Artist Bio – Roberta Gregory

{mosimage}Roberta Gregory was born in Los Angeles, California. She grew up reading (and drawing) comics because her father, Robert Gregory, was a very prolific writer and artist for various Disney titles, including Donald Duck.

Considered one of the pioneers of women’s comics, her first published works date from the 1970s, with appearances in numerous feminist underground titles such as Wimmen’s Comix, and her own self-published comic, Dynamite Damsels (1976). Roberta has been writing and drawing comics ever since, giving her one of the longest-running ongoing careers in women’s independent comics. Her creative work has been very independent indeed, featuring a wide variety of stories and art styles. If asked why she creates, Roberta would reply that she is creating the sorts of stories that she herself would like to read, but which nobody else is doing.

During the 1980s, Roberta appeared in almost all issues of the anthology Gay Comix, and many of the issues of Wimmen’s Comix. She created the metaphysical graphic novel, Winging It, the darkly humorous love story of a suicidal woman and a fallen angel (a description which barely scratches the surface) as well as the whimsical comic strip, Sheila and the Unicorn, a fable of unrequited love between a magical unicorn and a very mundane human being.

Near the end of the decade she moved to Seattle, Washington and began a long relationship with Fantagraphics Books, starting out as a production artist. Bitchy Bitch was born at the beginning of the 1990s, and with her, the series Naughty Bits, each issue with a variety of stories, but (almost) always including Bitchy. Roberta also created the adult series, Artistic Licentiousness, a story of love and art, which warns the reader not to make assumptions about anyone’s sexuality, including one’s own!

{mosimage}Roberta would become best known for her unforgettable Bitchy Bitch, a frustrated Everywoman of modern American life (as well as her angry lesbian counterpart, Bitchy Butch). Bitchy would go on to feature in 40 issues of Naughty Bits, several collections, be translated into French, Spanish, German and Swedish, and star on the stage, in a comic strip and in animated cartoons. Original Bitchy art has appeared in so many gallery shows, Roberta has completely lost track of them!

The Naughty Bits comic book is no longer being published, but Roberta has more Bitchy stories planned, and Fantagraphics released a large collection, Life’s a Bitch, in June 2005. Roberta will also appear in the anthology Road Strips, Fall 2005. She is working on many more creative projects currently, including book illustrations, a fantasy prose trilogy, an autobiographical comic strip, Life is Funny…, and cat comic strips. She published the small press Real Cat Toons as a benefit book for her diabetic cat’s vet bills. She was even seen recently at a Seattle cat show drawing portraits of the felines present. She has given “How To Draw Cats” workshops at conventions, and is studying hypnotherapy, with plans to incorporate what she has learned into future endeavors.

One thing is certain: as long as she can hold a drawing implement or put words together, Roberta will continue to create the sort of work she herself would love to read, but which nobody else is doing… and which, judging by the enthusiastic response of her readers, many people are thankful for.

Featured books by Roberta Gregory (click covers for complete product details & ordering information)

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All books by Roberta Gregory