might be considered obscene in Connecticut. Underground comix were being carried by head shops, and the head shops started getting busted for obscenity. So when Ms. refused to carry our ad—and they wrote us a very nice letter explaining it—they were really simply saying that didn't want to get busted for carrying an ad for obscene material.

JS: Wimmen's Comix had a good twenty-year run and opened a lot of doors for women. And you in particular have devoted a lot of your career to mentoring other women. Friends of Lulu is an example.

TR: Friends of Lulu was formed in 1992, when women were just about invisible in comics. The only women who were visible in comics were the characters: the bad-girl comics with the brokeback poses and the giant breasts. We had to do something, and the founding mommy this time was Heidi MacDonald, who called everyone together at a San Diego convention and handed out photocopied notices that we would meet to form an organization at this particular café. And man, it wasn't just standing room only, it spilled down into the street, there were so many women.

JS: I just came across this [indicates paper doll cartoon of Valerie Solanas, the attempted assassin of Andy Warhol, from Real Girl, no. 8, published by Fantagraphics in 1995] and thought it was so interesting.

TR: I do love paper dolls. I grew up with paper dolls, and I used to draw my own when I was a kid. As my art improved I would redraw the doll, but she was always in the same pose so that she could wear the clothes I had already designed for her. I had this huge brown paper bag, a supermarket paper bag, filled with my paper dolls and the clothes I made for them. I never stopped loving paper dolls, except that the subjects got a little more, maybe, sophisticated. Solanas fascinates me. Maybe this is something you don't know: I did a non-comic book about women who kill. You didn't know about it? It's called Tender Murderers: Women Who Kill (2003). The last chapter is about women who missed, as it were, and titled “Shoots like a Girl,” and Valerie Solanas is in it. I find her fascinating, and very funny. It wouldn't be funny if she had actually killed Andy Warhol.

JS: Fashion has been a through line in your career.

TR: Oh god, I can't help it. I love clothes. I really love clothes. I had that boutique. I designed clothes. My poor partner, who is a guy and a very, very nice guy—but we'll be walking down the street, and I'll say, “Oh Steve, look at that outfit, look at that, it looks like a dress but it's pants! Isn't that clever!” I'm always noticing what people wear.

JS: Do you want to talk about Vampirella?

TR: Sure. Contrary to popular opinion, I did not create Vampirella. All I did was design her clothes. Or shall we say, her clothe! Her outfit. This happened in 1969. Jim Warren, publisher of Warren Publications, who also printed Creepy and Eerie and Famous Monsters of Filmland, decided to do one that was—well, by today's standards it's hard to think of it as feminist, but the accent was on women, so in his own way it was feminist. A vampire woman telling stories, and the stories usually revolved around female characters. He was just starting this, and I went to see him with my art, and I was not, I was not ready for Vampirella. I was not good enough at all. I was an underground cartoonist. And he was a sweetheart, letting me down very gently, when the phone rang and it was Frank Frazetta. And I could tell from his end of the conversation that Frank was trying to come up with an outfit for the heroine Vampirella, and Jim didn't like what Frank was doing. I think Frank had put her in your basic bikini, which didn't work. She needed something much cleverer than that. So Jim was describing what he wanted—that she should have a high collar but it should still show a lot of skin. I started sketching it and I handed him the sketch, and he said, just a minute, there's a young lady here who knows exactly what I want, and I'll put her on. I described what I had drawn to Frank Frazetta, and that was the costume. I never met Frank Frazetta in person, just talked to him on the phone.

JS: I didn't know that story. I love it.

Audience question: Recently they've redesigned the Vampirella costume. It's become a thing for female characters to have costume redesigns. What are your thoughts about redesigning characters, and of course what you think about the Vampirella redesign?

TR: Vampirella! I thought at first you might be talking about Wonder Woman. They made Vampirella kind of all punkish, didn't they, with combat boots and everything. I personally don't like it. It's cute, but it isn't vampy. I mean, these costumes are iconic. That's why I thought you were talking about Wonder Woman. Because it's usually guys who get hold of her, who get the job of drawing her. They're like, “She's mine, I can redesign her.” But Vampirella and Wonder Woman are iconic, and their costumes are iconic, no matter what these people try to do. You go to the convention floor and you look at the cosplayers, and they're wearing the iconic costumes, or else riffing on the iconic costumes, which is cute too. I mean, I like the Bombshell Wonder Woman very much. I've seen Wonder Woman costumes with that strapless top with the eagle but then the skirt is all starry ruffles, and that's cute too. But not very practical, of course, if you're fighting crime. But there have been some horrible redesigns of the Wonder Woman costume.

JS: You've done several different incarnations of Wonder Woman.

TR: I love writing Wonder Woman. They've started doing some really creative stuff with her. First it was Sensation Comics, and I did a Sensation comic book. Then more recently I did a Wonder Woman ’77, which is based on the TV show, which I watched when it came out, and loved it! And loved Lynda Carter. I've sold them another Wonder Woman ’77 that will be out in September [2016], and I hope to keep doing it, because I'm in heaven when I'm writing Wonder Woman.

JS: We love Honey West.

TR: Yes, we do! I love Honey West as much as I love Wonder Woman. And both of them were on TV. Honey West was first a series of detective novels from the late ’50s through the early ’70s. Not counting Nancy Drew, she was the first woman detective written about in books. And then she was a TV series in ’65 and ’66, and I watched her just like I watched Wonder Woman in the 1970s. I loved her. Anne Francis played her, and was perfect. Just like Lynda Carter was Wonder Woman, Anne Francis was Honey West.

JS: And her fashion was unbelievably cool.

TR: Plus her cat! Bruce the ocelot.

JS: Have the Honey West comics been collected in a trade paperback? You did a few of them for Moonstone.

TR: They lost the license, unfortunately, to produce Honey West. They did do a small graphic novel collection. They didn't collect all of my Honey Wests, but some of them, and I think you can still find that stuff on Amazon. I liked that her sidekick was an ocelot. She did have a male partner, but he was a pain in the neck. He seemed to exist only to tell her, “You can't do that,” or “That won't work,” and then she would go ahead and do it, and it would work, of course.

JS: You've done a lot of comics for girls. One of the first things I ever heard you say was, it's bullshit to think that girls don't read comics; they read them when they're written for them.

TR: When there are comics the girls like to read, girls will read comics. Editors and publishers kept saying, girls don't read comics, girls don't read comics. Well, girls don't read comics if the comics consist of nothing but guys with big chins and muscles and thick necks beating each other up, because that is not what girls are interested in. But girls used to read comics. I read comics when I was a kid. I wrote an entire book about comics that were done for girls and women and were enormously successful. I'm trying to bring them back, basically.

I do read comics that are reminiscent of the ones I read as a kid. Very simple stuff, like two teenage girls having adventures. And most important, there was audience participation—this was before computers. Readers would send in designs. There I go back to clothes again. Readers would send in designs for clothes for the characters, and if their designs were published in the comic, they would get credit and also—both Marvel and Eclipse did this—get a little card in the mail saying “California Designers’ Club” or “Misty Designers’ Club.” I got one from Katy Keene, which I read as a kid, and loved. The whole thing about Katy Keene was total audience participation. People—kids, mostly—sent in designs not only for clothes, but even for things like horses and cars and rocket ships, whatever interested them, and were credited. They belonged to the “Katy Keene Designers’ Club.”

JS: Let's also talk about Go Girl with Anne Timmons. Her inspirations were some of the comics that you read as a girl.

TR: Yes, Supergirl and Mary Marvel. I mean, look at them, in their dresses. They're wearing skirts, for Christ's sake. It's so nice, you know? And they're really cute. And both of them have bullets bouncing off them, and fists of steel. But my character, she's not perfect. Bullets do not bounce off her. Her one talent is that she can fly. Her mother was a superheroine who flew, but she got married, and her husband felt threatened having a wife who could fly, so she stopped. Of course, with a husband like that, they were going to split up, and they did. But she never went back to flying because she had negative feelings about it. But her daughter, Go Girl, can fly, and becomes a flying superheroine.

JS: And you did a couple of other things with Anne.

TR: Yes. God, Anne is a pleasure. By then, I wasn't drawing any more. But Anne was perfect, because she draws a bit like I used to draw, except she's better. She's a pleasure to work with; our minds work the same way.

JS: And then, of course, you are a comics herstorian.

TR: That's what I am.

JS: Women and the Comics (1985) was the first book you did?

TR: Yes, that was the first one. I did it with Cat Yronwode. I'd gotten sick and tired of editors and publishers saying girls don't read comics, but also that women have never drawn comics. I knew that was nonsense. So we researched, and it was hard—this was pre-computer, pre-internet, and so a lot of our research was faulty. That was not our fault; it was because the information out there was faulty.

JS: You've done quite a few more books since then.

TR: Once the internet came along, it sure was easier. But even once that first book was published it was easier, because people would read it and contact me to say, “I have something you might like to look at,” or, “I have some art you might want to use.” People were really, and they still are really, helpful. So helpful. My big discovery in researching these books is that when you are not written about, you are forgotten. When guys write books, they're not interested in writing about women; they want to write about Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. And that's okay, but there were all these amazing women out there, and now, because I've written about them and collected their work in books, they're not forgotten.

I mean, sure, lots of people still don't know who Lily Renée was, but now a lot more people do know who Lily Renée was. And is, because she is still with us at ninety-two. Babes in Arms is a collection that's coming out in 2017. I edited it and put it together. It collects the work of four Golden Age women cartoonists who basically—the way I think of it is that they fought World War II on paper. They drew these beautiful, courageous women who fought the Axis. With pen and ink and paper, they were fighting the Axis. One of them, in fact, was Lily Renée, who had a real reason to fight because she was a refugee. She was a Jewish girl in Vienna in 1938 when the Nazis marched in, and she fled to England, to the safety of England, and eventually got to America, where she drew comics during the Golden Age. And they're great. They're great.

JS: The last time I was in San Francisco I met up with Mike Madrid, author of The Supergirls (Exterminating Angel, 2009), and we went to your exhibition at the Cartoon Art Museum. You had loaned them quite a lot of your collection.

TR: I have the largest collection of original comic art by early twentieth-century women cartoonists, because it's my field, it's what I do. The collection has traveled all through Europe; it's been in Germany and Austria and Spain and Portugal. A little bit of it was in Japan on exhibit. It's been all over America. And it was comparatively easy to get this stuff, because, again, the guys all just want an original Spider-Man page. Anything by a woman: who cares? Well, I care.

Audience question: In your long and storied career, is there something that you're most proud of?

TR: I think what I'm proudest of are the two benefit anthologies that I produced. One of them was Strip AIDS USA, which we did in 1988. AIDS was the scourge of America, if not the world, and very little was being done for it at that time. I got my inspiration when I was in England. I met a guy who had produced an AIDS benefit comic book called Strip AIDS. And it was great, I thought it was wonderful that they had done that, but looking through it, I saw that there was one problem, which was that the comics were just comics. They weren't about AIDS. And I thought, well, we can do this better.

I went back home, and the first person I contacted was Robert Triptow, who was editing Gay Comix, and then he found out that Bill Sienkiewicz had been talking about doing a book like that. So I recruited him to work with us. Bill got the mainstream cartoonists, I got the women and the underground cartoonists, and Robert got the gay cartoonists. You can't draw a book like that without all the input you can get from gay cartoonists. I phoned Ron Turner, who had been publisher of Wimmen's Comix, to ask if he would publish it, and before I even finished asking him, he said yes! Which was nice, because there was no money in it for him—it was a benefit project. We made a lot of money for AIDS-related causes from that book.

The other project I'm particularly proud of is a book called Choices that I self-published with a partner in the 1990s. The Supreme Court had passed what was commonly known as the Webster Decision, which put abortion rights and rulings in the hands of individual states. We knew what was going to happen, and it has happened, as you all know: some states are doing their best to completely outlaw abortion by making it really, really, really hard for women to get abortions. I had already done Strip AIDS USA, and people were looking at me, and saying, you know, someone needs to do a pro-choice book, Trina. So I got a partner, Liz Schiller, who happened to be the treasurer of Oakland NOW, the National Organization for Women. She wanted to do that book too. We did it. We did it and we made money. Specifically, we decided that the money would go to San Francisco NOW. We worked closely with the president of San Francisco NOW, and when we gave her our first check, she said, “There is a goddess!”

JS: And you just recently had something reprinted.

TR: Yes, I serialized in comic form Sax Rohmer's novel Dope. For those of you who don't know, Sax Rohmer was a wonderful, very pulpy writer. He wrote the Fu Manchu series. Drew Ford—his company is called “It's Alive!”—put up a Kickstarter, and we're going to be reprinting Dope in book form. And it's about time, because when I originally did it, I hoped that we could reprint it in book form, but Eclipse, my publisher then, fell upon hard times. They did a beautiful job with what they had, but they had distribution problems—any comic that was not a mainstream superhero book had distribution problems in those days. So at last, it's going to come out as a book. I feel that that period, the mid- to late ’80s, was, when it comes to my art, my best period. I think I was at my best as an artist at that time.