It Ain’t Me Babe

Trina Robbins and Willy Mendes (ed) | It Ain’t Me Babe 

It Ain’t Me Babe was a one-shot underground comic published in 1970; it was the first-known comic produced entirely by women.

At the end of the 1960s, the American underground comix scene included a lot of work by male comic artists. Underground newspapers, like the East Village Other, had their own comic supplements filled with artists who freely depicted themes of sex, drugs and rock & roll, usually in very psychedelic styles, in which plot was less important than the state of mind of the artist and taboos were aggressively broken. A few women presented their work in these publications, such as “Hurricane” Nancy Kalish (who sometimes signed her work “Panzika”), Trina Robbins, and Willy Mendes.

Frustrated with the boys’ club atmosphere and casual misogyny of the underground scene, Robbins and Mendes produced It Ain’t Me, Babe in 1970. It also included work by Kalish; Carole; Lisa Lyons, a cartoonist for a socialist newspaper; Meredith Kurtzman, daughter of Mad magazine creator Harvey Kurtzmann; and Michelle Brand, who “simply knew how to draw”.

Robbins had heard that Last Gasp publisher Ron Turner was interested in a women’s liberation comic, so she contacted him and he paid her $1,000 for the publishing rights. It had an initial print run of 20,000 copies, with two more printings of 10,000 each. Its success led Turner to ask two of his employees, Pat Moodian and Terre Richards, to recruit creators for another women’s lib comic, which became Wimmen’s Comix. [Source]

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