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American comic artist
Trina Robbins at a 2010 Underground Comix art exhibit in San Francisco
(1938-08-17) August 17, 1938 (age 81) Brooklyn, New York
Trina Robbins (born Trina Perlson, August 17, 1938) is an American cartoonist. She was an early and influential participant in the underground comix movement, and one of the first few female artists in that movement. Both as a cartoonist and historian, Robbins has long been involved in creating outlets for and promoting female comics artists. In the 1980s, Robbins became the first woman to draw Wonder Woman comics. She is a member of the Will Eisner Hall of Fame.
Robbins became increasingly outspoken in her beliefs, criticizing underground comix artist Robert Crumb for the perceived misogyny of many of his comics. She said, "It's weird to me how willing people are to overlook the hideous darkness in Crumb's work ... What the hell is funny about rape and murder?"
Robbins' official involvement with Wonder Woman, a character she had long admired, began in 1986. At the conclusion of the first volume of the series (in conjunction with the series Crisis on Infinite Earths), DC Comics published a four-issue limited series titled The Legend of Wonder Woman, written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Robbins. Robbins was the first woman to draw Wonder Woman comics. The series paid homage to the character's Golden Age roots. She also appeared as herself in Wonder Woman Annual 2 (1989). In the mid-1990s, Robbins criticized artist Mike Deodato's "bad girl art" portrayal of Wonder Woman, calling Deodato's version of the character a "barely clothed hypersexual pinup." In the late 1990s, Robbins collaborated with Colleen Doran on the DC Comics graphic novel Wonder Woman: The Once and Future Story, on the subject of spousal abuse.
Robbins has been writing the comic book adventures of Honey West, notable as being one of popular fiction's first female private detectives.
Writing and activism
In addition to her comics work, Robbins is an author of nonfiction books on the history of women in cartooning.
Her first book, co-written with Catherine Yronwode, was Women and the Comics, a history of female comic-strip and comic-book creators. As one of the first books ever published on this subject, it was covered in the mainstream press, in addition to the fan press. Subsequent Robbins volumes on women in the comics industry include A Century of Women Cartoonists (Kitchen Sink, 1993), The Great Women Superheroes (Kitchen Sink, 1997), From Girls to Grrrlz: A History of Women's Comics from Teens to Zines (Chronicle, 1999), and The Great Women Cartoonists (Watson-Guptill, 2001). Her most recent work, Pretty In Ink, published by Fantagraphics, covers the history of North American women in comics from Rose O'Neill's 1896 strip The Old Subscriber Calls to present.
Robbins was a co-founder of Friends of Lulu, a nonprofit formed in 1994 to promote readership of comic books by women and the participation of women in the comic book industry.
In a 2015 poll, Robbins was ranked #25 among the best female comics creators of all-time.
In 2017, Robbins was chosen for the Wizard World Hall of Legends.
In consideration of her contributions to the comic art form and her work as a historian, Comics Alliance listed Robbins as one of twelve women cartoonists deserving of lifetime achievement recognition.