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Father Of 4 Daughters Refuses To Sugarcoat His Instagram Pics, Already Has Almost 1 Million Followers

Simon Hooper, AKA Father of Daughters, has become an Instagram sensation and successful author by chronicling the ups and downs of being a father of 4 young girls.

With almost 1 million followers enjoying his daily stories, delivered with a large dose of humor and without the usual sugarcoating of ‘perfect parenthood,’ Simon has made quite the journey from being a “24 year old man-child with no idea of what being a dad involved.” The realities of being forever outnumbered by the ladies in his life, he is the single male in a household with 5 women, has taught Simon valuable lessons about fatherhood, feminism and equality.

Scroll down below to see a realistic, humorous perspective on parenting, and let us know what you think in the comments!


“No, this is not a background extra milking their scene in some low budget B movie horror film. It’s the moment when I was getting headshots taken for my book & Ottie decided she absolutely positively couldn’t give me a moment to myself – transforming my moment, very much into her moment. Clemmie scooped her up seconds later & I can laugh at this now but it does remind me just how hard it can be to achieve the simplest of tasks when a wailing child is within close promixity – thanks @philippajames for catching the memory & exposing the realities behind the image you see in the book!”


“We vowed early on that we wouldn’t dress Ottie & Delilah the same as Frankly it weirds me (and other people) out & makes the task of identifying them harder than threading a needle while wearing oven gloves covered in baby oil. We wanted them to embrace individuality, to be a seperate entities unto themselves & forge their own paths forward through life. What do they want to do? Dress exactly the same, all the live long day. If I attempt to offer up garms that are not identical, the world implodes in a crescendo of screams that dissolve eardrums & both of them get naked quicker than still life model who really likes his job. After getting so close to the end, I find myself riding the long snake everyone hates, all the way back to square 1. They win. Wear what you want. Sorry nursery, good luck telling them apart. “


“Did anyone else get the memo to inform all parents that its international opposites day today? No? Me neither but Apparently all children have been informed it’s totally ok to do the exact opposite of what all overbearing full grown humans tell them to do. Case in point – this evening’s Bathtime – I said “please stop splashing! mummy will kill me when I forget to tidy this up later”. What they heard was “please go ahead & start up a toddler induced wave machine the scale of which could be used to test war ships, soak the floor & then flail about like a confined depressed killer whale which will eventually eat it’s trainer”. Turns out it’s fine though as the water has now drained through the cracks in the floor boards & has seeped through the ceiling downstairs. This only even happens when I’m in charge on my own. Coincidence? “


“Somehow, we blinked and 10 years of marriage with this one has vanished over the horizon in the rear view mirror, yet she still has the ability to take my breath away, give me the kind of heart palpitations that would worry a GP and generally make me feel like & act a 15 year old man child who knows he’s punching above his weight. Thanks for putting up with me, for having all the babies & for agreeing to share your life with me @mother_of_daughters , I promise to keep things interesting and to make our lives together the best they can be . Here’s to the next 10 – let’s just try to procreate less this coming decade.”


“Ottie & Delilah still confuse the hell out of me but I’m starting to see differences. They could be mistaken for a narcissistic toddler starring in the mirror, yet they’re obviously wired differently when it comes to tackling everyday problems that 18mth olds face. Much like a team building exercise at work that no one really a cares about (apart from Phil in finance) this morning the twins tackled the age old conundrum since bowls were invented – “How do I drink the milk at the bottom of the sodding bowl if the bowl’s stuck to the table?” Ottie opted for the traditional ‘spoon the milk on the table & face plant in it’ – standard. Delilah thought outside the box & employed brute strength to overcome the gravity of the entire planet & poured the bowl, tray still attached, down her gullet. Somedays I struggle to express in words just how proud I am of these 2.”


