Photo on 2013-04-21 at 13.16 #6

It contains our latest creation, a survey about emotional labor! We’re asking food service workers to participate by filling out a quick chart after each work shift. We’re seeking to gather data about how you feel at the end of your workday. By gauging the levels of happiness, stress, and pride people experience in an average day, we aim to expand upon and better define the concept of emotional labor. This information will be used to fuel discussion and creativity at Life and Labor, a workshop led by cartoonist Delia Jean and journalist Sarah Jaffe. (You can also download the survey here: but please return it to us at the email address below when you’re done!)

We encourage participants to share stories, drawings and notes about their on-the-job experiences. Just place them in the pre-addressed envelope and send them along with your completed survey! For more information, please email deliajean84@gmail.com. Thank you for your help with this project!



Hey folks,

Truthout asked us to throw together some handy banner-ads for when they redesign the front page of their site, and the fabulous Nicole Boyett created these. Since the strip’s being used in classrooms and linked to all over the place, we wanted to post them for public use. We’re fans of diversity, you probably figured out, so feel free to use the one that is most appealing, and remember to use this link, which has all the strips—most recent first!


So You Want to Work in Comics

Delia Jean Hickey was drawing comics about gender and economics before she ever even heard of the Ladydrawers. (Check her hiLARious Station In Life Comics here. Like, now.) As part of the Ladydrawers crew, she researched the economics of the comics industry and, as a final project, drew comic from which the below is excerpted.

You can get the whole thing now at Challengers Comics, Chicago Comics, and the Graham Crackers in Lakeview, but by Monday they’re likely to be at all the other Chicago comic-book stores, too.

Without further ado:


Readership Statistics IV: The Role of Marketing

The Role of Marketing

Do you think comics are effectively marketed to women?
Yes 79 4%
No 1630 92%
What forms of marketing comics do you think are most effective in selling comics to women?
Previews (the catalog) 266 17%
Individual comic shop marketing 518 33%
Television and movie adaptations 1084 69%
Previews (advanced views at a comic) 466 30%
Reviews 841 54%
Interviews and feature articles on comic sites 721 46%
People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.
Do you think comics publishers are better or worse at marketing to women than companies in other typically male-driven industries like video games?
Better 594 34%
Worse 1008 57%
Do you think the direct market is good at marketing itself and its products?
Yes 584 33%
No 974 55%
Between the community, the cultural preconceptions, the content, or the marketing, which do you think plays the biggest role in the low percentage of women in comics?
Community 84 5%
Cultural preconceptions 812 46%
Content 163 9%
Marketing 73 4%
All of the above 510 29%
Other 121 7%

Readership Statistics, III: The Role of Content

The Role of Content

What’s the gender of your favorite comic book character?
Female 548 31%
Male 1033 59%
Other 182 10%

Not sure what people count as “other” BUT I’m interested to see how close this divide is to the divide in gender of respondents.

Do you think content is a deciding factor for women who do or don’t read comics?
Yes, I think the current content of comics keeps women away. 931 53%
Yes, I think the current content of comics brings women in. 128 7%
No, I think the current content of comics is fine and women aren’t reading for other reasons. 478 27%
No, I think the current content of comics is fine and women are reading them. 159 9%
Do you think women in comics are accurately portrayed?
Yes 48 3%
No 428 24%
Sometimes 1249 71%

Yes, I realize this was vague given the broad amount of genres it covered.  But it’s still an interesting breakdown.

Do you think female creators are better at portraying female characters?
Yes 1168 66%
No 511 29%
Do you think increasing female creators in comics would increase female readership?
Yes 1365 77%
No 340 19%

Is gender of comics creators a deciding factor in your comics purchases?
Yes 139 8%
No 1575 89%

Readership Statistics, II: Perceptions of Gender

Perceptions of Gender in the Comics Industry

Is gender of comics creators a deciding factor in your comic purchases?
Yes 128 7%
No 1614 92%
Do you think comics, as a form of media, are something that appeals to most women?
Yes 507 29%
No 1234 70%

This is the response that concerns me the most.  I’m hoping most respondents didn’t understand what I meant – which is in regards to the FORMAT, not the CONTENT.  It seems really odd that 70% of people would think that pictures and words together in comics form don’t appeal to a specific gender.

Do you think the comics industry as a community appeals to most women?
Yes 275 16%
No 1434 81%

This one doesn’t surprise me because I think it has a lot to do with the responses to my last question – which is that most people think cultural preconceptions keep women away.  If that’s true, then the community wouldn’t appeal to women who see it as juvenile and/or only meant for guys.

Do you think comic book shops, as a whole, are welcoming to women?
Yes 923 52%
No 831 47%

This response surprised me in a positive way – I expected far more people to think that comic shops are a big part of the problem.  

Do you think offering comics digitally will increase female readership?
Yes 1213 69%
No 491 28%
Do you think comic conventions are welcoming to women?
Yes 1094 62%
No 536 30%


Do you think the comics industry is accepting of women as a part of the industry?
Yes 1108 63%
No 553 31%
Where do you think the comics industry is in terms of acceptance of women based on its history?
A lot better than it used to be 553 31%
A little better than it used to be 730 41%
About the same as it’s always been 135 8%
A little worse than it used to be 34 2%
A lot worse than it used to be 5 0%
I’m not sure. 262 15%