The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913-1940

The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913-1940

by Trina Robbins
     
 

Nominated for two 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards: this sumptuously designed oversized hardcover collects Nell Brinkley’s spectacular, exquisitely colored full page strips: adventure and romance starring silent-era ingenues, flappers, and real-life heroines of the early twentieth century.See more details below

Overview

Nominated for two 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards: this sumptuously designed oversized hardcover collects Nell Brinkley’s spectacular, exquisitely colored full page strips: adventure and romance starring silent-era ingenues, flappers, and real-life heroines of the early twentieth century.

Editorial Reviews

The Examiner
Brinkley’s independent-minded and always pretty heroines pirouetted, waltzed, shimmied, and vamped their way through various adventures…For decades, the artist’s work had largely remained out of public view, until now…sumptuously designed, beautifully printed.— Thomas Gladysz
The Oregonian
These full-page cartoons provide a glimpse of the color and spectacle that newspapers trafficked in before publishers decided we were worth no more than our dwindling supply of classified ads.... Like Nicholson Baker and Margaret Brentano's The World on Sunday and the Little Nemo reprints by Sunday Press, The Brinkley Girls reminds me of the age when newspapers were bigger than that.— Steve Duin
The New Yorker
Brinkley was praised for her writing (it’s easy to see why: overblown, yet so satisfying; maybe the only word to describe it is 'delicious') but her drawings made her famous. Each one is an orgiastic, atmospheric feast for the eye... The Brinkley Girls is a tantalizing primer, and a perfect summer read.— Macy Halford
Las Vegas Weekly
To say they don’t make them like this anymore is a gross understatement...a very welcome introduction to an artist whose skills need to be seen to be believed, and an even more welcome reminder that newspapers used to offer readers a lot more than just news and commentary—they also used to offer honest-to-God fine art.— J. Caleb Mozzocco
The Comics Reporter
While many have long been aware of the general attractiveness of Brinkley’s work, Robbins’ book forces us to look at her art in a way—and at a size—where some of the specifics of Brinkley’s appeal and the basis for her popularity become apparent…[Robbins] paints an overall picture of a fiercely independent cartoonist who learned over the years to work within a system to great reward without ever becoming dominated by it.— Tom Spurgeon
The Onion A.V. Club
“The handsome hardcover collection The Brinkley Girls brings together a generous sampling of Brinkley’s work, leaning heavy on her stories of industrious women and the he-men they love... Brinkley’s art is so drop-dead gorgeous that readers may long to razor out every page to hang on the wall. [Grade] A-.”
This Is Why I Hate You
“Fantastic.... you would be doing yourself a favor by checking it out. Curse you, Fantagraphics, I'm trying to save money, you bastards.”
Chris Mautner - Robot 6
“Brinkley is a supremely talented artist with enough eccentricities to make her stand out from the crowd (the weaves of hair she piles on top of her heroines could rival the folds in Spawn’s cape).”
Ray Olson - Booklist
“This gorgeously produced, oversized, full-color selection primarily of her newspaper-serial work confirms that her work became more narrative as she progressed from single-subject conceptions to movie-poster-like collages to sequences sectioned by comics-like borderlines…she remained a lavish fashion illustrator at heart.”
Whitney Matheson - USA Today
“One title I haven't been able to put down is The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913-1940, edited by Trina Robbins... I was blown away by what I discovered within these pages... The images are sexy, glamorous, colorful — Brinkley clearly appreciated and understood her subjects, and some of her work made me feel as if I were stepping right into the flapper era.”
Paul Gravett
“Trina follows up her thorough biography of Brinkley with this oversized collection of Sunday 'comics,' often more like ravishing illustrated romantic yarns of big hair, clothes and emotions, but stunning to linger over and revealing in their period mood and concerns. In their time, Brinkley’s spirited, vivacious females were as iconic and inspirational in early 20th century America as the famous Gibson Girls before her. They truly deserve this gorgeous commemoration.”
Thomas Gladysz - The Examiner