“Just so we’re clear, this isn’t an ad!! This evening I successfully picked up all 4 girls & completed an emergency shop on the way home. With my arms laden with life admin essentials, everyone disembarked from the car & bounded off towards the house, arguing over who could scream the loudest. Every that is apart from Ottie, who instead decided to do her best impression of discarded flavourless chewing gum & welded herself to the pavement. A 2 minute silent stand ensued during which time 3 people walked passed this small human obstacle & tried to help encourage her to give up on horizontal protest / cloud gazing session, yet she proved to be tougher to shift than lipstick from a carpet (and that’s tough, believe me). I honestly couldn’t tell you why this all started, but it finished with her getting up, starring at me with death ray eyes that went straight through heart and walked off as if I was nothing had happened. I’ve been in meetings where I wished I’d employed this tactic. Oh to be 2 again. “


“I always wonder how toddlers view festivals as it’s such a break from normal life. They see a lot of adults stand in a field usually reserved for farm animals & watch them slowly regress to being teenagers again, shouting “I love this tune!” Or “who’s this band – I’ve never heard of them”, while embarrasing their families by dancing as if their limbs were independently controlled by an invisible puppet master. They’re treated to a muffled audio experience of the world through neon ear defenders while observing other children run around, seemingly free of supervision (although infact mum & dad are taking turns to have ‘eyes on’ & make sure they don’t stray too far), fuelled by a day long course of glucose supplied by parents wanting an arguement free afternoon. Their nappies get changed under open skies & sleep covered in coats, only to wake and find they are still in same field, but the sun’s gone to bed, everyone’s covered in glitter & daddy is sporting a childs tutu. It must be a very confusing sensory overload, but they seem to love it & a break from norm is something we all need now & again”


“I seriously believe that all parents suffer from some form of mild Stockholm syndrome. Depsite being oppressed & forced to work a servant to our pint sized captures, like a free buffet lunch, we always come back for more. This is especially true when I go away for work. The first day I embrace my freedom & revel in that rarest of commodities – silence. But within 48 hours I strangely miss being yelled at & forced to clear up other people’s poo and start to really pine for home. In my mind I would return to 4 perfect children who would greet me with open arms & proclaim their lives were incomplete in my absense. The reality was 50% of my girls acknowledged my return & within 5 minutes my tired jet lagged body had been transformed into fleshy climbing apparatus while i listened to a list of things that broke while I was away & now needed fixing. I don’t think Anya even knows I went away as she’s now permanently hard wired into Fortnite! I sure they missed me but it still amazes me how quickly normality is resumed!”


“Conventional wisdom tells us that the passage of time through space happens at a constant rate forwards, but when you have children, that changes. I can only conclude that there’s a rip in the space time continuum right above the girls bedroom as time just vanished this evening, leaving me feeling like I’d be screwed hard by a flux capacitor with anger management issues. One moment it’s 6.30pm & I’m rounding them up for a bath, then I blinked & it was 8.15pm the world had fallen apart. Bath time – a tsunami nightmare that would have drowned the entire cast of ‘honey I shrunk the kids’. Teeth – a stand off that ended in toothpaste in the eyes. Story time – A jackanory balls up that left me questioning my life choices. Bed time – a yoga session for hyperactive chipmunks that ended with Ottie hiding for 15 minutes in silence & me shouting down the street in the dark because I thought she’d gone (only to be found eating a chocolate egg under Anya’s desk covered in a blanket). Of course, as I’d focused all my energy on these 2, the elder ones hadnt even had dinner! It may have only been a total of 1hr 45 minutes but I’ve aged several years on the process. I’m stongly considering calling Doc Brown to take be back to 2015 so I can get a vasectomy. “


“Yes piers, this look is for you. Now I’m not one to get drawn into nonsense that is designed to provoke a reaction because, unlike Piers morgan, I’m in not a toddler in an adults body. But when a man, who’s views come straight out of the back pages of lads mags from the 1920’s, mocks men for carrying their babies in a carrier, I get quite annoyed. I’ve had a child attached to me for the best part of a decade and as anyone knows, accessorising your outfit by wearing a child is so in right now. In fact I used to double up for that extra ‘wow’ factor so I guess in his mind I must be 200% emasculated and basically have a vagina. There is nothing more manly than a dad demonstrating their ability to care for their child and if you think otherwise, then you look around and move with the times. One day the dinosaurs will all die out and turn to oil, leaving the next generation to laugh at the views of the relics that went before them, but in the mean time, let’s avoid giving a soap box to people who use it to simply annoy everyone.”


“I may have a Y chromosome where women have an X but that microscopic piece of biology should be the only thing that differentiates us as we all travel on this journey through life. As a Father of 4 daughters, I don’t want my girls horizons to be limited to what people tell them they can do, so I embrace my responsibility as a parent to support and encourage my girls to be what they want to be, to celebrate & further the accomplishments of those trail blazers that have gone before them like Emmeline Pankhurst, Ella Fitzgerald, Coco Channel, Marie Curie & Henrietta Swan Leavitt who, with a team of all female astronomers, catalogued the stars in the night sky when men told them they couldn’t. Our children will be the ones who will break glass ceilings, forge new paths & make the discoveries that takes the human race to places we can only dream of today, so my message to my girls is to GO BIG, GO HARD & do what they said you can’t do in whatever field you choose – be the boss of your own destiny.”


“Motivating a child to move that flattly refuses to use their own legs to support their body weight can be so frustrating, you end up developing a permenant eye twitch so dramatic, everyone around you thinks you’re trying to flirt with them. I’d employed the tried & tested method of walking away from the statue like infant until they are a mere dot on the horizon while repeatedly saying “I’m leaving now”, but like a dog who’d released they were about to be dragged to vets, she refused to budge, so, with no buggy, my parents carrying the shopping & me not willing to waste my already diminished bicep strength on carrying yet another child, I employed what I had available – A bag for life. It worked a treat – the only draw back – I now have one arm that Mr tickle would be jealous of. “


“Dads change nappies too: Apart from the ballsy women with bladders apparently the size of a old pea that barge into mens toilets to avoid the queue of cross-legged females snaking around the building, many ladies probably have no idea what goes on in the room marked ‘Gentlemen’. Well here’s the secret – it’s usually a lot of guys peeing into urinals trying to overcome stage fright, a couple of blocked toilets, a few broken taps, a floor that’s like walking on glue and occasionally a guy struggling to change their kids nappy – jacket laid on the toilet seat, on his knees in a cubicle, keeping the broken door shut with his arse. Why? Because, believe it or not, in 2019 many men’s toilets still don’t have changing tables. That means we either rough it in the men’s, use the disable one go alfresco (behind a tree / down an alley) or pass responsibilities to the ladies in our lives. This needs to change. And I’m not just talking about the nappy. Any dad’s out there with horror stories to share? Is your country better than the UK? I want to get legislation changed so can do what has to be done in relative comfort and hygiene! “


“The transition from cots to big girls beds is akin to getting transferred from Alcatraz to a minimum security prison that has an honesty check out policy at the gate. Now after reading 2 & half books (mainly to ourselves while they perform gymnastics and laugh at their own shadows whilst simultaneously down a bottle of milk quicker than a sailor in a drinking competition) & the lights go off, there is literally nothing more than our hopes and dreams to stop them conducting nocturnal excursions around their room, which they apparently carry out in lead boots, or at least that’s what it sounds like from downstairs. That’s the moment @mother_of_daughters & I play the old ‘it’s your turn’s game to see who has the futile job of returning them to their beds. Toddler straight jackets anyone? “


“Being an older sibling in what is classified as a large family can be a thankless task. Through no fault of their own both Anya and Marnie have been drafted in, conscription style, into being unpaid nursery workers to allow us breathing space to make dinner & reheat that cup of tea for the 4th that now has a skin so thick you can hold the mug upside, safe in the knowledge that nothing will come out. They had no voting rights when it came the size of our family or when we dished out roles & responsibilities and I’m sure that 75% of the time they find the small people that intruded on their cost setup & take up the vast majority of our parenting attention more an annoying than emptying the kitchen bin only for the liner to break , but without them stepping up, this mass of organised chaos we call family life just wouldn’t work. Here’s to the unsung heroes, to older siblings. You don’t realise it yet, but you’re the ones that keep us parents sane. “


“Usually bedtime is like walking into a warzone, a warzone with low level lighting, soft furnishings & bunny rabbits. Its a place where books are used as sharp cornered weapons and children break camoflague from underneath soft toys to lob bottle shaped milk grenades indiscriminately at people over 4 ft tall, but tonight was different. In the time it took me to get milk squared away and peg it back upstairs, the twins exhausted all of their energy reserves, allowing the silent assassin, sweet sweet jetlag, to stealthly slip in behind enemy lines and render them comatose. This was our victory photo. Of course the victory is bitter sweet as I now have to move these dead weights & will no doubt be revisited by them at 3am when they think it’s morning, bit for now, we’ll bask in the glory that is 2 little girls that fought the good fight, but lost to sleep. (See stories for vids).”


“Children are basically human versions of a ‘find my phone’ app – as annoying as it maybe, if kids are making a noise, you then at least know where they are, it’s when they’re silent that you need to worry as it usually results in a mess I’ll get blamed for, a lot of scrubbing & a dubious home insurance claim. This evening I walked in on the aftermath of ‘operation sunblock’ – a covert operation to liberate all the suncream from my confines of my bedside drawer. The results – 2 well moisturised guilty looking girls who smelt like holiday & won’t be getting a tan anytime soon & a floor more slippery that an overexcited eel who’d just won a jelly wrestling competition. Lessons to learn: 1). if its silent, something bad is happening & 2). I will always be the blame even if when I’m nowhere near the scene of the crime. “


“Much like logical reasoning & a tandruming child, heat & babies don’t mix well. This was this morning at a time that most people might call the night but the twins decided it was a perfectly acceptable time to start their, and therefore, our day. I’ve got home after a night out later than this! (granted, not recently, but still). For those professionals out there, note Clemmie is performing the classic ‘iPad over the face’ technique to maximise shut eye time while still providing entertainment. I on the other hand have no protection and was forced to stare at the ceiling, listen to fully grown humans in costumes talking like babies (never forget there’s a adults inside a teletubby – you’ll see it in a whole new light) while getting occasionally face grabbed by sweaty milk covered hands until my alarm went off – it felt like I was bring subjected interrogation torture but I had no answers. “


“Seeing as 90% of my followers are the opposite sex to me, perhaps you can help me work something out. As a father and a man, figuring out the intricacies of female relationships with eachother is more complex than solving a 12 sided Rubiks cube with my toes, blindfolded whilst reciting π to a 1000 decimal places. One moment they’re kissing eachother for no apparent reason, the next, they’re ripping eachothers hair our in clumps so big, they could be used as wigs for dolls. Girls then seem to graduate to emotionally tearing eachother apart which can be 100 times worse than physical attacks. Many female relationships seem like they’re pertually balanced on a knife edge between BFFs and mortal enemies & I’m flummoxed by the whole thing. I’m not saying that men are any better and this is obviously simplistic view but I’m interested as the concept of sisterhood is simple on the outside but a potential minefield on the inside!”


“To those that think having a child is the end of your social life, to those that think it’s all over. To those that believe that being a parent means a complete change in life style – don’t ever forget who you are and what you loved doing before your have a small version of yourself to look after. Embrace what you have and involve them in your life. Dont settle. Don’t turn things down. Dont become just a parent. You are who you are and having children doesn’t mean you should limit yourself or what you want to do, especially it comes to enjoying yourself. You can still smash a festival and be a good parent as demonstrated by my wife @mother_of_daughters . We are living proof!”


“Either Delilah is using the fridge to conduct climate simulation training for a nursery day trip up the north face of the Eiger that I don’t remember signing the consent form for or I’ve just caught the person responsible of foot prints in the butter & the constant vanishing of yoghurts, frankfurters, grapes, blueberries and cheese strings. This also explains why she always had a cold stomach and looks permanently guilty. Note to all fridge designers – I need a decent fridge lock and shelves that can’t be used and steps. Anyone got any bright ideas to stop the human fridge magnets that doesn’t involve gaffer tape?”


“Much like Bear Grylls, when the parenting team is cut by 50% for any period of time, you’re allowed to do things you wouldn’t normal do in order to survive (just with less drinking of my own urine). @mother_of_daughters has been away for 3 days now & although I haven’t drastically changed the rules or deliberately sabotaged the routine that’s taken longer to construct than the Sagrada Família, I may have created some subsidence in the foundations. It’s now ok to get dressed in the play room while eating breakfast. Clothes can be worn for 3 days in a row if desired because it’s not worth the argument. Scatter cushions are banished to the floor as they are a complete waste time (especially on the bed), the twins will now only get out of the bath if carried simultaneously like sacks of old potatoes while I whistle the theme tune to block busters (I have literally no idea where that one came from) & bedtime happens when I can get children to stop hiding & lie down. Oh & as a special surprise, the twins will now only refer to their mother as ‘Clemmie’ because I trained them to – ok, that change was just for my own entertainment. “


“Forget ultra marathons, this summer has been 2 month long endurance parenting test that’s pushed us beyond what we’d previously thought humanly possible. It’s tested our ability to balance childcare with work & to not forget where the girls are at any one time, our patience with bored kids (despite being offered every activity known to man) & our skills in pulling together meals that aren’t scoffed at my our in-house restaurant critics. @mother_of_daughters & I have be played off eachother, been eaten out of house & home on a daily basis, argued until the blood vessels ruptured in our eyes & confiscated screens over a million times while aging about 20 yrs in the process, but we’ve also laughed a lot, made some memories & emerged at other end of the summer holidays tunnel smiling & without having killed each other, so we must have done something right. Only another 16 more years of this to go before they all leave the nest & I start crying permanently for the rest of my life because I want them back.”


“This is a long one, but it’s worth it so bear with me. Day 6 & my parents are driving across the country to come & provide a helping hand. Having been on our own for so long, I’ve been running food stocks at bare minimum levels but after gazing into the fridge this morning, it became apparent that unless I wanted to feed my mum & dad cling film wrapped bowls of non descript half eaten meals, out of date yoghurts & veg that was growing new species, we were going to have to do a food shop before they arrived. Hands down the worst experience of the week – Delilah escaped the buggy & while chewing a pack of new Zealand lamb, proceeded to run away from me like a dog that had been stung in the arse by a genetically modified hornet. Minutes later a security guard returned her to me while I pleaded with ottie not to open the yoghurts. She ignored me & proceeded to dip her entire fist into it & do a picasso on the buggy. Oh joy. When we got to the checkout, i proceeded to unload everything from my basket , only to do a 180 & find my 2 Rays of sunshine had got out of their restraints again & were now proceeding to strip quicker than an overenthusiastic nudist on the first day of their holidays – Coats were thrown, wellies were discarded & trousers we round ankles. After members of the public helped load my shopping, i dressed them only for them to then scream solidly for the next 5 minutes without breath as I waited for everything to be scanned. I could actually feel my ass sweating from the stress as all eyes burnt holes in my head. I then forgot my pin number & after struggling to pull together enough cash , I realised I’d bought so much I couldn’t carry it home without ripping my fingers to bloody shreds. To top it all, I got home only to realise I’d left the beer I bought on the floor by the tils. As you can imagine, the twins & I aren’t talking right now. We need some space.”


“Putting these 2 to bed tonight got me thinking about the families whose daughters & sons didn’t come home last night, those children who became victims of the tragic events that unfolded in Manchester last night & how those parents won’t get to kiss their kids goodnight. As a parent, you always do you best to shield your children from the darkness that exists in the world, but sometimes your best efforts can’t stop bad things happening to defensless victims who are just going about their lives. I hope that as my children grow up, the next generation can see a way through all the hatred that exists today and find a way to live harmoniously. Variety is the spice of life – learning about other cultures, beliefs and ways of living helps develop your own views, builds intelligence and enriches your life experiences. We just need a bit more love in the world. My thoughts are with the families that have been effected. Give your kids an extra big hug tonight. “


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How Skate Kitchen Vividly Captures Teen-Girl Sex and Skate Culture

Hit up a skate park on Manhattans Lower East Side and, amid the skater bros and dudes smoking weed, youll find a tight-knit unit of talented teenage women. With unruly hair whipping their faces and socks pulled up under their Vans, the women belong to an inclusive group of young female skaters self-dubbed Skate Kitchen. The names a two-fingered salute to all the dickheads who have jeered at them to get off the quarter pipes and back in the kitchen.

These are the badass women cruising and kickflipping through Crystal Moselles Skate Kitchen, a narrative film adapted from the girls real lives. At its center is Camille (Rachelle Vinberg), a Long Island native and skillful skater who religiously follows the girl gang on Instagram. Breaking her mothers rules, Camille begins trekking into the city to hang at the womens stomping ground, skating and smoking and making online videos. She becomes fast friends with the crew, getting particularly close to Kurt (Nina Moran), a no-filter firecracker, and Janay (Ardelia Lovelace), whose comfortable house and kindly dad make for a great summer refuge.

Riding the Brooklyn G train in 2016, Moselle, whod blown everyones mind the year before with her stranger-than-fiction debut documentary The Wolfpack, overheard a couple of teens recounting their past nights escapades. Moselle couldnt help but listen in. Nina has this incredible voice. It just travels, says Moselle, wearing giant crescent moon earrings and sipping on a green juice in Manhattan the week before the films release. She can silence a room.

But what really caught Moselles attention wasnt what the girls (who turned out to be Vinberg and Moran) were saying, but what they were toting: skateboards. When they got off at the same stop, Moselle cornered the teens and introduced herself while trying to covertly record them on her phone. They totally caught me, Moselle recalls. I actually still have the video.

The chance encounter spurred a years-long collaboration, resulting in what would become Moselles first narrative feature. To pen the script, Moselle copied down stories from the womens lives and shuffled them around on a big board. The Skate Kitchen consulted on every step, taking part in periodic improv workshops to ensure each scene felt organic and the dialogue true to their vernacular.

Similar to The Wolfpackin which Moselle observes a gaggle of teenage brothers quarantined in a tenement apartment by protective parentsSkate Kitchen engages the sort of anti-scripted yet lightly stilted vibe of a fly-on-the-wall documentary. Dialogue is slangy and off the cuff. Thats valid is the movies most-recited phrase.

But reproducing skate parlance was only one part of Moselles mission. Devising realistic day-to-day conversationsranging from tampons to crushes to hookupswas the bigger challenge. Theres a real innocence to these girls and their scene. Its not, like, drug-fueled. Its very fun, Moselle says. I think Nina told me about how shed made out with three girls in one night, and I was like, OK, thats something we have to recreate.

In one scene, lounging at Janays, Kurt interrogates Camille about her sexual preference. Do you like dick or pussy? she demands. Boys I like boys, Camille offers. Unfazed, Kurt replies, I like pussy. Good pussy. Later on, Camille approaches a different friend about a guy shes been seeing. Do you like him? she asks. I like how he gives me head, the friend replies, her mouth curled into a sly smile.

