Well, as per my mission as assigned by Swinebread I attended the Portland Comic Book Show this morning, although I woke up with a sore throat and completely stuffed up head. I almost decided not to go, but if I didn't, I'd end up dead, (if you have a brother....you know what I mean). So after drugging myself sufficiently with cold medicine, pain medication, and vitamin C supplements, I headed off to the MAX to see the show.
As per Swinebread's Blog Entry on the last show, the creepy basement venue did nothing to improve my mental disposition. I paid my entrance fee and promptly noticed I'd forgotten the most important thing-the toilet paper. When you have a constantly dripping nose, nothings worse that being with out it! Fortunately, I was able to steal several napkins from the food vendor where I bought the ubitquitous Nacho Cheese chips.
In my drugged stupor, the things that caught my eye first were the huge psychodelic 70's pot posters. I quickly checked a couple places to see if they had the last trade paperback of Alan Moore's Promethea, (link takes you to my post on the subject as my alter ego, Hypatia); I have the first three, but not the wrap-up fourth. Nada, it's a couple years old and not on the top of the (mostly male) customer list.
Then I looked around the author tables and immediatly saw Trina Robbins, as she sports red curly hair, and was the only woman author I saw! I had to push through fan crowds of more famous artists, but got to Trina's table and was able to speak to her in person. She's fiftyish, VERY friendly and VERY enthusiastic! I bought two books, Wild Irish Roses (for me), and Eternally Bad Goddesses with Attitude (for brah). However, I was busy talking to her, so I didn't notice she signed Irish one "To H...", and the "Bad Goddesses" to me!
Oh well, anyhoo I then went to wait for the talk at noon, which PRAISE BRIDGID, lasted only 15 minutes. She had a really great slide presentation to go along with her talk, and showed many comic book pages from the various "Fly Girls". She started out with a little chit-chat w/the folks next to her, and compared Portland to San Francisco, and said what a wonderful town Portland is, how everyone who she knows moves here (or to Seattle), and that we have "the Best Bookstore in America, Powells!".
She first introduced the raven-haired "Jane Martin-War Nurse" who spent less time in her white nurses uniform and more in her aviatrix outfit flying behind enemy lines! Next up was blond "Flying Jenny" Dare, who was also drawn by women artists and the dialogue often makes references to the WACS.
Trina also showed pictures of two famous WWII women, Jaqueline Cochran and Nancy Harkness Love, as well as several women who died during their service (their planes crashed while they were transporting them). Trina also showed some other items, like fly girl paper dolls and fly girl fiction books a-la-Nancy Drew, which demonstrated that girls were part of the whole customer base in the 1940's.
The last American-heroine type girl was a Red Head, who I forgot to write the name of..in any case, she was a little different that her fellow flyers. She was a little goofy, didn't follow the rules, and often pulled crazy stunts (like smashing the controls with her high heel to fix them!).
Last but not least is the "evil" German Valkyrie-who switches to the American side as a double spy due to the "incredible" charisma of Airboy. In fact, Trina used the cover that appears on the Airboy link in her slide show.
Sadly, the "fly girls" genre only lasted a couple of years past the war; the characters were literally "decomissioned"-turned into airport waitresses, control tower announcers, and girl reporters. No flying allowed!
Since the talk ended quickly, I thought I might stick around for the Q & A period, but it was immediately taken over by some old guys arguing about women's flying clubs after WWII...and more about WWII. I was only interested in the comics, so I ducked out.
Trina has alot more to say about women and their "herstory" as you can read on her website. She was very upbeat and interested in everything all her fans had to say! You can also buy her books and other items on her site, check it out!