…Starting with my exhibit at Toonseum, America’s cutest comic art museum. As you may know, if you know me or even about me, I possess the world’s largest collection of comic art by early 20th century women cartoonists. This is possible because all the guys who collect original comic art want Jack Kirby or Spiderman #1. For the same reason, I’m not afraid of it being stolen because since it’s all by girls, nobody wants it but me.
Anyway, chunks of my collection are almost always on exhibit somewhere. So on March 20th I found myself in Pittsburgh giving a presentation about my collection, and about my final and definitive history of women cartoonists, Pretty in Ink. Here I am giving everybody a tour of the art hanging on the walls. I will be doing the same thing at the San
Francisco Cartoon Art Museum, which is currently showing the largest chunk of my collection ever. The exhibit will be up through August, and on July 31st, I will be your tour guide at the museum’s official reception.
Cons I have been to:
The day after speaking at Toonseum was PIX, a friendly small con, featuring lots of local talent and lots of DIY comics. I had a great time there, but one question: why, with all the really talented local women sitting at booths with their really good comics, was I the only female featured guest?
Just two weeks later, I was off to Gem City con, in Dayton, Ohio. Here I am with Matt Tauber at Gem City con. Matt brought some of my books from the 70s and 80s for me to sign. He also writes a mean blog (his specialty is Milton caniff) in which he says nice things about me: http://matttauber.blogspot.com/2014/04/gem-city-comic-con.html
During both these cons, I was suffering from my annual bout of bronchitis, but no way was I gonna cancel either cons and make people mad at me, so I went and I coughed. Everybody was extra nice to me, and supplied me with cough drops, teas, and even honey. Thank you, Pittsburgh honey lady! The worst part was Flying While Coughing, to and from both cons, although the flight to and from Toonseum took the cake. I was the star of the flight, but not in a good way. I was a Jonah! If they could have thrown me off
the plane, they would have. One woman even asked me if I knew what I had, because she was immuno deficient. I had to explain over and over that it was bronchitis, and that I was not contagious. (I wasn’t!)
Then, in May: TCAF! The Toronto Comics Art Festival, and one of the best conventions I’ve ever been to. There was not one cosplayer to be seen, and no mainstream superhero stuff — just good panels, good comics and graphic novels, and soooo many talented women with their graphic novels! Here’s something I’m noticing at conventions: lots of beautiful young women of a certain size. They are zoftig, buxom, call it what you will, and they wear their flesh with pride, along with chic mini dresses and bright red lipstick. I say brava!
The day before the festival, the kind people in charge took all us guests to Niagara Falls. I had been to the American side of the falls, but never to the Canadian side, and I must confess: the Canadian side is even more kozmik!
Also in May: Big Wow comic con, in San Jose. Thank you, Steve Wyatt, for having me as a guest and inviting me back. And I had a great time there! But one question: in your long list of special guests, why is it that the only woman included was a cosplayer?
Here’s a link from last Autumn (!!!) that I should have put up ages ago. It’s a great tv show called “Ten Percent” with the wonderful David Perry, and here I am being a guest on his show. Thank you for having me, David, it was fun!
What am I reading: I’m reading and enjoying Susan Vreeland’s “The Forest Lover,” which is about the Canadian painter Emily Carr. Being the Ugly American that I am, I knew nothing about Emily Carr until a few years ago when I stayed at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, as a guest of the Victoria film festival. Right in front of the hotel is a staue of a very solid woman in a sensible skirt and sensible shoes with a dog at her feet and a monkey riding on her shoulder. Turns out it’s a statue of Emily Carr, one of the great women painters of the 20th century, who every Canadian school kid apparently knows about but I didn’t. While I was in Victoria, some kind person gave me a copy of Carr’s journals, Called “Hundreds and Thousands,” which I have yet to read but I will when I finish “The Forest Lover.” Plus, there’s a very sweet graphic novel about her called “Four Pictures by Emily Carr.” I’m returning to Victoria in the fall, and this time I’m gonna seek out the galleries and museums that have her art. BTW, Susan Vreeland is a very good writer who seems to specialize in writing about art-related subjects. I loved the novel she wrote called “Girl in Hyacinth Blue,” about a Vermeer painting.
Oh look! Here I am with an anthology that I’m thrilled to have contributed to: “Heroines of Comic Books and Literature,” edfited by Maja Bajac-Carter, Norma Jones, and Bob Batchelor. I’m sitting in the shady courtyard of one of my fave neighborhood cafes, Thorough Bread, on Church Street. A good place to sit with a cuppa joe and a good boo
What I’m working on: my memoir, finally, to be published by Kitchen Sink. And to get me in the mood, I’ve been reading memoirs by people I know: Carol Ruth Silver’s “Freedom Rider Diary,” and Dave Van Ronk’s “The Mayor of MacDougal Street.” In 1961, 22 year old Carol, a nice middle class girl, bravely followed her conscience and got herself arrested in Mississippi, along with more than 300 other freedom riders, for the
cause of equality and desegregation. Forget about “Orange is the New Black”: read Carol’s book. Dave Van Ronk, alas, is no longer with us, but he was a dear friend of mine in the 1960s, and nobody sang like him. His book gives a wonderful picture of the Greenwitch Village folk scene of the 1950s and 60s, and I can just hear his voice when I read his writing. Where I’ll be next: San Diego comic con, the largest pop culture convention in America.
And here’s where you can find me:
Thursday, July 24th, from 4 – 6, at the Fantagraphics table
Friday, July 25, from 10 – 11 a.m., Fantagraphics
Saturday, July 26, 11 a.m. at the Dark Horse table
and Sunday, July 27, back at Fantagraphics at 9:30 a.m.
Come by, say hello, bring stuff for me to sign. You don’t have to buy anything!
And remember: July 31, at the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum!