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Kickstarter for THE SILVER METAL LOVER by Trina Robbins

THE SILVER METAL LOVER by Trina Robbins

Jane is 16 years old and believes that she does not know how to live her life. We can all relate to that–but Jane’s world is far more complicated, set in the distant future where robots are capable of providing human companionship. “The Silver Metal Lover,” the 1981 cult classic science fiction novel by Tanith Lee, was adapted in 1985 into the highly engaging graphic novel by Trina Robbins. It has never been reprinted in any form until now. Drew Ford runs his own imprint at IDW called IT’S ALIVE! and he has a stellar track record for finding gems from the past and giving them a whole new life. A Kickstarter campaign in support of an exciting new edition is reaching its final stages, closing January 5th. Check it out right here.

THE SILVER METAL LOVER by Trina Robbins

This new edition will have a new cover and afterword by Colleen (A DISTANT SOIL) Doran, a new foreword by Gail (BIRDS OF PREY) Simone, and a new intro by Trina Robbins herself. All of this will be printed at 8.5″ x 11, full color, on glossy paper, all tucked inside a beautiful hard cover.

Drew Ford on this very special project:

“This cult classic science fiction romance is an important early example of ‘the graphic novel’ as a storytelling vehicle, telling an intimate story of a young girl’s first love…who just happens to be a robot! We are very honored to shine a light on the brilliant work of the late Tanith Lee. And we are thrilled to be working on our second book with the legendary Trina Robbins! Also, we must send out a huge THANK YOU to Colleen Doran and Gail Simone for coming along for the ride! We hope you will give it a look, and consider making a pledge.”

Many exciting rewards are being offered, including signed copies of the book, exclusive prints from Colleen Doran, sketches by comic book pros, and even original pages of comic book art by Trina Robbins!

This is a book that is sure to please fans of science fiction and comics alike. Visit the campaign right here.

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Filed under Comics, Drew Ford, IDW Publishing, IT’S ALIVE! Press, Kickstarter, Sci-Fi, science fiction, trina robbins

Review: THE COMPLETE WIMMEN’S COMIX

The Complete Wimmen's Comix

The Complete Wimmen’s Comix

The sexual revolution. The war between the sexes. Just plain sex. It can get complicated, confusing, messy. In 1968, Robert Crumb and his merry men staked their claim to uninhibited expression in underground comix. Yeah, these guys had a few things to say. From their point of view, the establishment was totally out of whack and they had the antidote. Crumb would show us all, in his opinion, just how wild the id could run, no matter how offensive. A couple of years later, along comes Trina Robbins with another view, the view of the opposite sex, which proved a great counterbalance and reality check. For the first time, this groundbreaking work, from 1972 to 1992, is collected in “The Complete Wimmen’s Comix,” published by Fantagraphics Books.

The Complete Wimmen's Comix, published by Fantagraphics Books

The Complete Wimmen’s Comix, published by Fantagraphics Books

The topic of sex is endlessly fascinating, to be sure. What men like Robert Crumb seemed to envision was a “telling it like it is” approach. In similar fashion, Trina Robbins and her female compatriots were showing sex and related themes from a very different point of view, that of the opposite sex. Yes, there was more than one point of view! Who knew, right? Issues of abortion, male performance, and abandonment, had a voice within the pages of Wimmen’s Comix. While the groovy hippie guys may have thought they had it figured out, cartoonists like Lee Marrs demonstrated with great humor and insight that the groovy guys were just as likely to be ugly pigs as their buttoned-down mainstream male counterparts.

"All in a Day's Work" by Lee Marrs, 1972

“All in a Day’s Work” by Lee Marrs, 1972

From the first issue of Wimmen’s Comix, in 1972, there is “All in a Day’s Work” by Lee Marrs. A young woman enters the work force to find herself fending off abusive male co-workers and bosses. When she quits and starts a job at a co-op, the men turn out to be just as abusive. A few more twists and turns and the main character, an alter ego for Marrs, stands naked pleading, “What Can I Do?” In a piece nearly twenty years later, entitled, “Men & Women,” by Roberta Gregory, she sees a systemic problem. Gregory sees leading policy makers, both male and female, pollute the air with their own misinformation about men and women.

Roberta Gregory

“Men & Women” by Roberta Gregory, 1990

As Trina Robbins states in her introduction, the level of quality of comix from women steadily increased with the years. At first, there were only a few women cartoonists. Then, after the hiatus and subsequent return of the magazine in the ’80s, there were plenty of women cartoonists. And, now, it is a whole new world with more women cartoonists that ever before.

"Evolution" by Caryn Leschen, 1989

“Evolution” by Caryn Leschen, 1989

The roster of talent is breathtaking: Phoebe Gloeckner, Lynda Barry, Julie Doucet, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Caryn Leschen, Joyce Farmer, Alison Bechdel, Carol Tyler, Mary Fleener, and many more. In the end, these are great comics but they are also presenting a distinctive feminine viewpoint which makes all the difference. This collection is a must-read for students of the counterculture, women’s studies, and fans of great comix. It is a time capsule as well as a tribute to vital comics that retain their punch and relevance today.

"Mom Gets Sick" by Trina Robbins, 1991

“Mom Gets Sick” by Trina Robbins, 1991

The Complete Wimmen’s Comix is a two volume hardcover set, totaling 728 pages, black & white with some full color pages. For details, and how to purchase, visit our friends at Fantagraphics Books right here.

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Filed under Comics, Comix, Counterculture, Fantagraphics Books, Sex, trina robbins, Women

Review: VAMPIRELLA vs. FLUFFY THE VAMPIRE KILLER One Shot

Vampirella, created by Forrest J. Ackerman and Trina Robbins, back in 1969 for Warren Publishing,  has a nice place in pop culture history as a vampire pin-up in an amazing sling nearly-naked suit. It is definitely iconic and definitely sexy fun. What I’ve always maintained is that, while you can have all the sexy fun you want in comics, don’t try to pretend it is anything more than exploitation if your actual story hangs by a thread and you are, in fact, only selling T&A. If you want to sell T&A, then have the balls to be honest about it.

In the case of Vampirella, this puts Dynamite Entertainment in an interesting position, since they’ve taken over the rights to the character in 2010. Dynamite’s reboot began with a story by Eric Trautmann, an Xbox games writer. Vampi is covered up in some rugged, very unrevealing gear, helps out a homeless guy, and is very earnest and boring. I say this sort of tongue-in-cheek. I appreciate that Dynamite continues to explore possibilities for the sexy vampire. And that brings us to this one-shot story written by Mark Rahner, known for mixing political commentary with zombies in his series, “Rotten,” and illustrated by Cezar Razek, a Dynamite favorite (“Hack/Slash,” “Red Sonja”).

So, what do you get when you mix a terribly self-conscious sex symbol with a writer who revels in exposing the right wing agenda? Well, interestingly enough, you get Vampi right back into that bombshell bikini, no apologies. That is fine and Cezar Razek can draw the hell out of that assignment. I would just remind Mr. Rahner that the right wing, while repressed, enjoys cheesecake just as much, if not more so than liberals (since the right is supposed to be so repressed. Ha ha.) But that fact is not lost on this writer. As is his want, he takes things as far as he can go: the great menace in this issue is a bunch of demonic Pilgrims out to subdue lust by bludgeoning any fornicators in its sights, particularly teenaged fornicators! Down with the teenaged fornicators!

Hey, that could be the title to a forthcoming one-shot: “Vampirella and the Teenaged Fornicators!” I could write that one for you, Dynamite. Seriously, I can see Vampirella taking on more satire and just chucking away a lot, if not all, of the earnest crime fighter crap that just doesn’t go anywhere. Well, I’m sorry, but there is a lot of truth to what I’m saying. Yes, writing, good writing, matters. In Mr. Rahner’s case, he does something different, and interesting, here.

As far as this being a biting satire on Buffy The Vampier Slayer, I could take it or leave it. Overall, it comes across a bit too heavy-handed for my taste. If you really want to take on Joss Whedon, then you have to go about it more like a friendly rival and not just mock like poking fun at his use of pop culture references. These are references made by his characters within a larger context. If you really want to poke fun, it would involve more of the look and feel of the characters as in their tendency to be emo. Anyway, I don’t have much more to say on this other than this one-shot offers something different and it is worth considering as new paths are charted for the scantily-clad vampire.

This was a special Halloween release so you can already find it on the shelves or seek it out online. Visit Dynamite Entertainment.

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Filed under Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Comics Reviews, Dynamite Entertainment, Horror, Vampirella