Pretty in Ink: Trina Robbins on How Women Conquered the Comics World in Ink North American Women cartoonists 1896 to 2013 Trina Robbins


As both a comics creator and historian, Trina Robbins is particularly interested in the unknown history of female cartoonists and the ways they were celebrated and thwarted throughout the last century. In 2013, Robbins published a Fantagraphics book called Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists, 1896-2013, and now, the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco is presenting an exhibition of Robbins’ personal collection based on the book.

Canadian women cartoonists do not appear as part of the North American scene in this book.

Lynn Johnston's For Better or Worse

How about Lynn Johnston’s For Better or Worse is the most widely distributed cartoon in Canada. In 1978, Lynn Johnston, living in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, began For Better or For Worse, which was noted for following the lives of the Patterson family as they grew older in real time, and dealt with real-life issues. The strip based a number of its storylines on Johnston’s real-life experiences with her own family, as well as social issues such as the midlife crisis, divorce, the coming out of a gay character, child abuse, and death. In 1985, she became the first female cartoonist to win a Reuben Award,[43]and the Friends of Lulu added her to the Women Cartoonists Hall of Fame in 2002. The strip was very popular, appearing in over 2000 newspapers in 25 countries.

Sandra Lundy-Bell mammogram strip

Thingamaboob is a series of three animated comic strips by Between Friends* cartoonist, Sandra Bell-Lundy, commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society in 2009 to promote regular mammograms.

Lundy-Bell created three comic strips featuring her characters from Between Friends. The Canadian Cancer Society printed up the stories on posters and used one of the strips on the container for their ‘Thing-a-ma-boob.’

The Thing-a-ma-boob is a device made up of different sized beads depicting the various sized lumps that can be detected through regular mammograms.
Often women think the mammogram will be uncomfortable so they avoid scheduling one, and Bell-Lundy’s comic strip uses sensitive humour to show how simple the mammogram really is.
Bell-Lundy has released two anthologies of “Between Friends” collections; “Hello, Daughter” and “Coffee, Tea and Reality”. For more information visit her website at

~ by artpoped on September 21, 2014.

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