LEGO Friends Comic Goes Viral: An Interview with Illustrator Maritsa Patrinos

I sort of made this point a few years ago in Birds and Bricks. I didn’t dig into the LEGO Friends. BUT the HAIR! It was all about the hair. Once we got the Paradisa set, any LEGO Mini-Figs could be a girl. (Well except the scruffy faced men. They would just be scruffy faced men with ponytails or long hair. But they could wear bikinis!) Now if LEGO would just come up with a way to get Indiana Jones’ hat to stay on the ponytail hair, I’d be all set!

Dr. Rebecca Hains

A comic titled “LEGO Friends” recently went viral, striking a chord with people by humorously pointing out that girls don’t need a separate line of LEGO toys. No, no—girls just need better female representation within existing LEGO sets:

"LEGO Friends" by Maritsa Patrinos of Seasonal Depression. Used with permission. “LEGO Friends” by Maritsa Patrinos of Seasonal Depression. Used with permission.

I was so taken by how well this cartoon encapsulates so many parents’ and advocates’ position on the unnecessary gendering of children’s toys—a topic I address in detail in my book, The Princess Problem—that I reached out to the cartoon’s creator, Maritsa Patrinos, to learn more about her work.

Maritsa is illustrator living in Brooklyn, NY who grew up just outside of Washington, DC and went to Pratt Institute to study illustration. Since graduating in 2010, she’s worked on staff at Marvel Comics, made backgrounds for a Cartoon Network show called MAD, and has worked in different editorial jobs, including a couple New Yorker comics. For the past…

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