International Comics Survey deadline: May 15

Our International Comics Survey—currently available in EnglishFinnishGermanLatvian, and Spanish—has a brand new deadline: May 15. Don’t stress out! We’re doing this because we’ll be running the data in an exciting Chicago-based workshop with our international feminist cohort starting at the end of May, and then turning them into comic scripts—or maybe even comics—during our Finnish residency in July.

To be specific, we are hoping for 100 Spanish and Latvian respondents by mid-May, 85 more German respondents, and 30 more English respondents. That should get us going in the Spring!

It’s a long survey, but it’s the information we need. Therefore, after you have filled it out, you can request a brief neck massage from The Ladydrawers or the next time you’re seated near us at a convention.

We are also actively seeking Swedish, Malay, Russian, French, and Japanese translators; if you’d like to pitch in, we’d love to work with you!

 

Growing Season: not over yet!

A Ladydrawers Meeting

Our quest to explore connections between food policy, public health, and race in comics form won’t end until March, but we thought we’d drop an update on you in the mean time. Our first update traced the humble origins of our project from a local Chicago artist’s garden to native food gathering traditions in Washington State (with Sarah Becan); then highlighted connections between food policy, consumption, and race in two strips about a farm collective on the East Coast (with Melissa Mendes) and a final strip by Sarah  Becan on the origins and machinations of food law.

Epidemic (drawn by Mendes, excerpted above) took a slightly more personal turn, and looked at the growing numbers of autoimmune diseases among members of our own comics collective, while Sheika Lugtu followed it up by illustrating a strip called … Like Lupus, in which specific racialized implications of these diseases and their treatments are discussed.

…Like Lupus promo

We’re excited to have active Ladydrawers member Sheika working with us on this strip (above), and on the final two in the series (still upcoming.) She’s an amazing force of fun and smarts!

sixthmassextinction_promo

We’re equally excited to have brought Laura Ķeniņš on board the strip, a Canadian resident who’s worked with us since her days in Latvia. She drew The Sixth Mass Extinction, a look at soil diversity through the work of Chicago-based artist Claire Pentecost, and (below) Superbug Apocalypse! A look at a potential impact of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on public health. (Fortunately for us, although unfortunately for the world, the publication of this piece coincided with a BBC report on the actual pending superbug apocalypse, so it’s been quite a popular strip.)

fullsuperbug_promo

In the months ahead, Laura will illustrate a piece on meat processing and disease, and Sheika’s final two strips will look at violence as a public health crisis. These will, again, probably hit kind of close to home, so keep an eye out for them, only at Truthout.

 

GERMAN, and other International Comics Survey developments!

As you are surely aware, we here at Ladydrawers HQ—in conjunction with pals actually literally around the world—are working hard to gather any and every bit of data we can on race, gender, physical ability, maternity, and economics in the comics industry, everywhere. This, as you can imagine, is a difficult and time-consuming task, especially when it is all volunteer run by folks who don’t get paid a ton in their regular jobs. Which, by the way, is just as true for women in comics in the US as it is for women in comics in Finland, if our current findings are any indication! (Spoiler alert: they are.)

That being said, through the tireless efforts of Vienna-based women’s rights and culture organizer Katharina Brandl, we have just added a German language edition of our international comics survey! Please forward it far and wide to all your German-speaking comics-creating pals (and those who aspire to such an exalted position) so we can continue to provide you with interesting and depressing information on global freedom of expression!

We are working hard to complete Swedish, Malay, Russian, French, Japanese, and other versions of the survey now. (If you have language skills to donate, please get in touch!) In response to our current translations, we could use more male and non-binary respondents. We would like to have more English-speaking respondents. We appreciate the possibility of more Spanish- and Latvian-speaking respondents. We crave more dolphin respondents, but what are you gonna do? We require more Italian-speaking respondents. To achieve these, we have decided leave all versions of the survey open until further notice.

That all being said, our handy guide to currently existing translations of the International Comics Survey is here:

Please share them far and wide, so we can gather as much information as possible. And thank you so much for your input into our exciting if overly sobering work!

Mid-Season Growing Season Update

Although the fifth and sixth installments have yet to post, we’re halfway through Growing Season, our public health and food justice comics journalism series for Truthout. While it’s our fourth season at Truthout, this is only the second year we’ve taken on a single focused subject for year-long exploration. Considering the popularity of Our Fashion Year (to be collected in a book called Threadbare in the spring), we thought it best to give you a little update on where the project stands.

1.R&M

Roots & Migrations, written by Anne Elizabeth Moore and drawn by Sarah Becan, focused on a Chicago-based artist named Fereshteh Toosi, whose food-based work references her own migration history and that reflected in the culture around her.

2. SN

Sarah Becan also drew our second strip, Stinging Nettles, written by Anne Elizabeth Moore. In it we speak to Elizabeth King George in the Pacific Northwest, who leads Native American food explorations in person and online to pass on vital health, healing, and taste traditions.3. Cultivation

Melissa Mendes then joined us for two strips that looked in-depth at Soul Fire Farm, an inspirational food justice program in upstate New York. Cultivation (above) and Cultivating Policy (below) presented the organization’s work around food and racial justice, but also opened up the discussion of food access to a query of the role of food policy.4. CultivatingPolicy 5.Food&Freedom

Our upcoming strip by Sarah Becan and Anne Elizabeth Moore (posting Tuesday at Truthout!) talks to the dude who helps keep an eye on Food and Freedom, Baylen Linnekin. Can’t wait for it? Sorry! We promise it’ll be worth the wait.

Melissa Mendes and Anne Elizabeth Moore return in August with a strip that looks more closely at how particular food policy issues are contributing to a public health epidemic. It hits a little close to home for some of us, so we’re not even going to preview it for you. Just stock up on some hankies next week and we should all be good to go on the second Tuesday of the month, as usual.

Comments? Suggestions for artists, interview subjects, or food issues to bring in? We’d love it if you’d leave ’em below.

Radical Chicago Publishing Timeline (at Women & Children First)

Front Window with Ray

Throughout the month of June, as a celebration of both the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) and Pride, The Ladydrawers were pleased to occupy the front window of Women & Children First Books in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. With a timeline of queer and POC printing and radical research projects from Chicago’s history written by Anne Elizabeth Moore (with a fantastic research assist or two from Paul Gehl of the Newberry Library) and drawn by Delia Jean, The Ladydrawers improvised a Chicago-themed political publishing overview for one of the oldest feminist bookstores in the country. (Pictured above: unnamed woman to the far left, Morgan, Ray, AEM, Sheika, Delia Jean. Also, Ray again, but real, peeking over the top of the painting. Remember our process shots from the install?)

It was an incredibly fun experiment for us. If you want to invite us to do something similar in your storefront or window, let us know and we can send you our rates!

The artists who helped implement and/or take down the window included: Kitty, Amy, Rae, Delia, Sheika, AEM, and Anna, on loan from Femicomix Finland. There were probably other folks who helped out, too; please leave a comment below so we can add you. Or: if you saw the window and liked it, let us know what you liked about it!

Second Window  The second window, covering the years prior to The Ladydrawers’ existence, 1947-1970.3 SisterhoodIsBlooming 4 JaneCollective 5 3rdWindow

1914-1930. Did you know gay and lesbian literature was arguably born here in Chicago?6 FourthWindow

The very first window started with the fire (above, it was hard to photograph) and the years 1889-1905, from the Haymarket Riots to the Chicago Defender.7 AddamsAgain 8 AddamsCats We tried to pair books with the images through which passersby would see them; Jane Addams obviously got Dancing With Cats.9 guy 10 DeliaDocumentingandRepping 11 HaymarketRiot 12 QueerLit 13 RayWithPortUSE Ray, posing behind their likeness. 14 zines This minis Ray had folks make. 15 Love,UsThen, of course, we had to leave some underpants behind. We signed ’em, special, for Women & Children First!

Announcing: THREADBARE

 We are really excited to announce that our first book collection will come out next Spring from Microcosm, featuring amazing art by Leela Corman, Julia Gfrörer, Simon Häussle, Delia Jean, Ellen Lindner, Melissa Mendes, and writing and reporting from Anne Elizabeth Moore. All the Our Fashion Year stories from Truthout will be included, plus some brand new and rare print-only stuff most of you have never seen, and it’s going to be super.

If you just can’t wait ’til May you can pre-order it here. And if you want to get in touch about hosting us on a tour date, drop us a line!