I love to see New York in a new perspective. And to shut down the idea that New York is dead. Im like, you dont hang out with enough teenagers. These girls are finding a new version of New York every single day.
Crystal Moselle

Story-wise, Skate Kitchen hits familiar coming-of-age beatsthe strict mother, the best friend secrets, the love trianglebut its casual verisimilitude elevates it to a league of its own. Of course, it doesnt hurt that its characters are dynamic, hardcore female athletes, the type of women you dont tend to see on the big screen.

With the movies buzz, Moselle has become the newest inductee into a nebulous girl gang of her own, an expanding (but still criminally scant) array of modern female directors approaching womens stories with a refreshing sense of authenticity: Andrea Arnold, Dee Rees, Elizabeth Wood. Arnolds 2016 teen road epic American Honey is a particularly frequent point of comparison for Moselles film due to the parallel hip-hop soundtracks, zippy handheld camera, and brave trust in first-time actors.

The only young professional cast member in Skate Kitchen is Jaden Smith, who plays Camilles love interest Devon. Smith came to mind for the part while Moselle and the crew were brainstorming actors; it was important that whoever played him actually knew how to skateboard. Serendipitously, Smith had DMed Vinberg on Instagram months earlier, complimenting her videos and inviting her to skate in Los Angeles should she ever be in town. Like Shia LaBeouf in American Honey, Smith slips into the ensemble seamlessly, drawing undue attention only via his hair, dyed bright red.

Moselle also shares Arnolds observant eye and sense of adventure. New York City has a long cinematic history, but in Skate Kitchen the familiar environs feel fresh and invigorating. The secret, Moselle says, was letting the girls take the lead. I love to see New York in a new perspective, she says. And to shut down the idea that New York is dead. Im like, you dont hang out with enough teenagers. These girls are finding a new version of New York every single day.

Teen girls have long been seen as notoriously mysterious creatures, and notoriously difficult to capture onscreen. But thats only because the majority who have endeavored to do so are of a different gender and generation. To them, the Skate Kitchen may as well be from another universe. Its no wonder viewers are also likening Skate Kitchen to Kids, the canonized exemplar of raw teenage realism written by a young Harmony Korine: Both films got a boost from someone on the inside.

Theres so many stories about what people think women talk about, says Moselle. The people that are putting the films out into the worldtheyre not women, theyre men. And I think its time for them to realize that people do want to see these films. That they want these stories to live.

She adds, Whats cool is that I think a lot of these films are being financed right now, but as far as them actually getting out into the world, its a little bit more tough. So I think its just about pushing forward.

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The First Woman to Draw Wonder Woman

In her new memoir, Last Girl Standing, groundbreaking cartoonist Trina Robbins tells stories about her brushes with fame that include making clothes for Mama Cass and Donovan, hanging out with the Byrds, sleeping with Jim Morrison, and appearing in the Joni Mitchell song Ladies of the Canyon: Trina wears her wampum beads and her coats a secondhand one, trimmed in antique luxury.

She also writes about growing up in Brooklyn, with a family she describes as functional rather than dysfunctional. Her father had Parkinsons and couldnt work, so her mother supported the family of four by working as a second-grade teacher. They didnt have tons of money, Robbins said, but her parents made sure she and her sister felt loved.

They were always so supportive, she said in an interview with The Daily Beast. They loved me and were good to me and I loved them.

In the book, she tells the story of walking with her father from their house in South Ozone Park to the newly opened Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy) to watch the planes land and take off and singing all the way home. Asked about that, she excitedly says she still remembers what they sang and breaks into Dream A Little Dream of Me.

Stars shining bright above you

Night breezes seem to whisper I love you

Birds singing in the sycamore trees

Dream a little dream of me.

On the day we spoke, Robbins sat in a caf across the street from her house in San Francisco, having a bagel and coffee. She had just gotten back from a Comic Convention in Argentina, where, she said, she had a wonderful time.

