Trina Robbins Bill Sherman - Essay

Bill Sherman

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

It took me a couple of years after I first discovered her (San Francisco Comix Book #2, "The Tiger's Revenge") to appreciate Trina Robbins's comix work. For a long time I ignored it. It wasn't the relative crudity of her artwork—at that time a lot of comix artists were crude—but something else: her working with comics material I thought at the time I'd outgrown. Trina's Golden Age tributes, comix consciousness meshed with comics style, seemed alien to me, too simultaneously close to childhood….

There was the matter of her feminism, too. "If you're taking it personally it probably was meant for you," she wrote of her sex satires in Girl Fight #2, and for a time her evocations of Amazons and angry women did make this male comix reader uncomfortable. But while Trina got more sophisticated in her treatment of feminist topics, I got less defensive on more than one front: by '74, when she'd written the above, I was a fan of hers….

[Trina Robbins] was in the underground from its earliest years, a time when women artists were even rarer than they were in the overground, and … has since become one of its best, most consistent artists. (p. 47)

Bill Sherman, "An Interview with Trina Robbins, The First Lady of Underground Comix," in The Comics Journal, No. 53, Winter, 1980.