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Posts tagged "Phoebe Gloeckner"

Weekly Cool News Round-Up: March 17-23, 2013

Some expanded thoughts and heads-ups on news items curated throughout the week.

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Some follow-up thoughts on Phoebe Gloeckner, Diary of a Teenage Girl, and ubiquitous question of “autobiography” in comics. I was having lunch with my mom today, and though she’s not much of a comics reader, she’s a fantastic and supportive mother who reads this blog because it’s a thing I do. She mentioned that she started to read the interview with Gloeckner I posted earlier in the week and commented on her vehement annoyance at being asked about the “autobiographical nature” of her work. I replied that, as far as I could tell, Gloeckner’s teen years did involve a good deal of drug and sexual abuse, and like any creator she draws on her experiences for material to write about, but she couldn’t and/or wouldn’t point to specific instances in her work as things that actually happened. Sort of offhand, I concluded, “When you think about it, that’s an intensely personal thing to ask someone.”

I had never thought of it that way before, but it is sort of ridiculous how much comics criticism harps on the “autobiographical” part of semi-autobiographical comics, as if the value in the works are in that they “happened” rather than being great works of comics. Maybe it’s because we’ve got the gold standards of Maus and Fun Home, both of which have the overarching theme of their creators trying to understand their respective fathers. So we can’t deal with the idea that, by contrast, Jimmy Corrigan is a book about estranged fathers by a cartoonist who was estranged from his father, but is not about that particular man and his father. And that attitude gets really voyeuristic and creepy when you apply it to work like Gloeckner’s. 

I don’t think anyone does it maliciously or lasciviously, but interviewers should really be more mindful of what they’re actually asking someone when they ask if their work is autobiographical. In the case of Phoebe Gloeckner, she has essentially spent decades being asked “Is this how you were actually raped in real life? Were you really prostituted out for drugs by someone you trusted?” and so on. Would you ask anyone those questions in real life? If you answered yes and are not a social worker or a therapist, go sit in the corner and think about your life choices. Your horrible, horrible life choices.

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Are you a Mexican comics creator? Editorial Resistencia might be interested in your work! Founded in 1999 by former magazine editor Josefina Larragoiti for writers in niche genres ignored by the Mexican mainstream publishers, they started publishing graphic novels in 2007. So far, as far as women go, they’ve published Cecilia Pego's Visiones y Evasiones. No idea what their policy on Chican@ creators is, but they appear to have a very open editorial policy, so it can’t hurt to ask!

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A cool-looking Kickstarter this week, Irish comics collective Zenpop is trying to raise £5,000 to publish their rainbow-themed first anthology Chroma. The majority of creators involved are women, including Leeann Hamilton (Finn & Fish) and Anthea West (The Earthbound God), which is a nice thing to remember when you read the fabulous Maura McHugh's recent post on women being left out of an “Irish Comics Month” event.

Bonus Art Thing

No idea if the artist was a woman on this, but the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library posted this early manga image on their blog. It’s from 1921 and is about Japanese women’s liberation of the time:

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The Diary of a Teenage Girl - Teaser from Marielle Heller on Vimeo.

About three years ago, actress and playwright Marielle Heller adapted Phoebe Gloeckner’s raw and unflinching Diary of a Teenage Girl for the stage, and now she has posted what appears to be a teaser trailer for a film version!

The story revolves around 15-year-old Minnie Goetze, who lives in San Francisco in the 1970s, emerging from a neglectful homelife into an out-of-control haze of adolescent confusion and self-discovery, involving sex, drugs, street life, and suicidal feelings.

Gloeckner is one of my favorite artists, though I have trouble reading even her short stories due to the intense relationship I feel towards her characters, all of whom suffer abuse of one form or another (so trigger warnings abound!). Sean T. Collins recently posted an unpublished interview with Gloeckner from 2003 where they discuss how she handles a lot of upsetting material in a way that doesn’t sensationalize it. Which, in my opinion, is what makes it so upsetting. It is nigh impossible to keep emotional distance from a Phoebe Gloeckner story—it is just too real. In addition, her art style, due to her training as an anatomical artist, is very realistic, making the characters come to life in the reader’s mind far more intensely than most other artist. 

Collins also discusses how her work is almost totally ignored by the comics establishment except in the context of “women in comics”. While this is less true now than it was in 2003, I agree that Gloeckner is still criminally underappreciated, in far too small a proportion given her talent. Hopefully this film will help correct that oversight and bring her work both comics and mainstream attention.

From the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival:

I checked out Nicole Rudick’s Q&A with the legendary Phoebe Gloeckner, who talked at length about her ongoing project regarding killings down in Juarez, and her attempts to focus on one particular murder and the family it affected. I was fascinated by her difficulty in finding a way to depict this issue and the manner in which she’s gotten to know the victim’s mother and other family members. (via Robot 6)

Other News:
Jillian Tamaki is working on a massive new work in collaboration….Julia Wertz’s family-focused collection should be out in the first half of 2012 from Koyama, and a sequel to Drinking At The Movies may come out some time after that. Lisa Hanawalt isn’t quite sure what her next project will be, and Sarah Glidden is working on a bunch of shorter pieces, as well as a book about a sojourn to Iraq and Syria with a group of journalists and a soldier-escort. 

From the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival:

I checked out Nicole Rudick’s Q&A with the legendary Phoebe Gloeckner, who talked at length about her ongoing project regarding killings down in Juarez, and her attempts to focus on one particular murder and the family it affected. I was fascinated by her difficulty in finding a way to depict this issue and the manner in which she’s gotten to know the victim’s mother and other family members. (via Robot 6)

Other News:

Jillian Tamaki is working on a massive new work in collaboration….Julia Wertz’s family-focused collection should be out in the first half of 2012 from Koyama, and a sequel to Drinking At The Movies may come out some time after that. Lisa Hanawalt isn’t quite sure what her next project will be, and Sarah Glidden is working on a bunch of shorter pieces, as well as a book about a sojourn to Iraq and Syria with a group of journalists and a soldier-escort. 
fyeahwomenartists:

Phoebe Gloeckner From Diary of a Teenage Girl

Now we’re back to adorbz (though slightly creepy adorbz, like a lot of Gloeckner’s art)

fyeahwomenartists:

Phoebe Gloeckner
From Diary of a Teenage Girl

Now we’re back to adorbz (though slightly creepy adorbz, like a lot of Gloeckner’s art)

(via fyeahwomenartists)

fyeahwomenartists:

Phoebe Gloeckner

Less adorable, but no less awesome, fyeahwomenartists is having a Phoebe Gloeckner Day! Phoebe Gloeckner is an underground cartoonist who contributed to such classic underground anthologies as Weirdo, Young Lust, and Twisted Sisters.  She holds a degree in medical illustration, and her art is often shockingly frank and realistic.  Go follow fyeahwomenartists, if only for the day, to see more of her work.

fyeahwomenartists:

Phoebe Gloeckner

Less adorable, but no less awesome, fyeahwomenartists is having a Phoebe Gloeckner Day! Phoebe Gloeckner is an underground cartoonist who contributed to such classic underground anthologies as Weirdo, Young Lust, and Twisted Sisters.  She holds a degree in medical illustration, and her art is often shockingly frank and realistic.  Go follow fyeahwomenartists, if only for the day, to see more of her work.

(via fyeahwomenartists)

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