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OF PRESIDENTS AND PANTSUITS

So this election has me thinking, and that’s an understatement.  I’m the grateful recipient of the thick and heavy Wonder Woman Golden Age Omnibus #1, which reprints the first few years of William Moulton Marston’s Amazon princess’ adventures.  Inside is a story I’ve always wanted to read.

prez-and-pants-ww-cover  I’d seen the cover before; it’s Wonder Woman running for president in the year 3,000.  Even strongly feminist Marston believed that it would take 1,000 years before a woman could be president (and in view of this year’s election, he may have been right!).  The first impression I got was that I had seen that picture, that pose, before.  And here it is, drawn by Nell Brinkley in 1928, for a series called “Dimples Daydreams,” in which our flapper heroine imagines running for president only 8 years after women got the vote.

prez and pants Dimples in politics.jpg

 The story inside the Wonder Woman comic is strangely prescient. In the year 3,000, America finally has a woman president, Arda Moore, who wears a slinky evening gown and, like then real life president FDR, smokes cigarettes in a long holder.  Senator Heeman, leader of the Man’s World party, forces his way into the president’s office and confronts her.  He demands the release from Federal prison of former political leader Grafton Patronage.  President Moore responds, “Grafton Patronage!  Why that crook represents all that was bad and corrupt in the political rule of men and which was ended by my election!”

Heeman raves, “You women are feather brained idealists!  You’ve stopped us men from making money out of public office!  You’ve taught people to elect officials who serve the public and expect nothing for themselves!” to which President Moore comments, “Quite so!”

When  President Moore refuses the pardon, Grafton attempts a prison break, which of course Wonder Woman foils. But it’s not over! Steve Trevor is duped into running for president on the Man’s Party, led by one professor Manly and his “purple shirts.” For some reason, President Moore refuses to run against Steve, so Diana Price runs for president, with Etta Candy at her side as vice president.  On election night the Woman’s Party is winning when Manly’s purple shirts invade the “vote counting rooms”, steal the ballots, and substitute fake ballots which show Steve Trevor winning.  Steve finally realizes he’s been duped and demands a recount, whereupon Manly attempts to destroy the real ballots.  Of course Wonder Woman wins in the end, but does this situation sound vaguely familiar?

Back to Dimples and her grand imagination.  She is elected president!  And look at her, a mere 8 years after women got the vote: she’s wearing a pantsuit!

prez and pants Dimples is prez.jpg

Fear of Blogging Visits Israel, Faints

 

In May I flew to Israel to speak at a feminist comics symposium at Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva, at Ben Gurion University.  Yes, comics are everywhere and so is feminism!  We’ve come a long way from the belief that feminists are a bunch of hairy-legged manhaters who burn bras, and we’ve come a long way from people who believed girls don’t read comics.

Be’er Sheva is a lovely, modern small city (Everything in Israel is small: the country is the size of Kentucky.), but right outside the new city are the 9,000 year old ruins of ancient Be’er Sheva, and I wanted to see them, so a kindly professor volunteered to take me.  Folks, the ruins are in the middle of the desert, and it’s HOT!  I thought I was prepared with sunscreen, a hat, and water, but at a certain point, when little black spots started floating in front of my eyes, I realized I had to lie down.  So I lay down on a bench in a bit of shade while my kindly guide fetched me an ice cold pepsi.  Amazing how an ice cold pepsi can revive one, with that great combination of caffeine and sugar!

When I got back to my rooms, I napped for about 2 hours, and it was all worth it, to see the oldest ruins I have ever seen, not to mention the camels.  Camels!

Camel

And here I am in the ruins just before I fainted.

trina at ruins

Concurrent with the symposium was an exhibit at the Negev Museum of Art, of the Eisner-winning anthology, “Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews,” to which I happen to be a contributor.  The Graphic Details show was on the top floor of the museum, and what should be on the bottom floor but an exhibit titled “Wonder Woman: Superheroines in Israeli Comics!”  The art, by Israeli cartoonists, ranged from pieces that were only vaguely connected with Wonder Woman (Like the great piece on Anne Frank, though on second thought, she was a wonder woman) to some lovely literal interpretations, like this painting by my old friend Michael Netzer (whom I had not seen since 1977!), of the world famous Amazon as a combination of Gal Gadot and the biblical poet, musician and dancer, Miriam.

michael's WW

Wonderful Michael was my guide for the rest of my Israeli adventure, escorting me through Jerusalem, the oldest living city I have ever been in – in comparison, Rome is practically contemporary! – and to the Dead Sea, which feels like warm jello.  In between: shopping at the Shouk (that’s Michael, with me at the Shouk) , the Arab bazaar, and more camels!

michael n me in Shouk

You’re expecting me to talk politics?  Lemme tellya, it’s not so black and white.  I heard a lot from both sides, each side equally fervent, until I begged not to hear anymore.  I only know I loved Israel, and I long for the day when I can return and when there is no more hatred and violence.

FROM WONDER WOMAN TO NELL BRINKLEY

If it’s June, it must be Denver.  Maybe because last year I was on my best behavior, Steve and I were invited back to the Denver comic con this year.  It’s gotten to the point that when I go to this con, I feel like I’m visiting family.  Perhaps in response to last year, when 4 guys had put on a panel called “Women in Comics,” and did not include one woman on the panel, there were tons of women-oriented panels this year, so many that they clashed with each other, and I had to cancel at least one panel so that I could be on a Wonder Woman panel that was on at the same time.  (When there’s a choice, I always pick Wonder Woman!)

The convention is held a few blocks away from the 16th Street Mall, a mile-long outdoor pedestrian mall, very people-friendly, with a free streetcar that runs the length of the mall (we took it to the Denver Art museum for a great exhibit of women abstract expressionists), nice little places to eat, public sculptures and chess tables, and even pianos on some streets, free to be played (and they were!).  San Francisco could learn a lot from the 16th Street Mall.

And on our last day: Edgewater, home of Nell Brinkley! The lovely Debbi Jones, who resembles Wonder Woman, and her affable husband Jimmy, drove us to the house where Nell grew up, now inhabited by Rachel and her mom, Becky, and they kindly invited us in.  It’s fascinating, because the house has been added onto through the years, but there’s much of the original two-room cottage (!!!) left.  By 1912, Nell was living in New York and was already an immensely popular cartoonist and illustrator, and I’m guessing she sent money home, so her father, who worked for a lumber company, could add on two more rooms.  Nell’s dad was also the mayor of Edgewater, but it obviously was not a fabulously well-paying job.  Here are Debbi (see her Nell Brinkley tattoo?), Rachel, me and Becky, in front of the original two room part of the house.

brinkley house owner, mom, Debbi 2

 

And then, back to San Francisco in time for the Gay Pride Parade.  Last year I walked with the SPCA, where we have always shopped for used cats, but this year they were not in the parade.  Was it fear, because of the recent horrific slaughter in Orlando?  Hard for me to believe that the wonderful SPCA, purveyor of used cats’n’dogs, could be intimidated.  I am not easily intimidated, so I walked in the parade with Muttville, senior dog rescue.  We were told to wear pink, and we did!  Here are some of us, looking pretty in pink.  Far left, in a pink tee shirt and white pants, is my friend Pauline, who also happens to be the mom of my son-in-law.  She adopted her cute though silly Pomeranian from Muttville.

muttville 1

How I wish I could walk my cats, but they have made it clear: no way, Jose.

IF IT’S WEDNESDAY IT MUST BE SAN DIEGO…

…and the biggest comic con in America!  As in the past few years, these days the con is all over women, women, and wimmen.  Comics are girl-friendly at last, and they’re being drawn by women and men. Women are sitting behind tables, selling beautiful comics, graphic novels, and art; we’re winning awards at the Eisner Award Ceremonies, and we’re on panels.  Gone is the day when cons had one pathetic women’s panel, and I’m proud and happy that I was on some of those panels.  Here I am with Lee Marrs, Mary Fleener, moi, Mari Naomi, Anina Bennett, and Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson, at the Generations of Women panel (Omigosh, guess who’s the oldest!),

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and here is the Wimmen’s Comix panel.  Above, we’re discussing our ground breaking experiences with the first and longest lasting ongoing all-woman anthology, which has been reprinted by Fantagraphics as an impressive two-volume boxed set, and below: will ya lookit all them happy wimmen?  Left to right, that’s yours truly again, Terre Richards, Sharon Rudahl, Barbara “Willy” Mendes, Lee Marrs, Rebecka Wright, Joan Hilty, and Mary Fleener.

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Have women taken over the industry yet?

FINALLY…

Where to find me next:  After a much-needed vacation in Hawaii, look for me at the San Francisco comic-con on September 2nd – 4th, Then SPX in Bethesda, Maryland, from September 16th – 18th, and finally, a symposium on Wonder Woman at Kent State University, in Cleveland, Ohio, from September 23rd – 25th.

After which, I think I will take a nap.

FEAR OF BLOGGING SETS A RECORD…

Even for me!  It’s been four months since my last blog!  Verily is my blog called Fear of Blogging!  So let’s start with the most recent, and go downhill from there…

What do you call a room so full of women cartoonists that you can’t toss a cat without hitting a woman cartoonist?  That is, if you are in the habit of tossing cats.

I call it a signing for the Wimmen’s Comix collection, at Green Apple books on April 12th.In case you didn’t know, Wimmen’s Comix was the first continuing all-woman comic book anthology, lasting from 1972 – 1992, and the collection also includes the very first all-woman comic book, It Ain’t Me, Babe, from 1970.  This is a two-volume boxed set, and it’s a facsimile edition, meaning the reprints look exactly like the comic books, even including ads.  11 of the original wimmen showed up, from all parts of California and parts north, to discuss the book and sign copies for a standing room-only crowd.  I don’t know who had more fun, us or the audience!

Here we all are, left to right: Nancy Husari, Leslie Ewing, Lee Marrs, Sharon Rudahl, Barbara Millikan (was Barb Brown), yours truly, Rebecka Wright, Vida Chan (was Edna Jundis), Caryn Leschen, Lee Binswanger.Wimmin's Comix photo by Justin Hall

The photo is by Justin Hall, Thank you, Justin!) and if you missed us, we’ll have a panel at the San Diego con in July, followed by yet another signing at the Fantagraphics booth.  Come say hello!

And finally, Samantha Meier interviewed some of us for a (mostly positive) great article in the Comics Journal: http://www.tcj.com/an-oral-history-of-wimmens-comix/

Moving forward in time before we move backward: a group of lions is called a Pride of Lions.  A group of ravens is called a Slaughter of Ravens.  But what do you call a group of rabbits?  I decided you call them a Bunch of Bunnies, and there they were, giant rabbits in front of City Hall in April, and here I am in front of one.  A sort of Night of the Lepus, but maybe more like Afternoon of the Lepus. Trina & 3 Bunnies @ City Hall

A week later, City hall was bathed in purple light for Prince.  It has been a bad year for rock stars.  I have been writing a Wonder Woman story that’s an homage to David Bowie. (look for it in a few months)  What will I do for Prince?

About Wonder Woman: I have been deliriously happy to be writing the occasional Wonder Woman story these past few months, and I have a ten page story in Wonder Woman ’77 #3, which came out in April.  Wonder Woman ’77 is great fun, because the stories take place in 1977, and Wonder Woman is played by Lynda Carter, who as far as I and many other people are concerned, was Wonder Woman on TV in the ‘70s.  And does this mean that Lynda Carter reads Wonder Woman ’77, because of course she’s the star?  If so, be still my heart!  She is reading my comic!

Moving back in time: last February I was a guest at the San Diego Comics Fest, which has nothing to do with the San Diego comics con, the biggest pop culture convention in America.  It’s a small, friendly convention that attempts to bring back some of the warm feelings that the San Diego comic con had back when it was a small con, and everyone knew each other.  It’s always nice to meet face-to-face with people you usually only know electronically, and one of those people is Mary Fleener, cartoonist and musician par excellence.  Mary is the best cubist artist I know except for a bunch of dead French guys.  And here we both are with another friend who I only get to see at convention, Michael Dooley, writer, academic, and cute guy.  And yes, that’s Frida Kahlo on my shirt.  I bought the shirt in Mexico (shoulda bought 3!) and she has become my default convention shirt.San Diego comics fest

Where will Fear of Blogging be in May?  How about Minnesota, at the MSP con (Minneapolis St. Paul), put on by the MCBA (That’s the Midwest Comic Book Association).  I love these cons, and have been lucky enough to attend 2 of them, and this will be my third.  The con is held in the Minneapolis State Fairgrounds, closed for the winter, and it’s a combination of a ghost town and Oz.  And speaking of Oz, the only thing I’m not quite crazy about at the SP con is the tornadoes, although they definitely add some excitement to the mix, in case it’s not exciting enough.  Come see me, say hello!

So here I am with my good friend Hillary.  This is in no way a political endorsement because the truth is that whoever gets the nomination, Bernie or Hillary, I will volunteer and work hard for them, and we will either have our first woman president or our first Jewish Atheist president, both of which are fine with me.  But the Bernie people, who were out there at my neighborhood farmer’s market, along with the Hillary people, didn’t have any cardboard Bernies for me to photograph myself with.Me and Hilary

I will leave you with these words, by Amelia E. Barr, written in 1913.  You can find out more about her here: http://americanbookcovers.blogspot.com/2016/03/happy-birthday-amelia.html?m=1

All my life long I have been sensible of the injustice constantly done to women.  Since I have had to fight the world single-handed, there has been not one day I have not smarted under the wrongs I have had to bear, because I was not only a women, but a woman doing a man’s work, without any man, husband, son, brother or friend, to stand at my side, and to see some semblance of justice done to me.  I cannot forget, for injustice is a sixth sense, and rouses all the others.  If it was not for the constant inflowing of God into human affairs, the condition of women would today have been almost as insufferable as was the condition of the Negro in 1860.  However, the movement for the enfranchisement of women will go forward, and not backward, and I have not one fear as to the consequences it will bring about.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEAR OF BLOGGING’S LAST BLOG OF 2015!

SAINT LOUIS WOMAN
…And Fear of Blogging’s last comic convention of 2015 was Project Comic-con, in St. Louis, Missouri last October. Goddess bless’em, their theme was Women Creators in Comics, and we filled two big rooms with us. What a far cry from the bad old days when I was the only woman guest at some all-guy, all-mainstream superhero con! My table was right opposite Spike Trotman, while to my left sat Rori (“Tiny Pink Robots”), to my right sat comics editor Nicole Boose, and right behind me sat June Brigman of Powerpack fame, and the last woman to draw Brenda Starr.
Meanwhile in the other room sat Sho Murase, brilliant artist on the Nency Drew series and much more. I knew her work from Nancy Drew, since you won’t be surprised to learn I’ve been a Nancy Drew fan all my life. I’d been told that Sho would be on the same
flight as I, coming to St. Louis, so, having no idea what she looked like. I knew nothing about Sho, but judging by her name, it ddn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out she must be Japanese, so I scrutinized all the Asian passengers. And there she was — it had to be Sho! – tall, beautiful, and very chic. I approached her on the plane: “Scuse me, would you be Sho Murase?” and she was all, “Why yes, how did you know?” Turns out Sho and I are practically neighbors in San Francisco, and we met for lunch after the con, and I’m
delighted that I can now call her my friend. me n sho 2
Also in that room were the My Little Pony artists, Jenn Blake and Alex de Campi. Jenn very kindly did a My Little Pony drawing for my granddaughter, which is now framed and up on her wall. Nicole Boose and the Pony girls and I got together for breakfast, (That’s Nicole Boose to my right, and the Pony girls to my left) and I learned that there are Ponycons, and tons of adult Pony fans, and even Pony fanfic. me, nicole boose, the little pony girls 2.jpg
Who knew?
Me, I shoulda knew, that’s who. Last month, when Sensation Comics, with my 30 page Wonder Woman story (Yay!) came out, I popped into Isotope comics, where James, the owner, had kindly set up a table for me in case anybody wanted their comic signed, and as
I sat there a car pulled up, double parked, and two young girls ran out into the store to pick up their copies of the newest My Little Pony. Yes, girls are reading comics again, thanks to My little Pony, and the industry will never be the same. Fear of Blogging sez brava for that!
WHERE WERE YOU ON DECEMBER 17th?
Fear of Blogging was at the opening of Star Wars; the Force Awakens, of course. And here are Steve and I, with our Wookie pal, and look! Steve is taller than the Wookie! Fear of Blogging sez two thumbs up, and if I had 2 more hands it would be four thumbs up. 12 17 15 Star Wars- the Force Awakens.jpg
CAT TAILS: THE HAPPY
When we left the last Fear of Blogging, I had adopted Chester, a gorgeous if traumatized Persian cat, to replace the irreplaceable Winston, who will remain in my heart forever. (That’s Chester in a box)Chester DC Box 2015-12-21 19.50.18

However, here I was, desperate to grab a cat and pet it to within an inch of its life, but
poor Chester, who must have had a terrible time on the streets, being bullied by the feral cats, will still only rarely let us pet him. So the only solution was to get ANOTHER cat!
Mission accomplished with our first trip to the SPCA, and now we have 11 month old Charlie, friendly, well-adjusted, and unstoppable. Obviously, I was not gonna return Chester, as that would further traumatize the poor lil guy, so we are keeping him as an objet d’art, which he is, and hoping that Charlie, who doesn’t understand the meaning of No, will help socialize him.
CAT TAILS: THE SAD
So for a brief time we had 3 cats, but our other cat, 14 year old Daisy, had been going into a slow decline. We brought her into the vet’s earlier this month, where the vet prescribed antibiotics. But the antibiotics didn’t work, and last week I found her on the kitchen
floor, unable to move her rear legs and meowing pitiously. We brought her back to the vet, to find that everything was wrong with her, and opted against heroic measures, which is the decision I would want for myself in such a situation. Sweet Daisy has joined her old pal Winston on the Great Cushion in the Sky, and we are once again reduced to a mere two cats. Here is Daisy in her halcyon days, never forgotten.

Daisey 12 12 13 FB
Next year: two more books, maybe three, maybe four! But meanwhile, here is Charlie, AKA Charles T. Kittensworth (The T stands for Trouble) wishing you a warm, cozy, peaceful and productive 2016. 2016  All the Best Trina n Steve.jpg

FEAR OF BLOGGING IS A WORLD TRAVELLER: THE GOOD AND THE BAD

Okay, two months between blogs seems to be par for the course.  Sooo… Let’s start with Brazil!

THE GOOD:

Brazil was my birthday present: I arrived in Sao Paulo on my birthday, August 17th. The conference was amazing!  Alas, being a bad American and not knowing Portuguese (By the time I returned home, I had learned about 4 Portuguese phrases: hola, bom dia, boa noite, and ciao!), I couldn’t take in all the presentations, but I did have some kind people who volunteered to translate some of them.  I love conferences and much prefer them to conventions; you don’t have to sit behind a table and sell books and look at people in superhero costumes.  Instead you can listen to and exchange information with intelligent people.  So, not only great presentations (some of which I even understood!), but it was arranged for me to actually get together with a group of women comics creators, and a more talented, beautiful bunch of women you have never seen (unless you were there!).  These women loaded me down with their wondrously drawn comics, zines, and graphic novels till my suitcase weighed a ton, but it was worth dislocating my shoulder.  Look at all those women!me n all the women

I was incredibly honored to actually get a standing ovation when I presented my keynote speech: never have I felt so honored and accepted.  And among the many women (and nice guys, too!) who I was thrilled to meet was Laerte.  Laerte was a famous male cartoonist who transitioned, and when she became a woman she kept her name, so she’s still Laerte, and she is completely accepted. Bravo, Brazil, and here I am with Laerte! Laerte and me

After the conference, I went on to spend a few days in Rio deJaneiro, because if one gets to Brazil, one doesn’t leave without going to Rio.  I went with professor Natania Noguera, one of the people responsible for getting me to Brazil, and her college student friend, Luisa, and they fussed over me like mother hens.  Their fabulous Carioca friend Amando – my first Carioca! — drove us around, and we did the whole tourist bit: Sugarloaf Mountain, the amazing art deco statue of Christ the Redeemer, standing on one of the highest hills, blessing Rio, and Copacabana beach, that best of all beaches.  A Carioca is a native of Rio, and Amando says there are no better people in the world. me n Afonzo

THE BAD:

I don’t use my change card much, usually only when I travel, so it wasn’t until I flew to Washington DC for the National Book Festival on September 5th that I discovered my charge card was being rejected.  I phoned my credit card company when I returned and guess what: my identity had been stolen in Rio deJaniero, and someone had charges $23,000 on my credit card!  I think it had been stolen when I checked out of my hotel, because all the charges date from when I had already returned home.  Folks, the name of my hotel is the Windsor Copa, and I would steer clear of it if I were you.  It was a fine hotel, but one of their employees is a crook!  Yes, the identity theft was so obvious that there’s no question of it being me who made those changes, so the credit card company is fixing things, starting with a new credit card for me and a cancellation of the old one.

On to Washington, and the National Book Festival: wow, all us guests were invited to the poshest reception I’ve even seen, at the Library of Congress. They have a Guttenberg bible!  And the next evening, I joined Diane Noomin and Miss Lasko-Gross (Yay, I met Miss Lasko-Gross!  She is a terrific artist and a thoroughly nice person!) on a panel about women graphic novelists.

After that, Hawaii!  Yes, the Hawaii comic con, on the Big Island, a hotel suite that was bigger than most New York apartments, and outside our door, the Pacific and another one of those best beaches in the world.  And oh yeah, comics.  I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but – where were the women cartoonists?   The comics part of what was really a science fiction and pop culture con consisted of about five guys and their comics.  After meeting with all those beautiful, talented ladies in Brazil, where were the women?  Come on, ladies, you can do it!

And finally, Russia!

THE GOOD:

Comicon Russia is a huge convention, and featured some of the best cosplayers I have ever seen.  Some of these people must have worked for years on their costumes!  Here I am with a couple of them, Maria and Vlada, who must be the tallest Vampirella ever.  Is Vlada a perfect name for a vampire, or what? me n vladame n maria franchuzova

I couldn’t keep away from Red Square, and visited it twice in the daytime and once at night, when it’s all lit up. St. Basil’s is the most amazing cathedral I have ever seen, and I have visited many a cathedral in France, Italy, and England.  It’s ancient and is composed of a rabbit warren of tiny rooms, with not one space that is not covered with icons and decoration.  I don’t know much about the Russian style of onion-dome architecture, but it is specifically Russian and it is beautiful.   St Basil's 3Did I mention the fabled Moscow subways?  The stations are all they’re cracked up to be; majestic, clean, and full of great Soviet-era (which is kind of like WPA-era in America) statues of brave partisans (including women) and idealized Soviet men, Women, children, and even their dogs.  At the subway stop for Red Square, there’s a lovely statue of a brave soldier and his faithful dog, and people rub the dog’s muzzle for good luck as they pass it, so his muzzle is shiny.

The other American guest was Jim Salicrup, editor-in-chief at Papercutz, publishers of some very nice all-ages graphic novels, and all around nice guy.  We met John F. Tefft, the American ambassador!  Here we are with him. me n jim n ambassador 2 I learned from Mr. Tefft that ambassadors have no political affiliation, and it makes sense.  They are chosen because they can get along with everybody, which is what they have to do.

Here’s a link to a short video of the comic con, produced by the American embassy:

Jim and I were provided with 2 great translators who took total care of us and went everywhere with us, and here we all are.  Left to right, that’s Kirill (also known simply as “K”), me, Nicholas (Also known as Nick) and Jim.me n jim, kirill, nick 2

THE BAD:

1) Where were the women cartoonists?  Just like in Hawaii, I saw a bunch of comics by guys, and nothing by women.  Come on, ladies!!! Think of those amazing Brazilian women and their beautiful comics, you can do it, too!

2) I caught the Cold of the Century on the plane returning to San Francisco, and I’m still coughing!

3)  My plane home took off from Moscow at 5:45 AM, so all the currency exchanges were not open yet, and now that I’m back in the USA, I can’t find a place that will change my rubles!  Does anyone have any ideas?

FINALLY: the weekend of October 17 and 18, I can be found at Project:comic-con in St. Louis.  Here’s the link: http://www.projectcomiccon.com/

This year the emphasis is on women comics creators, so pay attention, Hawaii and Russia!

Fear of Blogging Goes to More Places, Gets a Cat, and Plants a Farm

Where to start? How about the Gay Pride Parade on Sunday, June 18th?  I marched with the SPCA because animals are my friends and because we have gotten so many of our cats from them.  The SPCA contingent was placed right after Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and in front of Animal Care and Control (where we acquired our new cat, but more on that later), so our 3 animal groups all marching together with lots of cute dogs surely were the cutest contingents in the parade.  Not only were the dogs cute but we were pretty cute too.  The SPCA asked us to wear animal prints so, being the thrift shopping queen of San Francisco, I scoured the thrift stores and found a leopard print tunic, which, along with makeup done by volunteers from Sephora, turned me into a leopard for a day.

gay pride 3

Oops, let’s back up to Wizard World in Sacramento, which took place on June 19th – 20th. and where I spotted the perfect Vampirella, and the first cosplay Vampi that I completely approved of.  Of course, she didn’t have a clue when this strange lady walked up to her and said, “I approve of your costume,” but she gamely thanked me.  Steve said I really should tell her who I was, so I found her booth and explained that I had designed the costume she was wearing, which made her happy, and we took lots of pictures.  The costume was made by her talented sister!

me n vampi best

LYDIA THE TATTOOED LADY

Well, actually her name is Jennifer Cholin, and I found her behind her table at the American Librarians Association convention here in San Francisco on June 26th and 27th. She is covered with gorgeous tattoos of Nell Brinkley girls taken from my book, and the tattoo artist did an excellent job.  I love you, Jennifer!

lydia the tattooed lady best pic

Yes, it was a busy June.

IF IT’S JULY IT MUST BE COMIC CON

And a lot happened at comic con!  One small disappointment: usually there have been great freebies and giveaways at comic con, but this year – is it the economy? – giveaways consisted mostly of things I didn’t want, like posters (I mean, how much wall space does a person have, anyway?).  The one exception was troll dolls.  On the first day of the con, people in troll wigs stood on corners across the street from the convention center giving out troll dolls in blazing colors: purple, hot pink, glittery green.  The one thing they asked in return was that we take a photo and put it up on the internet, so here I am with my troll doll and the nice person in a troll wig.  Thank you for the best giveaway at the con!

troll dolls at SD

  • Ah, the Eisners! I actually got to accept TWO (2) Eisners!  The Eisners, named for the great cartoonist Will Eisner, creator of the immortal Spirit comics and so much more, are the Oscars of the comic industry.  “Graphic Details,” a book about the traveling exhibit of confessional comics by Jewish women, won an Eisner. Cartoonist Miriam Libicki and I, both contributors to the book, got to accept it for editor Sarah Lightman.  Here we are with Sarah’s Eisner, Miriam the very image of a sexy mother with her new baby and her low-cut satin dress. And then I got to accept ANOTHER Eisner, this time for Marge Henderson Buell, creator of the immortal Little Lulu, who was voted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.  Accepting an Eisner for someone like Marge Henderson Buell is a real honor!

me n miriam libicki and eisner

Another honor: watching a play that was adapted from your book, and that’s what happened to me at the Moxie Theater on July 11th when I attended the premier of “Eternally Bad,” taken from my book of the same name about dark goddesses. You cannot imagine how good it feels to watch a brilliant cast repeating brilliantly funny lines and think, “No way, did I write that?”  And I did!  Here I am with the cast.  Thank you, guys and goddesses, for interpreting my words so beautifully!  And look at the poster!  That’s Brazilian Bombshell Era, from Tarpe Mills’ Golden Age comic, Miss Fury.

Eternally Bad Cast 7 11 951pm 2015

Eternally Bad 7 11 816pm 2015

CHESTER

If you’ve been reading my blog, you remember that wonderful, adorable, irreplaceable Winston the Wonder Cat departed this planet for the Great Cushion in the Sky in March.  There will never be another like him!  However, by April, I began going into withdrawal.  “Must…get…another…cat,” I muttered between gritted teeth, “Must…get…a Persian!”  Thus began a cat hunting odyssey of visiting the SPCA once, twice a week. But no Persians, and once one is addicted to Persians, one HAS TO have a Persian.  Next stop was Animal Care and Control, just around the corner from the SPCA, and it was there I found Chester, peering out at me with big frightened eyes in the Lost Cat section.  He doesn’t have the grumpyface that Winston had; his eyes are very round and always look a little worried or frightened or whistful and his smooshy face is flat as a pancake. I had to phone every day until he was finally available, and since they don’t put cats on hold, I had to come right down to get him. Poor Chester was found with a bunch of feral cats that no doubt were mean to him and took his food, because the poor dear was so frightened that he hid under the bed in the guest bedroom for a day.  He is still very timid, and only lets us pet him sometimes, and at other times runs away, but very slowly he is getting used to us and realizing we don’t want to kill him, and we have faith that he will eventually become the pussycat god intended him to be.

