Margot Mifflin
July 23, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

In the late ’40s, girl-friendly comics dominated the commercial market; since then they’ve flourished in the alternative press. Trina Robbins, a cartoonist who’s written three books on women and comics, strays from her book’s titular focus: Many of the strips she covers here are for grown women, and she overlooks such important girl characters as Lynda Barry’s Marlys and Maybonne. She opens in 1941 with Betty and Veronica of Archie, yet her own previous book, A Century of Women Cartoonists, featured even earlier girl heroines. From Girls to Grrrlz is entertaining and attractively designed, but as a history, it’s missing a few panels. B

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