01/13/2017

Sally here, reveling in this week’s collection of cool women who have made or are currently making comics: Elizabeth Stohn, Julie Doucet, Rachel Masilamani, Jessica Abel, Sarah Glidden, Audra Stang, and more!

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Rachel Masilamani in her Pittsburgh, PA, studio

I’m delighted that we are featuring Rachel Masilamani here on the site this week. Juan Fernandez wrote a thoughtful piece about her comics, highlighting work made between 2000 and 2013. Rachel began making comics in Baltimore in 1997, and has stuck with the form through thick and thin. She won a Xeric Foundation grant, moved to Pittsburgh, became a librarian, started a family, and never stopped self-publishing her comics, which often deal with intense subject matters. I am a big fan of her work and have so much respect for her as a creator – it’s an honor to share the city of Pittsburgh with badass cartoonists like Rachel.

Read Juan’s thoughts on her work HERE.

Juan doesn’t dig into Rachel’s more recent work, the NON PARTUM series that she published on Mutha Magazine – you can check those comics out HERE.

Megan Purdy of Women Write About Comics composed a collection of essays about the comics as they were coming out in early 2015. Here are her thoughts on Plan B-200, followed by The Subject, Spontaneous, Habitual, Inevitable, and finally We Conceive.

Final panels from Rachel Masilamani’s We Conceive

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An comic strip drawn by Elizabeth Stohn – a student of the Associated Art Studios Correspondence School for Cartoonists, 1918

Dan Nadel shared this incredible blog post about the work of Elizabeth Stohn on The Comics Journal this week. The author of the post – Jim Linderman – found these comic strips (above) in a sketchbook and gathered as much info as he could about the young woman who made them 100 years ago. Really cool stuff – be sure to check it out.

(Make time also to peruse Jim’s blog further – he’s been called “one of the world’s greatest pickers” by the New York Times, and his blog and the books he’s authored about the bits of American art and history he collects are wonderful!)

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Sarah Glidden has a new comic up on Tablet called A Temple in Time. “When the news became too much to bear, I tried observing an ‘internet Shabbat,’ where I could unplug one day a week. It didn’t quite work as planned.” The first page is shown above – you can read the rest is HERE.

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I got to read Jessica Abel‘s Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars while working at Copacetic Comics this week – I’d been looking forward to it for awhile. I love the world of rollerderby, and Jessica has basically taken that sport and propelled it into the future. Life on Mars is tough, and 15-year old Trish wants to become a pro “hoverderby” player and escape her family’s moisture farm. Things start to work out for her and her dream is within reach, but then a native Martian shows up and may just “dust” her plans. As it says on the Trish Trash website:

Check Trish out if you (or someone you love) is totally into sci-fi, rollerderby, reading about kickass girls, reading about kickass girls who are not white, and/or semi-dystopian post-environmental-collapse speculative fiction (oh wait, that’s everyone, isn’t it?).

It certainly describes me, and despite not being entirely engrossed by the story I still have high hopes for it’s continued development. The “behind the scenes” Tumblr for the book is pretty fun, so while we’re waiting for the next installment you can explore the concept of rollerderby + Mars to your heart’s content.

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Julie Doucet

Poking around the 2dcloud website recently revealed an interview with Julie Doucet. It’s unclear who conducted the interview with her – the whole thing is oddly formatted and frankly frustrating to read – but it was interesting to dig into some of Julie’s thoughts about her present work, and her continuing relationship with comics – which is at the moment one of disconnect and disinterest, and extreme frustration over people trying to MAKE her current work “still be comics” in some fashion.

“Julie: i simply had more than enough of it when i quit. had enough of the all boy crowd (something i was comfortable with for a long time) i simply lost interest in it. of course i kept reading my friends comics, but no more than that. when i say i feel i can’t connect, i mean i don’t know what’s going on in comics these days, i’m totally out of touch, i don’t know what the hell comics people are talking about, don’t know the new names, the new titles, the new publishers etc…

2dcloud: Reading Julie Delporte’s beautiful Journal recently, she mentions something about your new work still being comics in its own way. Do you think of your work in this way?

Julie: i am not sure i agree with what Julie Delporte says. i work pretty much with words only! what i do is more like Dada poetry, if you like…i swear comics people INSIST to death, i HAVE to be doing comics whatever i do!! i’ve heard that kind of affirmation one million times!!! i don’t get it! why isn’t it normal to to other things?? like in visual arts, you can do whatever you like and be coherent in your work. why why why why am i not allowed to do just that?

Check out the rest of the interview HERE.

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Various and Sundry’s

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Superstar Comics Workbook student Audra Stang is back in Pittsburgh for her second Rowhouse Residency! She joined us in July of 2016 for a long weekend and drew the entire first draft of her comic Pale, Sick, and Magic (read it HERE – also check out Rob Clough’s review of that comic, as well as Love My Like an Autograph HERE.)

Audra is joining us for a week this time. She is christening the new residency space for us, filling it with index card drawings and good energy – and digging into her new long-form comic project with the determination of a recent college grad who has every intention of making comics a lifetime adventure, and not just the thing she fought with her art professors about for 4 years…! It’s thrilling to have her back and I can’t wait to see what Audra gets done in the next week.

You can read about her first residency experience HERE.

If you are interested in applying for a Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency or just looking for more info, visit this page or email santoroschoolATgmail – we will happily answer any questions you might have!

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Suzy and Cecil – 1-13-2017 – by Sally Ingraham

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Joanie and Jordie – 1-13-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio

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1-13-2017 – by Juan Fernández

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Sally Ingraham

Sally Ingraham

Sally is a cartoonist, educator, and journalist based in Pittsburgh, PA. She makes comics about Pittsburgh and bird watching, and co-writes the "Suzy and Cecil" daily strip (with Gabriella Tito). She facilitates the Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency, is a managing editor of the CW Daily News, and runs the CW Roller Derby "of the mind" League. She is focused on documenting the current and historic place of women in the comics industry, is working to build the Women's Comics Library, and is developing a comics curriculum by and for girls.
Sally Ingraham

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