Willy Mendes started her career in underground comix when she joined Trina Robbins and Nancy Kalish on Gothic Blimp Works, a comic tabloid published by underground newspaper the East Village Other. Inspired, Robbins and Mendes worked together on the all-women comic book 'It Ain't Me, Babe', in 1970.
Mendes published 'Illuminations' in 1971, which included some of her psychedelic work. Eventually, Willy Mendes, changing her name to Barbara Mendes, moved away from comics to painting. She is still running her own gallery in downtown Los Angeles.