Re/Read is an occasional column by Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid examining books you may have missed or are worth another look. In the wake of the second annual woman’s march, we’ll focus this time on Last Girl Standing and other works by Trina Robbins.
Last Girl Standing is a fascinating first person account of Robbins’ early years as a counterculture maven in the Hollywood folk rock scene, to her arrival in New York’s East Village as a fashion designer, boutique owner, and model, before becoming an influential member of the underground comix scene. The story chronicles her involvement with legendary artists Spain Rodriguez, Vaughn Bode, R. Crumb, and Kim Deitch at the East Village Other and Gothic Blimp Works, then follows her migration to San Francisco where she became a pivotal figure in the emerging feminist art movement. She edited It Ain’t Me, Babe, the first anthology of women underground cartoonists and was a founding member of the Wimmen’s Comix collective. The book includes memorable encounters with 60s pop culture personalities and rock celebrities, immortalized by her appearance in Joni Mitchell’s classic “Ladies of the Canyon” below:
Trina wears her wampum beads/She fills her drawing book with line
Sewing lace on widows’ weeds/And filigree on leaf and vine
Vine and leaf are filigree/And her coat’s a secondhand one
Trimmed with antique luxury/She is a lady of the canyon
A full complement of contemporary feminist comix can be found at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle’s Georgetown art community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206-557-4910.