Phoebe Gloeckner was born in Philadelphia and raised in San Francisco. Always fascinated by anatomy and physiology, she received her master's degree in medical illustration in 1988 from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Since then, Gloeckner has been working as a medical artist. In this capacity, she was given free reign to interpret and illustrate J.G. Ballard's (author of 'Crash' and 'Empire of the Sun') controversial novel, 'The Atrocity Exhibition'.
Gloeckner's comics work first appeared in underground comix publications when she was in her teens. She continued to do stories for such titles as Weirdo, Young Lust, Buzzard, and Twisted Sisters. A collection of her comics, paintings, and etchings, 'A Child's Life and Other Stories', with an introduction by R. Crumb, was published by Frog, Ltd. in 1998. Her new illustrated novel, 'The Diary of a Teen-age Girl', has been described as troubling, nauseating, and often at the same time, beautiful. Gloeckner's work in this genre was the focus of an exhibition at San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum. She was a special invited guest at the San Diego International ComicCon 2000.