Chester 7 28 15 331pm

FEAR OF BLOGGING PLANTS A VICTORY GARDEN

Yes, that is a corn and pumpkin patch on the sidewalk in front of our house, planted by my daughter and me.  People walk by and take pictures. We are learning as we go along, and next time we won’t plant too many pumpkin seeds.  The pumpkins are out of control and we had to fence them in!  As for the corn, it’s as high as an elephant’s eye.

elephant's eye 1

ROAD TO RIO

I asked no other thing,

No other was denied,

I offered Being for it,

The Mighty Merchant sighed,

Brazil?  He twirled a button

Without a glance my way,

But Madame, is there nothing else

That we can show today?

Poor Emily Dickinson never attained her heart’s desire, as symbolized by Brazil, and I almost went the way of Emily Dickinson!  On August 16th I’m leaving for a conference in Sao Paulo, where I will be a keynote speaker, but two weeks ago I learned that I will need a visa.  Here’s the link to the conference: http://www2.eca.usp.br/jornadas/index.php

Would you have expected to need a visa to visit Brazil?  Me neither!  So, how hard can it be to get a visa for Brazil? Answer: VERY hard!  You can’t go in to the consulate; you have to fill out interminal pages of applications online, and after you’ve sent them in, they give you a date on which you can actually go in and apply some more – and the date they gave me was September 1st, which wasn’t gonna be much help since I’m flying to Brazil on August 16th.  Luckily professor Nobu Chinen, who invited me to speak at the conference, came to my aid.  He sent an email to the Consul General, and they made an “exception” for me, and last Friday I finally had my visa in hand, but not before giving them a U.S. post office money order for $160.00!  See you in Sao Paulo!

Wait, wait, one more thing: it’s the 50th anniversary of the iconic underground newspaper, the Berkeley Barb!  Big celebration at the Berkeley Public Library on Thursday, August 13!  Me, keynote speaker at 11 A.M!  Much easier to get to Berkeley than to Brazil, so come say hello! http://www.berkeleybarb.net/

Are we there yet?

Fear of Blogging Goes Everywhere at Once

Ooooh kay, I see it’s almost 3 months since I put up my last blog, and obviously Something must be done.  Sooo…

Let’s begin in April, at Ohio State, for a quick but completely filled one-day visit celebrating  the Graphic Details exhibit.  Graphic Details is the name of a traveling exhibit and a book  collecting confessional comics by Jewish Women cartoonists, and I contributed a very small story, because I’ve never been a cartoonist of memoirs.  Still, it was lovely to be part of the show, and here is the link:  http://library.osu.edu/blogs/cartoons/2015/03/11/new-exhibit-graphic-details-confessional-comics-by-jewish-women/

If you’re gonna be in Ohio from now until July 5th, it’s still not too late to take in the exhibit, and it just so happens that Graphic Details, the book, has been nominated for an Eisner Award at the San Diego con this July.  The Eisners are the Oscars of the comic industry, so fingers crossed!

Now we move on to early May, and the first Queers in Comics conference, held in New York at CUNY (the City University of New York).  I was honored to be a guest at this conference and to speak on the Pioneers panel (or as I called it, The Crones.) along with Lee Marrs, Roberta Gregory, and Mary Wings. (And yes, there we are at our Pioneers panel! Left to right, Lee Marrs, yers truly, Roberta Gregory, Mary Wings.)    00  Marrs, Robbins, Gregory, Wings

But first!  I flew to New York a couple of days early, so that I could fulfill a dream: to visit the Wonder Woman Museum in Bethel, Connecticut. The museum also happens to be the home of Pete Marston, the son of Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston, and one of the dearest people on this planet.  How does one describe a house that is bursting at the seams with everything pertaining to the world’s most beloved Amazon Princess?  Perhaps a look at my face as I gaze with amazement for the first time at all the wonderful (pun intended) goodies on exhibit in the museum’s inner sanctum.

02 Trina in WW museum

And here I am paying homage to the Amazon Princess herself, along with her mother, Queen Hippolyta!

03 Trina gazes at WW Finally, here I am with Pete and his brilliant take-charge daughter, Christie Marston.  The photos are taken by Christie’s brother, also named Pete, and a world-class photographer.  Thank you, Pete and Christie, for your kindness and welcoming spirit, and for making my visit a day I will never forget!

04 Trina with Christie and Pete 2

Back to the Queers in Comics Conference, and talk about welcoming!  As one of the only two heterosexual guests at the conference (the other was publisher Denis Kitchen, who had just published Howard Cruse’s collected “Wendell” strips and kindly gave us all copies), I felt so accepted, more so than I have ever felt by most straight male cartoonists, and more than I have ever felt by many women cartoonists.  There were so many people that I knew and so many others who I knew only via the internet and now finally met face to face, that it felt like one big family reunion.

Because this was an academic conference and as we all know, that means there’s no money, I shared a tiny (but cute!) “boutique” hotel room with sister pioneer Mary Wings.  It’s a tossup as to who self-published the first Lesbian comic book, Mary or Roberta Gregory, both in 1974, but I can proudly claim responsibility for Mary’s book, “Come Out Comix.”  Mary had seen my story, “Sandy Comes Out,” in the first issue of “Wimmen’s Comix,” (and here it is, up on the screen during our pioneers panel) and had waxed indignant: “Harrumph, the nerve!  That story is obviously drawn by a straight woman, how dare she?  Someone needs to draw a lesbian comic from a lesbian’s point of view, and I shall be that someone!”  (Okay, I’m paraphrasing a wee bit.)

05 Marrs, Robbins, Gregory, Wings (2)

Of course at the time, I had no idea Mary felt like that, and today we are good friends and had a great time as room mates.  And some reviewer commented on our “affectionate bickering” on the panel, and said we should have our own podcast.  Hey Mary, you wanna?

Another panel I was on: Wonder Woman, what else?  That’s moderator Joan Hilty, moi, and Phil Jimenez – and Phil was one of those people who I finally got to meet face to face, and I love the guy – he grows so excited talking about Wonder Woman that he gets positively incoherent and I mean that in a very good, absolutely loveable way.

06 Joan Hilty, me, Phil Jimenez

On to later May, and if it’s May 23rd it must be Denver Comic Con 2015.   By now, Denver Comic Con 2015 has become infamous because of something that was not really the fault of the con: four guys presented a panel on “Women in Comics” without including a single woman in their panel.  And when a woman in the audience asked why there were no women on the panel, the moderator answered that he didn’t know any women to ask!

One is flabbergasted.  It would have taken him all of 15 minutes to Google the convention website, click on “Guests,” go down the list to see the many women who were guests of the con, along with their contact information, and contact one or as many as he wanted.  But he didn’t!  To give the con folks credit, they had a great many women guests and a great many women-friendly panels.  They showed the film, “She Makes Comics,” about women in every aspect of the industry, and I was on a panel on “Discrimination in Pop Culture.”  Best of all, the good folks of Denver Comic Con found a room for a group of comics women to present our own panel on the last day of the con, which we did, to standing room only, and with thanks to playwright Crystal Skillman who thought it up and got it all together..  So in the end, a silk purse was made from a sow’s ear.

A couple of con photos: Elsa Yaznik brought my Wonder Woman comics to sign, which I gladly did,

07 me and Elsa Yaznik Denverand Verona (I love than name!) shared her fuscia feather boa with me.  That’s Steve in the background, to Verona’s left.

08 DenverCon Verona

And here’s what happened after the con: I visited Edgewater, the home of Nell Brinkley!  I had received emails from one Debbi Spranza, a Nell Brinkley fan who’d read my books on the great early 20th century cartoonist, and who just happened to actually live in Nell’s home town.  I wrote, well gee, I’ll be at a con in Denver right across the border.  Can you show me around Edgewater afterwards?  And she answered CAN I?!  So Debbi, who turns out to be tall and beautiful (and in fact could easily be Wonder Woman) picked Steve and me up at our hotel and drove us to the Edgewater Historical Society, where we met a very nice man whom we educated in many things Brinkley, which may result in a nice exhibit at the historical Society of the work of Edgewater’s most famous citizen.  It seems to have already resulted in a very nice article on Nell in the local newspaper, the Edgewater Echo: http://edgewaterecho.com/throwback-thursday-cartoonist-nell-brinkley/

After that, she drove us to the house where Nell grew up, and here’s Nell’s house, with Debbi (she’s the tall one) and me (I’m the short one) in front of it.  Then it was on to Debbi’s house, where she had invited friends to a lovely tea and book signing.

09 Debbi Spranza and trina

Kute Kid department: While in Las Vegas for a week’s vacation, my daughter and son in law, and my granddaughter, Tabetha, went to see Seigfried and Roy’s lions and white tiger, and who should show up but Siegfried himself, who proceeded to pull a “magic coin” out of Tabetha’s arm.  Here they are: Chris, Casey, and Tabetha, with Siegfried, right after the pulling of the magic coin. Tabetha could speak of nothing else!  How cool to be young and to believe in magic.

10 Siegfried & Tabby

Finally, coming up: From June 19th  – June 21st, Wizard World in Sacramento.  Look for me!  And on Friday, June 26th and Saturday June 27th I’ll be at the American Library Association convention here in San Francisco, at Moscone Center. If you’re there too, I’ll be on a panel Friday, from 12:15 to 1:15, on “Gender in Comics.”  Librarians are our friend!  And Sunday, June 28th, is the Gay Pride Parade.  I will be marching with the SPCA because they too are my friends.

Okay, one more thing: San Diego Comic Con, that mammoth pop culture convention, from Wednesday, July 8th till Sunday, July 12th, if you have the stamina.  And on Saturday night, July 11th,  the Moxie Theater in San Diego will be presenting the premiere of “Eternally Bad,” their adaptation of my book on dark goddesses.  Here’s the link: http://www.moxietheatre.com/EternallyBad.

Be there!