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One of Graphic Universe’s most acclaimed writers—Trina Robbins—author of the popular Chicagoland Detective Agency series and the highly praised single title Lily Renée, Escape Artist—was recently interviewed by the esteemed comic book website CBR (Comic Book Resources). Interview. CBR, a pillar in the comic book community, has numerous awards to their credit, including a 2011 Eisner Award for “Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism” and an Eagle Award in the UK for “Favourite Comics-Related Website”, also in 2011.
The noteworthy and informative interview covers Ms. Robbins fascinating career—spanning over 40 years—as both an author/illustrator as well as a consummate historian. Ms. Robbins is as well-versed in the Golden Age of comics of the 1940s as she is in the underground movement of the 1960s and early 70s, of which she helped pioneer.
In the interview Ms. Robbins touches on such varied topics as her nostalgia for Golden Age publishers like Fiction House to her recent collaboration with illustrator Anne Timmons for the Lily Renée book.
When it comes to all things comic book there are few with as much knowledge and passion as Ms. Robbins and this interview is a must read for anyone with even a hint of interest in the colorful and ever captivating field.
I have a special fondness for classic romance comics. It’s a genre that has long since died out, but in its hey day (the late forties though the early fifties) it was HUGE. In 1949 romance comics, comics made for girls and young women, outsold all other genres. It’s a fact that is missing from most comics history texts. Collections of old romance comics are hard to find, so when I stumbled across Agonizing Love I bought myself a xmas present.
In its pages I found these gems:
A classic meddling mother story.
A story about a disabled vet’s who returns home after the war. Can she love a man with a claw?
Among the female comic pioneers who dabbled in romance comics is Lily Renée, whose early life was chronicled in Lily Renee, Escape Artist by Trina Robbins.
For more on romance comics, I recommend From Girls to Grrrlz, also by Trina Robbins.
Lily Renée, Escape Artist was included in this past Sunday’s Bookshelf in The New York Times Book Review. Reviewer Pamela Paul had this to say:
“This graphic biography, illustrated in a retro comic book style that befits its subject, describes the life of Lily Renée Wilheim, a Jewish Kindertransport refugee who became a graphic artist of superwomen comic books in New York. Raised in a well-off family in Vienna in the ’30s, Lily saw her idyllic childhood descend into one of prejudice, tragedy, Kristallnacht and, finally, escape. This is a smart little biography that will appeal to history buffs, comic book fans and anyone who likes a gutsy, pioneering heroine.”
The theme of the column was “voyages”. Lily Renée was reviewed alongside another graphic novel, Around the World by Matt Phelan. It looks like we’re in good company, I look forward to reading it!