“Brinkley’s independent-minded and always pretty heroines pirouetted, waltzed, shimmied, and vamped their way through various adventures…For decades, the artist’s work had largely remained out of public view, until now…sumptuously designed, beautifully printed.”
Steve Duin - The Oregonian
“These full-page cartoons provide a glimpse of the color and spectacle that newspapers trafficked in before publishers decided we were worth no more than our dwindling supply of classified ads.... Like Nicholson Baker and Margaret Brentano's The World on Sunday and the Little Nemo reprints by Sunday Press, The Brinkley Girls reminds me of the age when newspapers were bigger than that.”
Macy Halford - The New Yorker
“Brinkley was praised for her writing (it’s easy to see why: overblown, yet so satisfying; maybe the only word to describe it is 'delicious') but her drawings made her famous. Each one is an orgiastic, atmospheric feast for the eye... The Brinkley Girls is a tantalizing primer, and a perfect summer read.”
J. Caleb Mozzocco - Las Vegas Weekly
“To say they don’t make them like this anymore is a gross understatement...a very welcome introduction to an artist whose skills need to be seen to be believed, and an even more welcome reminder that newspapers used to offer readers a lot more than just news and commentary—they also used to offer honest-to-God fine art.”
Tom Spurgeon - The Comics Reporter
“While many have long been aware of the general attractiveness of Brinkley’s work, Robbins’ book forces us to look at her art in a way—and at a size—where some of the specifics of Brinkley’s appeal and the basis for her popularity become apparent…[Robbins] paints an overall picture of a fiercely independent cartoonist who learned over the years to work within a system to great reward without ever becoming dominated by it.”
Robot 6
Brinkley is a supremely talented artist with enough eccentricities to make her stand out from the crowd (the weaves of hair she piles on top of her heroines could rival the folds in Spawn’s cape).— Chris Mautner
Booklist
This gorgeously produced, oversized, full-color selection primarily of her newspaper-serial work confirms that her work became more narrative as she progressed from single-subject conceptions to movie-poster-like collages to sequences sectioned by comics-like borderlines…she remained a lavish fashion illustrator at heart.— Ray Olson
USA Today
One title I haven't been able to put down is The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913-1940, edited by Trina Robbins... I was blown away by what I discovered within these pages... The images are sexy, glamorous, colorful — Brinkley clearly appreciated and understood her subjects, and some of her work made me feel as if I were stepping right into the flapper era.— Whitney Matheson
Library Journal
Way before CLAMP's shojo beauties, Nell Brinkley's fabulous flappers flirted their way into romance and readers' hearts. Not a cartoonist in the usual sense, Brinkley created gloriously rococo illustrations to accompany her own serialized sagas as well as rhyming stories written by others for Hearst newspapers. Brinkley's exquisite and gorgeously colored line art introduced fun-loving, energetic gals ready to rescue their men from the enemy, climb mountains, or parachute out of airplanes. The Brinkley Girls went beyond the limited independence of the Gibson Girls, paving the way for modern American action heroines like Brenda Starr and Wonder Woman. VERDICT Comics herstorian Robbins (The Great Women Superheroes) has produced a wonderful tribute to Brinkley, reprinting in full three serials and numerous shorter works with ample biographical background. With their swoon-worthy hair and wardrobes, the Brinkley Girls could kick off a whole new cosplay aesthetic. Recommended for public and academic libraries. See also Robbins's Nell Brinkley and the New Woman in the Early 20th Century.—M.C.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560979708
Publisher:
Fantagraphics Books
Publication date:
06/23/2009
Pages:
136
Product dimensions:
9.70(w) x 13.10(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

Paul Gravett
Trina follows up her thorough biography of Brinkley with this oversized collection of Sunday 'comics,' often more like ravishing illustrated romantic yarns of big hair, clothes and emotions, but stunning to linger over and revealing in their period mood and concerns. In their time, Brinkley’s spirited, vivacious females were as iconic and inspirational in early 20th century America as the famous Gibson Girls before her. They truly deserve this gorgeous commemoration.

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