The Glass Panel 

Change Makers welcomes an animated group.

Trina Robbins isn't just a comic-book connoisseur -- she's a manga maven, a superhero superbrain, a pen-and-ink professor. The San Francisco-based writer of the GoGirl! comic-book series has birthed such compendiums as A Century of Women Cartoonists, The Great Women Superheroes, and From Girls to Grrrlz: A History of Women's Comics from Teens to Zines, not to mention titles on female murderers and women in Irish, Amazonian, and Native American mythology. But it's as the creator (with illustrator Anne Timmons) of GoGirl! that Robbins will appear at The World of Girl-Centric Comix, an author event and panel discussion at Change Makers.

"Girls and women are the fastest-growing readership of comics," Robbins declares. "Because adult women are reading the small press comics and the indies, and there are more women doing those than ever before. ... Where you'll find the girls are in the manga, the Japanese comics. The shoujo manga are what they do specifically for girls. This is what all the girls are reading now, because there's nothing in America for them."

GoGirl! is the exception to that rule. It's an American comic made with young girls in mind, the story of a teenager who has inherited the flying prowess -- and fly costume -- of her mother, a retired '70s superheroine named Go-Go Girl. Visually, it harks back to a more innocent time, but with a feminist sensibility, like a gender-flipped Archie, or Katy Keene with superpowers and algebra homework.

GoGirl! is also the only youth-oriented comic represented at Thursday's panel. Robbins will share the spotlight with the North Bay's Paige Braddock, who will talk about the just-released Vol. 3 of Jane's World, her formerly online, now-in-book-form accounts of the lives and loves of lesbian Jane and her friends; and the East Bay's Beth Bourland, reading excerpts from her new collection of illustrated lesbian humor, The Unruly Ladies' Almanac, complete with nearly life-size illustrations of her characters. Get animated from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday. Free. Info: ChangeMakersfor or 510-655-2405.


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