Sally here to finish the week with work by Keiler Roberts, Emma Rios, Julie Doucet, Nicole Burton, and more!
Heidi MacDonald of The Comics Beat gives a shout-out to Keiler Roberts on the “Year of Free Comics” feature. Keiler’s Powdered Milk (above) is an ongoing autobiographical web comic that has been winning awards and garnering praise recently. You can read it HERE. Keiler’s book Sunburning will be coming out from Koyama Press this May – keep an eye out for it.
There is a nice write up and interview with Emma Ríos on ComicsVerse. Emma’s recent work includes Mirror with Hwei Lim and Pretty Deadly with Kelly Sue DeConnick . She got her start in Spain self-publishing fanzines and the comic series APB: a prueba de balas (Bulletproof) before debuting in the States with Hexed for Boom! Studios and a few Marvel projects. She says that she learned how to read by reading comics, so this is a life-long passion. Early influences and loves were Roy Thomas and Buscema’s Conan, and New Mutants by Claremont and Sienkiewicz. Then Akira came along and blew her mind.
The interview quickly veers toward the discussion of “being a women in comics” and Emma shares her optimism for the scene.
“The main challenge is being continuously branded, I think. For better or worse. Talking more about being a woman than about the work you actually produce. Experience has probably made me quite paranoid, but I feel there are continuous attempts at stealing the concept of “feminism” from us, from a marketing point of view. So it is difficult to distinguish when you’re going to be exposed in a zoo, from when your perspective is going to be celebrated in terms of representation and fairness.
In any case, I feel the debate got a lot better in the past three years, and yep, I see more celebration of women in comics. Especially regarding sisterhood and collective support. Gathering together makes us stronger and helps a lot in terms of acceptance.
In Spain we do have an Association of Women in Comics, a collective I feel very proud to belong to. Aside from trying to recover and promote pioneers, nobody seemed to remember, with an honorific prize every year, and organizing exhibitions and events, it totally feels like a girl gang to me and a safe space.“
Emma also worked on Island with Brandon Graham, hates digital coloring, and was an architect until 2007 when she switched to comics full time. Read the rest of the interview HERE.
I discovered Nicole Marie Burton this week. She is a cartoonist and Publisher at Ad Astra Comix, which specializes in comics that have a social justice theme. The Comics Beat listed her piece Eugenie Shark (above) in their “A Year of Free Comics” feature – you can read about it HERE and see the whole thing (which ran as an exclusive feature on The Mary Sue in 2015) HERE. Nicole is currently re-working and re-coloring a 2nd edition of this work, which Ad Astra will publish soon. Nicole founded Ad Astra Comix in 2013 and has used the platform to promote social justice topics, publish comics, teach workshops, and build community. Learn more HERE and help support her work.
Andalusia Knoll Soloff came into Copacetic Comics, in Pittsburgh, PA, yesterday with a copy of the first chapter of the graphic novel she is making, along with a team of artists (Xavier Corro, Avril Lopez, Anabel Aguirre, and Adriana Ronquillo – with editor Anahi Hernandez). The comic is about the Ayotzinapa 43 – a group of students who were kidnapped on Sept. 26th, 2014 by the Mexican government from a teachers college in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. The comic shares the story of the parents’ continuing search to find their sons.
Andalusia, who lived in Pittsburgh 15 years ago, was back in the city briefly, and gave a presentation on the comic this week. She has been printing and distributing it herself but is now looking for a publisher who can help her broadcast the story further. You can learn more about the project HERE.
I have been doing a little research on Julie Doucet, and spent some time letting Google Translate help me navigate her website. She is one of only a handful of female comics creators from the 80’s who has continued to make work – although she doesn’t call her current work comics. Her first comic (below) was made in 1983 when she was 17. Although Drawn & Quarterly published her Dirty Plotte series and a number of other international publishers have picked up her work, she has always self-published as well and pushed herself to experiment. She started her own publishing house in 2013 – Le Pantalitaire (The Pants) – where she exclusively publishes her own work. She was born in Montreal, and aside from time spent in New York City and Berlin, has lived there for most of her life. See more of her current work HERE.
Apples and Cheese
- Kristen Gudsnuk talks about her series Henchgirl on Paste Magazine – the interview is HERE.
- Françoise Mouly has put out the call for submissions for RESIST! Vol. 2 – HERE. The theme is “Grab Back!” and the deadline is Friday, April 21st 2017 at 11:59 pm EST.
- Check out the Valkyries, a community of women working in comic book stores around the world – here’s a write up about them on SyFyWire.
- I enjoyed this creator profile of Carol Swain written by Paul Gravett. Carol is one of my favorite cartoonists, whose book Gast is one I come back to all the time and force all my friends to read. I was trying to find out if she is working on anything new these days, but was not successful. I guess I’ll just have to track down old issues of her Way Out Strips (published periodically from 1988 to 1994) to tide myself over…
- Alison Bechdel will be Vermont’s next Cartoonists Laureate – details here. Torch passes on April 6th 2017!
- The Comic Book Decalogue speaks to Maggie Umber for Episode 18 – HERE.
- Check out Pénélope Bagieu‘s Les Culottes HERE – comic portraits of numerous interesting women (be sure to check out her piece on Tove Jansson). Although the webcomic has been released in “album” form, it’s all in French, so the English-speakers among us will have to patient awhile longer…
Gloria Rivera (above right) was just in Pittsburgh for a week for a Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency. A cartoonist and painter from the Los Angeles area, she managed to bring some of that warm weather – and a whole lot of comics-making energy – to Pittsburgh with her. She finished a project while she was here, helped plot some CW Roller Derby League stuff, and picked Frank’s brain regarding comics history and publication. We’ll hear her own take on her residency next week. Stay tuned!
If you’re curious about the Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @rowhouseresidency on Instagram.
Blinkers – 3-31-2017 – by Jack Brougham
Suzy and Cecil – 3-31-2017 – by Gabriella Tito
Joanie and Jordie – 3-31-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio