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!

The Ladydrawers & Femicomix Finland Superhero Team-up

Alecia intros us

Alecia introduces us at Women & Children First.%22as you can see, Finnish words are long%22Aino introduces Femicomix Finland with the phrase, “As you can see, Finnish words are very long.”
amazing audience

Our amazing audience.

anna reading w:aino Anna-Leena reads from her new book!

back of shelf

The fruits of Rae’s labor convincing people to make collaborative comics at our event (now available to browse in the front window, go read them, they’re adorbz.)
DO_grass ox winning poster

The Finns sweep the draw-off, bolstered by their strong showing by the prompt, Draw Grass Ox’s New Presidential Campaign Poster.
DO_grassox eating the constitutition

Rae drew Grass Ox eating the Constitution.

DO_grassox helps Sheika helps Grass Ox drect Rae’s drawing process.
Morgan offers the winning team US citizenship

The victors of the Draw Off were granted American citizenship. Ray 1Rae’s totally ridiculous performance had them flashing people to convince them to make comics together. 
ray 3 Rae choosing their next victim.Ray shows off zines

The tiny library created by our amazing audience.
Rays minizines Another closeup, without the artist themselves.sheika and our books Sheika did a bang-up job as the Mistress of Ceremonies.Sheika and Ray collaborate Sheika and Ray, attacking the page with cats, butts, and hot dogs. AKA “ladydrawering the eff out of it.”the Finns collaborate Hanna-Pirita, Taina, and Roju draw their ideal man, LOL.the littlest comicker Our favorite audience member draws some comics.

Welcoming Femicomix Finland!

kollaasi_web_valmisThe Ladydrawers Comics Collective is pleased as punch to welcome Femicomix Finland (AKA The FEMSKT Collective) to the shores of Lake Michigan for the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE)!

After collaborating with this crew for the last year and a half (at Villa Salin, at this event at Naisasialiitto Unioni, and waaaaayyyyy before that at this data-crunching project in Helsinki), we’re thrilled to finally be able to show off our corrupt and rapidly neoliberalizing city and its strong history of radical, queer, feminist research and publishing.

Here’s a bit about the group, translated from the FInnish:

Femicomix Finland does workshops, socializing, and support. Femicomix Finland is antiracist, inclusive, and aims to make its activities accessible to groups of all genders, races, and physical abilities. The group respects everyone’s right to self-definition. Anyone into antiracist and feminist comics, as a creator or reader, or is otherwise interested in what we do is welcome to join!

In the past the group has organized a festival, open workshops, public comics readings, two feminist residences, and other fabulous events. More is to come!

We’ll be participating together in the June 4 event at Women & Children First, and sharing each others’ stuff on June 6 and 7 at CAKE.

Then you can catch their sketchbook show and a Grassroots Comics workshop at Comfort Station in Logan Square on Sunday from 6 to 9 pm.