Sally here with Mickey Z in FORGE.; political cartoonists in Africa, the UK, and the US; a reminder to watch She Draws Comics – and more!
The new issue of FORGE. is out, and it is quite amazing – it is huge, for starters. More artists, more cities, more pages than ever before. Matthew James-Wilson, who single-handedly makes the magazine, recently quit a full-time job at VICE, so the theme of Issue 17 – Risk – seemed especially apt for him. He seems to have gone off the deep end with this issue – but in a good way! Here’s a brief idea of what it includes:
“Issue 17: Risk includes submissions by Sarah Mason, Leesh Adamerovich, Corrinne James, Jessica Pettway, Brian Ejar, Louise Reimer, Alexa Viscius, Will Dereume, Graham Lister, Ross Jackson, Chris Nordahl, Sophia Schultz, Melisa Cola, Sander Ettema, Alexander Laird, and Disa Wallander. This issue also includes interviews with cartoonist, Mickey Zacchilli, Dustin Payseur of Beach Fossils, photographer, Laurence Philomene, show promoter and booker, Yiwei Meng, and Rene Contreras of Viva! Presents. Issue 17 features comics by Patrick Kyle, Becca Tobin, and Patrick Edell in its OP-ED section. Lastly, Issue 17 also includes the FORGE. Summer Review, documenting several concerts and events that took place in New York, Los Angeles, and Providence during Summer 2017.“
Among the things I’m excited about with this issue is the TWENTY PAGE LONG interview with Mickey Z (one spread shown above, complete with an appearance by Bread). I just read it at high speed (there are lots of pictures!) and will have to go back to actually digest it, but I must say that Mickey Z proves to be a constant source of inspiration to me. She’s like a complete package of creative forces, doing a lot of different things at once – but only the things that make her happy and hold her interest. Comics, printing, jujitsu, massage therapy, video games – whatever she wants to do. In this interview she mentions that she’s actually “anti-productivity” at the moment, which I find compelling. You’ll have to explore her reasoning.
There’s a bunch of other good stuff in this issue, so take some time with it – and kudos to Matthew James-Wilson for getting it out there!
(Be sure to check out Mickey Z’s current comics project – Space Academy – available to read online HERE.)
Abraham Riesman released his list on Vulture of the 8 Best Comics to Read (and One Comics Movie to Watch) in November. On the list is Leslie Stein‘s new comic Present, Julie Maroh‘s Body Music (which I wasn’t aware of, oops!) and the new version of Runaways, written by beloved YA novelist Rainbow Rowell. Abraham also reports that Netflix has added the 2014 film She Makes Comics this month, so schedule a movie night and invite your friends over to listen to some of comics’ female heavyweights talk about the industry and their place in it.
Check out the list and it’s other offerings HERE.
I was perusing a list from 2016 of Africa’s top 10 cartoonists and came across the names of Doaa Eladl (Egypt’s most famous female cartoonist), Siham Zebiri (an Algerian cartoonist), and Nadia Khiari (Tunisian creator of the character Willis). All 3 women are political cartoonists, and as such they often face difficulties in their countries that are only exacerbated by their sex. However they all continue to work, draw, and speak out about topics that are important to them, from female genital mutilation (Doaa Eladl), to immigration (Siham Zebiri), to male guardianship (Nadia Khiari). Here is a sampling of work by each of these radical women:
I have been repeatedly reminded recently that political cartooning is an ancient art form, and remains an important (and somewhat terrifying) space for artistic expression. I listened to Signe Wilkinson (the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist) speak at CXC in September, and she talked about “the trenches” in a way that gave me goosebumps. For herself and other political/editorial cartoonists, reality includes the possibility of bombed offices, arrest and lengthy imprisonment, and a regular, brutal dose of spite, malice, and outrage. You have to be pretty tough to deal with that, and pretty resilient, to find the power within to turn that harsh edge, somewhat, so that you can engage with people on a humorous level.
I really admire and respect Signe, and Ann Telnaes, (who spoke about her similar work and experiences at CXC last year), and of course the African female cartoonists I’ve mentioned here, who are wielding their pencils and brushes in defense and celebration of themselves and the things they love.
Here’s a recent comic by Signe Wilkinson – check out more of her work on GoComics.
In related news, the BBC recently published an article by Becky Morton about the “boys club” of political cartooning in the UK. Not surprisingly, there are only 6 full-time editorial cartoonists employed by national newspapers in the UK, and none of them are women. Becky Morton details why, and digs up a wealth of female cartoonists who have resorted (willingly or grudgingly) to publishing their comics online or outside of national media. Read the article HERE.
Not Last and Not Least
- Kevin Bramer reviews Jenny Zervakis‘ The Complete Strange Growths on Optical Sloth – calling it a “remarkable achievement”.
- Marnie Galloway has a new comic up on Mutha Magazine – read part 1 of Burrow HERE.
- Tom Spurgeon reviews The Wendy Project by Veronica Fish and Melissa Jane Osborne on The Comics Reporter.
- Marc Sobel interviews Ulli Lust for The Comics Journal and discusses her new book, Voices in the Dark, and how comics are a “musical medium” to her – read it HERE.
Suzy and Cecil – 11-3-2017 – by Sally Ingraham
Joanie and Jordie – 11-3-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio
Cozytown- 11-3-2017 – by Juan Fernandez