We finish the week with Mary Fleener, Isabel Bas Amat, Gloria Rivera, Miranda Harmon, and more!
I just had a chance to check out Mineshaft #34 (Fall 2016) at Copacetic Comics and happened across Mary Fleener‘s piece for the zine (above). Only hours later I discovered that Women Write About Comics had posted an interview with Mary Fleener, which digs into what she’s currently working on, her recent experience with comics about local politics, and her long relationship with the medium. She is part of a relatively small group of female cartoonists who have been working steadily since the 70’s, and I am pleased to see that she is still totally invested in the community and is still making serious work – perhaps the best work of her life (keep an eye out for her new book Billie the Bee, a project she considers to be the hardest thing she’s ever done.)
Mary Fleener’s advice to an aspiring comics maker:
“Read a lot of books, look at a lot of art, and go to a lot of museums. I compare a lot of things to learning how to play a musical instrument. It’s almost like a Law of Nature. If you practice, you will get better. If you draw a lot, you will get better. Some people take longer, and some can do it right away, but if you do not practice you’ll get nowhere. Another thing, if you have a burning desire to try something, then you MUST. If you do not, you will always wonder what you missed out on. Envy is another thing that can either give you the drive to try harder or it can eat you up inside. If someone gets an award, congratulate them, don’t be bitter. One more thing: always say “Please” and “Thank you”.“
Thanks to the wonders of Google Translate I’ve been doing my best to learn about Isabel Bas Amat (b. 1931), a cartoonist from Barcelona, Spain, who was one of only three women to draw comics for the long-running comics magazine TBO (1917-1983). She began making work for the magazine in 1967, and her strip Ana-Emilia and Her Family (above) became popular. She was completely self taught and had very little communication with other cartoonists, so all of her work was based on the comics that she had grown up reading. She drew from an early age, and first sent her comics to a local magazine when she was 15. She had the satisfaction of seeing her work published, and was able to carry on making comics and doing illustration work. Her comic for TBO, a magazine she always hoped to be published in, featured a character that was based on the daughter of the publisher, Albert Viña. Like her character Ana-Emilia, Isabel was a climber and swimmer and tabletop tennis player – but comics were her first love.
There is an interview with Isabel Bas Amat on Tebeosfera – with the aid of Google Translate you can learn more about this rad cartoonist and see more of her strips and comics – HERE.
Gloria Rivera is in Pittsburgh this week for a Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency. She is an alum of the Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers and is a member of the CW Roller Derby League so we know that she isn’t afraid of working hard. Now she is making the most of a week dedicated entirely to drawing and research – or “sparing in the dojo” as we call it around CW. We’ll hear more about her adventures next week – meanwhile follow the Rowhouse Residency Instagram account – @rowhouseresidency – and if you’re interested in joining us in Pittsburgh yourself, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
Fish Fry Friday
- M. S. Harkness is a cartoonists from Minneapolis, Minnesota who is headed to Pittsburgh this summer for a Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency – come hell or high water! Donate to her travel expenses if you can – this gal will probably crawl here if she has to, but it would be nice if she could at least take the train – check out her Generosity campaign HERE – and send M.S. Harkness to Pittsburgh!
- The PEN America feature Illustrated PEN has an excerpt from Thi Bui’s new book, The Best We Could Do – HERE.
- Pinup Girl Clothing has released a line of Los Hernandez Brothers clothes, which uses fabric with designs pulled from their large body of work. Cartoonist Sarah Dyer (who is best known for the 90’s Action Girl anthology) is the Art Director for the line, so anyone ELSE who thinks this is a marvelous fashion development can join me in thanking Sarah for it! More about the line HERE on The Comics Beat – and you can order the clothing HERE.
- Sophie Goldstein treated herself to a Patreon for her birthday – support her HERE.
- Women Write About Comics reviews Peter Bagge’s new book Fire!!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story.
Blinkers – 3-24-2017 – by Jack Brougham
Suzy and Cecil – 3-24-2017 – by Gabriella Tito
Joanie and Jordie – 3-24-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio