Sally here with work by Jessica Campbell, Jessica Abel and Meg Lemke, Sophie Goldstein, and more!
Hillary Brown talks House of Women with Sophie Goldstein on Paste Magazine. About the comic itself Hillary writes:
“Alternately spiky and luscious, it draws you in by receding. She writes with economy, but the resulting story isn’t irritatingly arty or hard to follow; it’s not drawn by a comics artist only for other comics artists who speak the lingo and can read the subtext. It’s no surprise, in fact, that Margaret Atwood (restless, relentless experimenter, unafraid to leap into any genre that grabs her interest, including comics) is an inspiration for this female-centered and complexly feminist story of colonization and controlled social dynamics.
Goldstein provides no easy answers—the book is thematically driven rather than focused on plot first and foremost—but she knows how to be just difficult enough.“
Jessica Campbell has a comic about The Bad Behavior of Men in Comics up on Hyperallergic – it’ll probably make you squirm or steam, depending, because she brings up all kinds of things that no one likes to talk about. Read it HERE.
Meg Lemke interviews Jessica Abel about her new book Growing Gills over on Mutha Magazine. Jessica has spent her life making comics, working in arts education, and developing theories about maintaining creative focus – something that I’d say the majority of us struggle with. This book came out of a series of online courses she taught and a working group she managed – where instead of dealing with issues like “how can I tell better stories?”, for example, the overwhelming chorus from her students and peers was “how can I deal with my paralyzing anxiety and procrastination?!”
In Growing Gills Jessica offers some working theories she’s developed (although she struggles with the same issues in her own life on a regular basis.) In the interview Jessica and Meg talk about organization, self-forgiveness, and process over progress.
“MUTHA: You talk in the book also about process over project outcomes, can you unpack that more?
JESSICA ABEL: What’s destructive is when people want to make art, but don’t want to sell art. AND at the same time they feel they can’t be artists if they aren’t attempting to be professionals. “If I’m not showing in a gallery, am I really an artist? If I don’t have a mainstream publisher, am I a writer?”
Yes, you are.
It may be that the business side is not what you’re interested in; it requires sacrifice of your creative time to do the work required to be a “pro.” People miss that the selling part is a separate project. If they can recognize and commit to selling as a separate project, great. If you constantly find yourself saying “I don’t want to do the things needed to sell my work,” then maybe you need to rethink the underlying model. Maybe the creative work on its own is what you need to feed your psyche. Make room in your life for your work without worrying about making it pay for itself. Maybe it’s enough to share it with your family, friends, or put it up for free on Medium. Don’t confuse the creative work with your childhood dreams of fame.“
This speaks to me right now, as a good reminder that making comics and making money can’t always be the same thing, and if I’m sacrificing making good comics in favor of making money, then I need to reevaluate.
The book is long and full of good stuff, but if you don’t have time to squeeze reading it into your already busy life, at least read this interview, which unpacks a lot.
Check out Growing Gills HERE.
Thanksgiving Leftovers (always better the next day!)
- Melanie Gillman‘s webcomic As the Crow Flies has been released by Iron Circus Comics – the A.V. Club reviews the comic HERE.
- GG discusses I’m Not Here over on Smash Pages.
- NPR reviews Body Music by Julie Maroh – apparently “earnest romanticism buoys it over the trouble spots“. Read the review HERE.
- Drawn + Quarterly is publishing new work by Rina Ayuyang and the last work of Geneviève Castrée – both comics coming in 2018.
Suzy and Cecil – 11-24-2017 – by Gabriella Tito
Joanie and Jordie – 11-24-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio