One of Time.com's 10 Best Comics of 2001
Synopses & Reviews
Move over, Spidey take a break, Batman the girls are here!
The Great Women Cartoonists features all the leading ladies of the history of cartooning. Starting way back in 1896 when Rose O'Neill sold a strip to Truth magazine and ending at the turn of the twentieth century, this book takes you on a journey of discovery.
Trina Robbins tells the story of artists like Nell Brinkley, whose romantic curly-haired, doe-eyed Brinkley Girls influenced numerous other artists and who regularly inserted comments supporting the suffrage movement. She goes on to the war years, when Rosie the Riveter stepped into the work force, empowering women and women cartoonists reflected in such comics as Mopsy, a spunky young slip of a thing, and Girl Commandos who were really fully empowered chix and womyn! These female-targeted comics continued, drawn by women and read by women, right up through those awkward mid-century years when girls were girls and women went back into the kitchen. Yet still women were producing comics for other women to read, found in such delectable titles as Lovers Lane and Complete Love, finally emerging into the feminist years, when women was spelled W-I-M-M-E-N and Tits'n Clits hit the shelves. And today, women are in full force, no-holds-barred, breaking taboos, pushing the envelope. It's all here. All the great women cartoonists!
"[I]nvaluable....There can be no doubt that part of comix's continuing marginalization has to do with past and continued alienation of half the creative force and half the consumer force. Trina Robbins' The Great Women Cartoonists makes a tremendous contribution to rediscovering a fading history, with hopes of changing the future." Andrew D. Arnold, Time.com
"A crucial work, painstaking, impressive, funny and moving in the way it shines a tender light on the most anonymous practitioners of the most anonymous art form of the twentieth century but above all, a pleasure to get lost in. The universe is grateful to Trina Robbins for this book." Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Robbins began her cartooning career in the underground in 1966, and has become not only a major artist but the foremost pop historian of women in comics. To keep her survey to a reasonable size, she has neglected cartoons writers unless they were working with a cartoonist, and defines cartoons as two or more panels, continuity, or speech balloons inside the panel.
A comprehensive history of women cartoonists from 1896 to the 21st century. It takes an in-depth look at the creative and professional progress of women in cartooning and showcases work by cartoonists such as Grace Drayton, Rose O'Neill, Alison Bechdel, Melinda Gebbe and Trina Robbins herself.
About the Author
Trina Robbins has written and drawn more comics than she can remember. The foremost pop historian of women in comics, she began as one of the pioneers of the underground comics movement, publishing her first strip in an underground newspaper in 1966. In 1970 she produced the very first all-woman comics anthology, It Ain't Me Babe, and in 1972 helped found the groundbreaking Wimmen's Comix Collective which produced the first comic book series to deal with such feminist issues as abortion and sexuality. Robbins has published numerous comics and books, including the recent From Girls to Grrrlz which provides a good first-person account of the women's comics scene she helped to create. Ms. Robbins has also authored The Great Women Superheroes and Women and the Comics. She lives in San Francisco.
Table of Contents
Part 1 The Queens of Cute 1
Part 2 The Pursuit of Flappiness 18
Part 3 Depression Babies and Babes 36
Part 4 Blonde Bombers and Girl Commandos 54
Part 5 Tradition 78
Part 6 Chicks and Womyn 106
Part 7 Options 120
Women Doing Comics 148