Sally here with plenty of good company to help kick off your weekend – Annie Koyama, Vanessa Davis, Kate Beaton, Marie Duval, Sofie Louise Dam, Shreyas Krishnan, Gabriella Tito, and more!
Happy 10th Year Anniversary to Annie Koyama and Koyama Press! Despite Kickass Annie’s grumpy appearance (above), she promises many sweet things to come in the next months.
We can hardly repay you for being there for the comics community, for your faith in us all, and for the energy and passion you’ve given so freely for a decade. We can only say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
The Ley Lines 2017 Subscription has been announced. Ley Lines comes from Kevin Czap and L. Nichols – it is a quarterly publication that explores the intersection of comics and other art forms and cultures. Four artists pick subjects that interest them and then compose work that compliments and describes their subject. This year Ley Lines will feature Tommi Parrish on William Blake/Lydia Lunch (February 2017), Eric Kostiuk Williams on Kylie Minogue (May 2017), Shreyas R. Krishnan on Abida Parveen (August 2017), and Evan Dahm on the Surrealists (November 2017).
I am particularly interested in seeing Shreyas Krishnan‘s book. She is an illustrator, educator, and visual journalist who started making comics more recently – her comic Becoming Rosie won the MoCCA Arts Fest Award of Excellence last year. See more of her work HERE.
Sofie Louise Dam has a new comic on The Nib – it’s about Denmark’s move to take “being trans-gendered” off of all lists of mental disorders. Although Denmark is the first nation in the world to do this, Sofie details why that in itself isn’t nearly enough. More HERE.
Vanessa Davis spoke to Paste about her comic Spaniel Rage, which was published in 2005 but is due to be re-released by Drawn & Quarterly this month. Vanessa talks about what it’s like to look back on work drawn over a decade ago, and the progression of her process since then. The diary comics that make up Spaniel Rage were in fact the very first comics she ever made.
“Paste: You mention in your new two-page intro comic that you didn’t know how to make comics when you started this project. How did you learn how to do that? Did you grow up reading comics?
Davis: I read Archie comics and Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield, but went to art school from 7th grade onwards, and was really encouraged to abandon anything comics- or illustration-influenced. I always had a cartoony “style” and that was always considered a handicap in my drawing abilities. In college I finally had a couple of teachers who finally just allowed that I knew how to draw as well as I was ever going to, and that the next thing to wrangle was my voice and perspective.“
A comic a day for a month (at a time in her life when the idea of drawing within panels seemed about as impossible as becoming a brain surgeon…!) put Vanessa on a path that she’s remained on to this day. And even if there are things about the Spaniel Rage comics that she might wish she could change, or would do differently now, she’s still glad to have them.
“Some people have tattoos they regret—I have comics. But we’re still all going to dance our mistakes around from time to time.“
There is still time to submit work for The Strumpet #5 – the theme for this issue is “Origin Stories”, and the deadline is March 1st 2017!
“The Strumpet is a transatlantic annual focusing on women telling stories in comics, edited by cartoonists Ellen Lindner and Glynnis Fawkes (as well as, in prior issues, editrix emeritae Jeremy Day and Kripa Joshi).
Despite ENORMOUS progress made by women in comics in the last two decades, we still feel that there’s a bit of a lag between the number of women we know who are doing comics (a lot) and those who are getting published regularly (not always a lot). At the end of the day, we can all use another deadline, and a prompt to do new and interesting work. And that’s where The Strumpet comes in.“
Anthologies like The Strumpet are in the tradition of the very first all-girls comics publication, It Ain’t Me, Babe, (1970). The Strumpet is in fact the continuation of Whores of Mensa, which was the brain-child of Mardou. She wanted a publication for women’s comics that was BOTH sexy and clever. As Jeremy Day wrote in a brief history of both The Strumpet and Whores of Mensa:
“We wanted to tease apart the idea (and it is a dominant one, especially in comics) that people need to chose between being sexy and being clever. We wanted a comic that wore glasses and got passes; that was cunning, but also stunning.“
You can read about The Strumpet #1 HERE at The Comics Journal.
I have been spending a lot of time lately digging up anthologies like these. They are incredible time capsules of various moments in comics history, preserving work by women who made mini comics in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s – pre-internet-publication days – as well as the early 2000’s. The catalog of work that each collection represents is fantastic.
Other anthologies that I’ve rediscovered include Action Girl Comics, which was published between 1994 and 2000 and was edited by Sarah Dyer, and Girltalk (1995-96) edited by Isabella Bannerman, Ann Decker, and Sabrina Jones. And of course there are the groundbreaking publications like Wimmen’s Comix (1970-1991), Tits & Clits Comix (1972-1987), and Twisted Sisters (1976, 1994). There are many more – I just haven’t gotten my hands on them yet!
There is a terrific article about Marie Duval over on Atlas Obscura. Lauren Young writes at length about this forgotten 19th century female cartoonist, who helped bring to life one of the first reoccurring characters in comics history – Ally Sloper. Marie Duval’s husband, Charles H. Ross, was the editor of Judy, a magazine that was a “cheap rival to the likes of popular magazines Fun and Punch, catering towards a primarily lower and middle class and female audience.” While Ross did create and draw the character Ally Sloper first, it was Marie Duval who developed and popularized the strip, doing the bulk of the drawing.
” “Marie Duval is important not only as perhaps Europe’s only popular female caricaturist, and not only as the chief author of the first Sloper,” wrote [art historian David] Kunzle. “She also deserves recognition for her graphic experimentation in an early period of the birth of modern art.” “
The Last Cheerios
- Kate Beaton compiled her annual Holiday Comics – read them all HERE.
- Lauren Weinstein‘s comics on The Village Voice are pretty melancholy these days. Read Normal Person: The Future...
- Iona Fox tells the story of a guy who successfully organized other undocumented dairy workers and won the right to a drivers licence while changing the structure of policing in Vermont – Part 1 is HERE.
- Hyperallergic wrote about Gina Wynbrandt and her “pleasantly uncomfortable and brash” comics.
- Shoutout to Lady’s Comics, a collective from Brazil!
- Ink Brick is doing a Kickstarter campaign for Issue 8, which will debut in stores around the country this fall. Support the project.
Check out The Art of Vanesa R. Del Rey! We designed it to look like a 1980’s comic book artist’s art book. The text is a transcription of an interview she did at The Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency in 2016. Vanesa is a once in a lifetime talent who studied with George Pratt and who has worked with Grant Morrison. Get a copy of this book HERE!
Suzy and Cecil – 2-3-2017 – by Gabriella Tito
Joanie and Jordie – 2-3-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio