During the 1990s, while still in high school, Ariel Schrag produced a number of autobiographical comics — Awkward, about her freshman year, Definition, about her sophomore year, and Potential, about her junior year. The series started off as a relatively light, entertaining look at high school life — crushes, getting drunk, obsessing about bands, hanging out with friends. Over the course of the three books, however, Schrag dealt with more and more fraught material: her parent's divorce, her coming out, and finally her devastating relationship and break-up with her girlfriend, Sally.
Schrag finished the writing and drawing for Likewise, about her senior year, soon after she graduated from high school, but then college and life — including a stint writing for the L-word — intervened. She didn't complete the inking for another decade. The book was finally published by Touchstone this year. I spoke to Schrag about it on May 1.
What a day! Two for one? Today's installment of Rad Ladies Who Draw Comics will feature TWO women comic artists! I was drawn to both these women for their quirky illustrations--Knisley has a whole series of small prints which depict everything from the Bronte sisters to Mulder and Scully.
Bay Area-based Angie Wang also places women in the forefront of her work, more often than not placed women in the forefront (be it destroying a city, birthing a watermelon, or just being Velma Dinkley)
This past weekend was the fifth annual Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, and while I won't spend too much time on the rather decentralized and chill atmosphere of the festival, the focus on independent and alternative comics, and gorgeous weather from the weekend, I would like to showcase some of the women comic artists there! April is Comics Month (at least in this town), so this week I'll profile one woman comic artist a day who was at this weekend's fest and who was RAD. It's called "Rad Ladies Who Draw Comics."
Today is all about Hellen Jo, who was a featured artist at the fest. Bay Area-Based, Jo's first comic book Jin & Jam, about quirkily disaffected teens navigating San Jose (Jo's hometown), is out now from SparkPlug comics. Before her big small-press debut, Hellen self-published a three part autobio comic called Komiches Buch a "teenage horror story" called Paralysis: A Romance, and a serial comic Blister. More after the jump!!
When most people think of underground and alternative comics, Robert Crumb's Zap Comix or Art Spiegelman's and Bill Griffith's Raw may come to mind. But San Francisco was home to more than a few alternative cartoonists, and when women such as Trina Robbins found out what a boy's club the underground scene seemed to be, they took matters into their own hands and published a collectively edited women-only comic book.