SWEDISH.

Friends.

We have just completed the Swedish version of our International Comics Survey—AVAILABLE HERE, NOW, FOR YOUR FILLING-OUT PLEASURE—and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re so excited, in fact, we’re re-opening our surveys in EnglishFinnishGermanLatvian, and Spanish—and leaving them open until we can collect 100 responses in Swedish. Then we’ll recompile the data, reconfigure our findings, and rework the comics we’ve already got in process.

That’s right, there are many many more besides what we’ve already published on censorship at PEN America. We can’t wait to show them to you, once we have just a bit more info on what’s going on with comics in Sweden.

 

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THREADBARE

2016-11-11-21-30-40A seven-year, three-continent project has finally come to a close, and we at Ladydrawers HQ just wanted to say thanks! With your support we put out—and survived touring with—a massively complex work of comics journalism that tracks the pernicious influence of the garment industry across international borders and into the streets and bedrooms of women around the world. (Standout sex-workers rights site Tits & Sass named it to a list of the year’s Best Investigative Reporting on Sex Work, and says it “connects all the threads of industrial and imperialist abuses, and presents a seamless and ugly portrait of an imperialism that never died, only changing to better fit the times—an imperialism which is still at the heart of so many exploitations and abuses worldwide.” Read the whole thoughtful conversation here.)

A heartfelt thank you for giving a difficult project life!

On Censorship

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Ladies and Gentlemen and Others,

The Ladydrawers are pleased to announce that, several months ago, we were offered the opportunity to publish the first of our International Comics Survey findings at PEN America. Here’s an excerpt from Anne Elizabeth Moore’s essay introducing the three strips:

That there are few recognizable visual cues associated with censorship is one reason the topic receives such short shrift in our brand-focused, social media-infused culture. Another is that the topic is nearly impossible to address with objectivity, a concept particularly beloved by those who impose limits on speech and speakers: if a censoring body refuses to ‘balance out’ a censored creator’s tale, even allegations of censorship can quickly be silenced. This situation can be reversed, too: creators often feel silenced when editors suggest changes to work, even when the changes were intended to improve it. Silencing seems a wholly subjective experience.

Read the entirety of “Silenced Without Proof” (September 2016) at PEN America’s site, published in recognition of Banned Books Week. The essay introduced three comics compiling original data on censorship, silencing, and disability among international comics creators, including Censored, with Elke Renate Steiner and Fran Syass; But That’s Not Censorship!!, with Hanna-Pirita Lehkonen, Sheika Lugtu and Fran Syass; and The Amazing Adventures of the Censor-Ship, with Sheika Lugtu and Fran Syass.

 

Kuti Kuti, Cutie

kuti40_kansiDid you know Anne Elizabeth Moore and Esther Pearl Watson collaborated on the very first Ladydrawers strip together way back in 2010? Well it was collected into the latest edition of the rad, international anthology Kuti Kuti—the feminist issue, with a cover drawn by our superbestie Emmi Valveand you can download it here.

Short Lists of Bad-Asses and More THREADBARE <3s

We couldn’t have been more thrilled by a review than we were by Kristen Sollee’s listicle of bad-ass feminist comics in Bustle. From her intro:

Like many kids, I devoured my fair share of comics growing up, but they were mostly of the dude-centric variety. When I finally discovered feminist comics in my teens, it was thrilling to see characters and storylines that more closely reflected the world I inhabited. These days, I’m particularly a fan girl of feminist comics that wield humor and irony like weapons — two things indispensable to dealing with life as a lady-identified person in the 21st century.

Give you feels? Us too. That’s part of why we made Threadbare, which Sollee calls “a gut-wrenching yet vital zine about exploitation, consumption and production … a serious slab of truth that should be required reading for every fashion-loving feminist.” Read the rest here!

Don’t miss this amazing review—and analysis of human trafficking and anti-sex work media and policy narratives—by the awesome Morgan Claire Sirene at Slutist, either:

When you look closely at widely publicized sex trafficking campaigns, you see less facts and more anti-sex, xenophobic mythologies. … What does stand out is a corporate agenda, a Christian Imperialist agenda, and an anti-sex work agenda. There is a capitalistic puritanical reign that perpetuates biased, moralistic notions of sex while reinforcing the “merits” of cheap, exploitative foreign labor. There is also the erasure of trans women and men in the sex industry. The anti-trafficking narrative criminalizes and endangers consensual sex workers and through lack of any other options pushes more women (cis and trans) in places like Cambodia, India and Haiti into the harsh, dangerous and often times worse-than prostitution conditions of the garment industry. Women worldwide are kept in poverty, and the same myth remains: sex work is sex trafficking, and a woman is better off in the sweat shop than the brothel. In Anne Elizabeth Moore‘s latest comics journalism expose Threadbare, we see these myths unravelling.

Women Write About Comics weighed in with a great conversation-as-review here, ending on this stellar note:

Readers who are searching for something they can do to combat the exploitative nature of the garment industry can help by expanding Threadbare’s reach. Tell your schools and libraries to purchase it, order it from your local comic shops and bookstores, and buy copies for your friends! Awareness is important; awareness can increase the number of people who try to vote for policy-makers who have these issues on their radar. Ultimately, there isn’t much we can do on an individual level, but we can spread the word.

Finally, there’s this delightful look, by Kevin Bramer at Optical Sloth. Worth reading in full, but here’s the kicker:

Even if you think you’re an expert on this subject I guarantee that you’ll find new information in here, and the comics are drawn by the some of the best artists working today. If you know any millionaires please tell them to throw some money at people who are looking to do this type of graphic journalism, because the world needs more of it.

YES THAT’S RIGHT WE ONLY WORK WITH THE BEST ❤ ❤ <3.

THREADBARE launch events

We’ve been so busy winning houses for comics and prepping for CAKE and the AMC that we’ve barely had time to attend our own book-launch events, much less post pics from them! Still they were quite fun, and we wanted to share the love.

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The pre-release panel talk at the Evanston Literary Festival, with Özge Samanci and Keiler Roberts, moderated by Brian Cremins.

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The cashier’s station at Women and Children First for the booklaunch. Rivven brought all the collaborative zines we’ve made together over the last year!

AEMWCFcrowd

AEM presents an overview of the book, the garment industry, and the particularly negative impact anti-trafficking organizations have had on Chicago sex workers. 

We were thrilled to be joined at the Women & Children First event by SWOP-Chicago’s Serpent Libertine, who is also interviewed (extensively) in the book. We even held a raffle and raised over zero dollars for SWOP-Chicago’s educational and legal support efforts! (We forgot to count it, but we greatly appreciated your donations!)

DJWCF

Delia Jean gives an excellent intro to making comics journalism, as well as the unique difficulties facing those of us who want to depict the experiences of sex workers accurately, despite very few other media representations to turn to for inspiration or guidance.