Trina Robbins, female comic pioneer, dies at 85

Trina Robbins, the American cartoonist, comic book artist, and writer, who was based in San Francisco for much of her life, passed away on April 10., according to multiple reports. She was 85. 

Robbins passed away from a stroke, her daughter confirmed with the Washington Post.

Renowned for her groundbreaking contributions to feminist and underground comics, Robbins leaves behind a profound legacy that has significantly shaped the comic book industry and empowered women creators.

Born in New York City in 1938, Robbins began her career in the early 1960s, working as a fashion illustrator and contributing to various publications. 

However, it was her work with Underground Comix – a small press of self-publish comic books –  in the 1960s and 1970s that she found her true voice as an artist.

In 1970, Robbins co-created "It Ain't Me, Babe Comix," the first comic book entirely produced by women. This pioneering work challenged the male-dominated comic book industry and provided a platform for women to share their stories and perspectives.

The comic book achieved remarkable success, reportedly selling 40,000 copies across three printings, and set the stage for "Wimmen’s Comix," recognized as the longest-running comics anthology solely created by women. 

"From day one, she looked at the comics that were being published and she asked herself which stories weren’t being told, who felt they weren’t being seen by publishers, and she did whatever she could to remedy that, both as an artist and as an editor and publisher of anthology titles," Andrew Farago, curator of the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco told the Washington Post

In addition to her work in comics, Robbins was a prolific author and historian, writing numerous books on the history of women in comics, including "Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013." Her research and scholarship played a vital role in documenting the often-overlooked contributions of women to the medium.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.