I got so much love, the 79-year-old artist said. I never hugged more people.

Wearing a blue sweater and blue nail polish, Robbins seemed outgoing and chatty. In the book she describes being so shy as a child that she would wait until the bell was about to ring before going in the schoolyard, so she wouldnt have to spend any time outside with the other children with no one to talk to. So what changed? What gave her the gumption that allowed her to start going into the offices of Mad magazine unannounced, to wear miniskirts, and to hang out with famous people?

I have no idea, she said.

A graphic artist from the get go, Robbins even in childhood loved cartoons, along with science fiction and fantasy books such as Lord of the Rings. She also dreamed of living in Paris, wearing a beret, and making art. Her goal was to be a bohemian.

This is going to sound really shallow, but I loved the way the women looked, she said. They had long hair and wore a lot of eye makeup and they didnt look like the women in the nylons and high heels.

The reality of her accomplishment was hardly less astonishing. She published her first comics in the East Village Other in 1966. Then she went on to be published by Marvel, DC, and Kitchen Sink Press. She produced the first all-womens comic book in 1970, It Aint Me, Babe, and co-founded the anthology series Wommins Comix, which ran for 20 years. And in the 80s, she was the first woman to draw Wonder Woman.

She recently worked on a project that meant a lot to herpublishing the 1938 book that her father wrote in Yiddish about growing up in Belarus and Brooklyn.

But first, she endured some hard times. In a period that she says is too painful to write about, she had her confidence destroyed by bad boyfriends and ended up in Los Angeles in the early 60s, where someone told her she should pose nude for mens magazines and become a movie star. Robbins did this until she was saved by her first and only husband, a printer who bought her a sewing machine. She designed and made clothes for herself and then started selling them at crafts fairs. She got a reputation for her work. Sonny Bono approached her about making some outfits for him and Cher, but she turned him down because she avoided zippers and tailored clothes. She did make clothes for Cass Elliot of the Mamas and the Papas and for David Crosby and Donovanalthough they couldnt perform in the shirts she made for them, Robbins says, because the sleeves were dripping with lace that caught in their guitars.

After a dream about her father who she wanted to see before he died, Robbins left her husband and the folk music scene of the Sunset Strip and headed back to New York, where she opened a shop selling clothes on the Lower East Side, which she called Broccoli.

She also started getting more and more into the underground comics scene, and moved back out West, to San Francisco with her boyfriend, cartoonist Kim Deitch, in 1969.

Robbins was excited about underground comics, but she found it hard to get attention, let alone support from many male cartoonists.

They didnt want any girls in their boys club, she said. The wives and girlfriends would even do things like color in the art, and they would sell their stuff for them at conventions. There was nobody selling my stuff for me and I resented the hell out of it.

She also found the misogyny in the underground comic scene increasingly disturbing. Some men, like R. Crumb, drew comics about rape and murder and thought her failure to find them funny meant she had no sense of humor.

In 1969 she read an article in the Berkeley Barb about how women werent really allowed to speak or make decisions. Robbins said it resonated with her and she became a feminist. She began volunteering for a feminist underground newspaper, It Aint Me, Babe, and went on to edit and produce an entire feminist comic book of the same name.

Lately Robbins has turned more and more to writing, which she loves, and co-authored Women and the Comics, a series on historical female cartoonists, and Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013.

She recently worked on a project that meant a lot to herpublishing the 1938 book A Minyen Yidn, or A Bunch of Jews (and other stuff), that her father wrote in Yiddish about growing up in Belarus and Brooklyn. Robbins has been taking Yiddish classes in San Francisco, and she found someone to translate her fathers book. Reading it, she immediately decided his short, punchy stories would make a great graphic novel, and found a different artist for each story. She is delighted with the result, thinking her father would love it as well.

I love seeing how artists interpret the stories, she said. My father is a writer and look what I do for a living.

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