Minimum Wage Mug

MWMWe’re doing a new thing at Ladydrawers HQ, which is generate occasional stuff with our stuff on it. We’re planning a t-shirt line, but obviously we have quite a bit of research and investigation into sweat-free and union-made claims to get done before we can make them. We’re also planning a string of worker-owned strip clubs. Just kidding. We don’t have time for that. (But if *you* do it, let us know what kind of merch you want us to make to support you. We’ll split the profits!)

Why are we doing this? Well, we’re hoping to add a whole new spate of unpaid work to our upcoming year. But to do that, we’ll need to find a way to pay our folks anyway. Think of it as the Slow Crowd-Funding Movement. Or, since you basically get the perks right away, a Fast Crowd-Funding Movement. Or just Capitalism.

Which brings us to our Minimum Wage Mug. It is available in two sizes, 11 and 15 oz. It is drawn by the delightful Delia Jean, occasional food-service worker and comics creator, and a member of The Ladydrawers Comics Collective. Unlike many mugs, this mug is polemical in nature. It espouses a viewpoint that seeks to ensure the economic viability of food-service workers, a largely feminine workforce. Like many mugs, you can also drink coffee out of it. Or other things. Whatever you want.

It’s not a cheap mug—the small one’s $18.95 and the big one’s $21.20—but the manager of your restaurant probably needs to restock mugs anyway. The back’s on the left and the front’s on the right. Unless you’re left-handed. Then, the opposite.

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VOLKSMODE preview: Johann Perzi

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In honor of our second celebrational event in a row — and because some of you can’t make it to town tonight — we’ve made you another VOLKSMODE preview image, this one from the strip that opens our book, a long chat with the tailor Johann Perzi. (Please keep in mind that the colors will change quite a bit in the final.)

You can (and should—it’s going fast!) order the book here. Here is some information on the Vienna Art Week launch in German and in English.

And if you are in Chicago, we’ll see you tonight at DANKhaus!

Propeller Fund / Best in Show

The Ladydrawers are extremely honored to be recipients of a 2014 Propeller Fund Award, an innovative re-granting program established by the good folks at Threewalls in conjunction with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The annual grant goes to collaboratives that operate partially out of Chicago, and is intended to aid the continuation of work that falls through the cracks of other funding guidelines. We’re just thrilled to be able to be listed alongside contemporaries at The Chicago Torture Justice Memorial, the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation, Monsters & Dust, Lucky Pierre, CAKE, the Prison-Neighborhood Arts Project, and the many many individuals we love here in Chicago doing amazing, thoughtful, engaged work connecting social justice issues to creative activities.

Thursday please come celebrate with us at Mana Contemporary, 2233 S. Throop Street.

And don’t stop celebrating on Friday, when we’re excited to announce that Delia Jean’s work with Anne Elizabeth Moore on VOLKSMODE 2014 has won Best in Show in the Lincoln Square Art Walk. We’ll be at the exhibition at DANK Haus from 6 to 9 pm, partying like we win awards like this every day. Which, technically, for these two days in a row, we do :)

Preorder VOLKSMODE 2014!

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Friends! We are pleased to show off the cover of our first international investigative print book, VOLKSMODE, created in conjunction with das weisse haus in Vienna, Austria. You can also preorder it (for $7 USD!) from Pressing Concern Books.

Here’s the official description: A 24-page, two-color comics journalism collection of oral histories from Vienna’s faded fashion industry, VOLKSMODE is a new addition to Our Fashion Year, the exploration of international women’s labor that ran monthly on Truthout. Unraveling the threads that weave together fast fashion and human trafficking, Our Fashion Year asks why and how the flow of capital particularly disadvantages women, throughout the world. In Austria, we were interested in asking this question of men, in a country neither currently known as a garment producer nor a fashion capital, but which is nonetheless subject to the same global forces as workers in Phnom Penh and models in New York City.

The limited-edition book debuts at Vienna Art Week in mid-November.

VOLKSMODE preview: Conchita Wurst

You may know that we’ve been working on a book this summer in Chicago and in Vienna, and we’re now working hard to make sure it’s out before the end of the year. (It will launch at Vienna Art Week at the end of November so, um, it better be out before the end of the year!) We’ll post order information for Volksmode soon, but in the mean time, here’s a preview from “Connie, Urban Planner,” by Anne Elizabeth Moore, drawn by Delia Jean.

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Comics Workbook interview

Violet, the super-sleuthin’ pet detective from our Bitch Media series Don’t Be a Dick, graces the cover of the current Comics Workbook Magazine. (Check the crews’ Tumblr here.) She’s only one of many amazing inventions from the mind of Melissa Mendes, who’s interviewed alongside Anne Elizabeth Moore by Zach Mason.

Here’s a clip, on HATERZ:

AEM: As far as pushback, we’ve had, and have, a ton of haters. … What I think people don’t realize, or they would stop expressing any venom toward us at all, is that all that stuff is fuel. The dude who left the comment about stats being the last refuge of people who have nothing to say? Used that in a strip. GT66, who used to troll us with long and nonsensical arguments about … well, it was sort of unclear. Women, or something? That guy was *the best.* I miss him a little bit, because when you hit that wall of hate, the stakes get really clear. You absolutely for sure know that you are on the right path, and then, best part: the angriest people start telling you where not to tread next. Then you go there.

All that stuff has died down some now, and we’re getting to some kind of critical mass, at least about gender and comics (or maybe more accurately, women and comics). There’s clearly a ton more to do: I haven’t seen anything yet that makes me believe the current conversation, which we obviously helped start, will result in permanent change. In the early days—just a few years ago!—it was sort of amazing. All the other folks in the crew had, like, no qualms about any of it. Nicole Boyett, Rachel Swanson—they would stay up all night reading hateful comments about us to each other and laughing. We even did a puppet show of them. Esther Pearl Watson designed most of the puppets from stuff she found on the ground in a field.

MM: I personally I haven’t had any haters (that I know of) on this front—just people being generally confused about when other characters are boys or girls, and one kid being genuinely mind blown by the fact that one of my characters, usually depicted in black and white, had “brown skin”.  Usually it’s kids that are the most honest.  They’re like “Is that a girl or a boy?” And just the fact that they are genuinely, and not hatefully, asking that question about a book they enjoyed makes me feel good.