The Ladydrawers Comics Collective (AKA “The Ladydrawers”) is an unofficially affiliated group of women, men, transgender, and non-binary gender folk who research, perform, and publish comics and texts about how economics, race, sexuality, and gender impact the comics industry, other media, and our culture at large. Our data comes from original research conducted in the public realm by students, interns, volunteers, and supporters around the globe. Our content—including comic books, strips, posters, postcards, games, apparel—is created by a range of folks interested in, and with a range of experiences in, the comics industry, including long-time, established professionals and recent enthusiasts. Our projects have been commissioned by the publications Tin House, Annalemma, and Bitch, and appears regular in our monthly column on Truthout. We have also conducted projects in conjunction with Our Bodies Ourselves and other social-justice minded, information-disseminating organizations.
Education forms a central part of our work. Many of our collaborations begin as classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago or Ox-Bow School of Art. We have also given presentations for Northwestern University’s Sex Week, at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE), at the Chicago Cultural Center (for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Chicago Artists’ Resource), at the Cambodian Association of Illinois, and at the Pop Culture and World Politics Conference at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. In addition, last summer we implemented a two-week experimental graduate program at the Adventure School for Ladies called the Comics Intensive. Here’s what the press has to say about our innovative work:
“Beautifully illustrated intellectual ammunition.” —ThinkProgress
“Depressing news, but the comic makes it a little easier to swallow.” —Bitch
“Making an art form out of researching and publishing findings that others might write or talk about.” —Women’s E-News
“Wry.”—New York Times Magazine
Other stories about The Ladydrawers have appeared in media outlets including: Jezebel, Express Milwaukee, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Our Bodies, Ourselves, The Matthew Filipowicz Show, New City, Chicago Publishes, an unknown Dutch website, Examiner, Comics Beat, and on WBEZ’s Vocalo.
We are a curiosity-driven, open-ended, exploratory body of friendly amateur researchers, concerned with who gets to say what in our culture and how they may or may not be supported in or compensated for saying it. Our monthly comic strip on Truthout, which draws between several thousand to nearly a hundred thousand of readers, both documents and illustrates our findings for the public at large; it also pays underrpresented artists to make comics in a field where it can be difficult to make money as a woman or trans person. In April of 2010, we also published our data on women’s comics anthologies in a pamphlet called Women’s Comics Anthology; conducted an internationally debated postcard campaign in May of 2011; released a limited-edition print anthology now available online in July of 2011 called Unladylike; and put out a book in conjunction with the Adventure School in June of 2012 called Hand Job: A Labor of Love.
We like, and want to work with, everybody.
Email us at TheLadydrawers@gmail.com.