Graphic Ladies!?Graphic Ladies features the work of ladies who create and critique comics. We also tweet!
"Rosalind “Roz” Chast was the first truly subversive New Yorker cartoonist. Her 1978 arrival during William Shawn’s editorship gave the magazine a stealthy punk sensibility. Younger, femaler, and a less orthodox draftsperson than her colleagues, Chast drew with a “ratty” cartoon style akin to Lynda Barry, Matt Groening, Gary Panter and other mainstays of the alternative press. Her first cartoon for the magazine, “Little Things,” was a miniature piece of surrealism championing the “chent,” “spak,” “kellat,” and other homely objects of everyday life."
"Emitown is a confessional strip, the true life adventures of a woman dealing with life in her 20s with Lenox’s hometown of Portland a s a backdrop. The work is tempered with fantasy at times, sure, but the deviations from reality serve as tools with which to tackle life’s sometimes difficult topics. We caught up with Lenox to discuss life after her first book."
"I have noticed the minute students drop their preconceived notions about what illustration “is” and “what illustration looks like”, their work improves dramatically. There are a lot of copy-cats in this industry, and that’s disheartening, but the best work is that which draws upon a personal philosophy and reflects a persons’ strengths (and weaknesses)."
"I certainly consider myself a visual artist before a writer. The pacing of images, the way that the movements and design of a character tells the reader so much about them. The visual side of comics gives me the ability to show what is in my head when I am imagining a character, imagining how they live. Mostly I think what appeals to me about the visual side of comics is the ability to create a world, a mood, with images. The cartoonist Kathy MacLeod once told me she likes how a comic can sometimes “sear a world into you like an iron” — this is about right for me."
"If they’ve seen any creative improvement, any artist will tell you their old work looks like garbage. The characters don’t look pleasing to me at all until early 2009 or so. I think my writing used to be punchier, but the stories were flatter. The characters used to use more witty quips; now I try to write them more naturally. I started the comic in my early 20s and I’ve changed pretty rapidly; I see it happening to the characters as well. Their motivations change, they learn (or fail to learn) from mistakes, they’re self-conscious about different things. They’re all a little more cynical about love."
"I read this fantastic article written by a woman who was married to a cartoonist, offering advice to anyone romantically involved with a cartoonist. She said something along the lines of “if he’s staring out the window for five hours doing nothing, he is working.” That line is the only reason I can justify all the seemingly useless hours I spend in front of a blank notebook."
"I feel that at some point all individual experience is human experience. You can take any experience and within that one experience say a lot about what it is to be human. Sometimes I’ll write what at first seems to be the same story I told years ago, but, because I’ve changed in the interim, the story takes on a different meaning. Memory is a very interesting thing. When you talk about facts, when you’re recounting things that happened to you, in a sense it’s just bullshit — as the years go by, memories are reduced to what’s significant to you emotionally. What’s important is how the experience changed you, not that it actually happened. Which makes me question my own recollections, because I know they are so mutable over time. That’s partly why I recoil at my work being called autobiographical, because that suggests that what I’m saying is true in a way that it could never be."