Lecture

Women In Comics: Artist Talk

October 19, 2020 | 6:30 pm

Please join us for a lively discussion about art and storytelling with award winning artists Colleen Doran (Snow Glass Apples, Wonder Woman), Trinidad Escobar (Drawing Power), Emil Ferris (My Favorite Thing is Monsters), Ebony Flowers (Hot Comb), Lee Marrs (Drawing Power), and Alitha Martinez (World of Wakanda, Represent! #1, It’s a Bird!). Moderated by exhibition curator Kim A. Munson (Comic Art in Museums).

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About the Speakers:

Colleen Doran:
Colleen Doran is the New York Times bestselling artist for the Neil Gaiman graphic novels Troll Bridge, Snow, Glass, Apples, Sandman, American Gods, and Stan Lee’s autobiography Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible Stan Lee. Books she has illustrated have won Eisner, Harvey, and International Horror Guild Awards. Vector: The Journal of the British Science Fiction Association declared Doran’s A Distant Soil, which she created at age twelve, “…groundbreaking science fiction comics… ahead of its time.” Projects include Amazing Spider-Man, The Teen Titans, Wonder Woman, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Finality with Warren Ellis, and Alan Moore’s experimental animated webcomic Big Nemo based on the Winsor McCay strip.

Trinidad Escobar:
Trinidad Escobar is a Filipina poet and cartoonist from the San Francisco Bay Area, California. She is a fellow of the MFA Comics program at CCA as well as the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Her forthcoming graphic novel is Of Sea and Venom, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. At SOI, we are showing Trinidad’s entire four page story All These Years from the anthology Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival. She has allowed us to show her process, so we are showing the four pages of her story from Drawing Power from blue pencil though the full color version.

Emil Ferris:
Emil Ferris is a graphic novelist whose first book My Favorite Thing Is Monsters has been praised by critics since its publication in 2017. Her book - which presents itself as the lined notebook diary of a pre-teen self-avowed werewolf who questions her sexual identity - is set in Chicago in the 1960’s. The book is autobiographically infused as Emil - like her protagonist Karen Reyes - was witness to the highly charged political and social climate of that time.

In 2002 at 40 years of age Emil was bitten by a mosquito and infected with West Nile Virus. She suffered lower body paralysis as well as the substantially diminished use of her dominant drawing hand. Consequently, Emil enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and while studying, Emil recovered much of her mobility. She left SAIC with a Bachelor’s in Art, a Graduate degree from The Writing Program, as well as the first 24 pages of what would become My Favorite Thing is Monsters. My Favorite Thing is Monsters has now been published in nine languages and has been honored with numerous awards, among them: The Lambda Literary Award, the Eisner, the Ignatz and the Fauve d’or at the Angouleme Festival, France.

Ebony Flowers:
Ebony Flowers is a cartoonist and an ethnographer. She was born and raised in Maryland. She holds a BA in Biological Anthropology from the University of Maryland College Park and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she wrote her dissertation as a comic (mostly). Her expertise is in qualitative research and evaluation, picture-based methods, curriculum studies, and S.T.E.A.M. education. She has received a 2017 Rona Jaffe Foundation Award and a 2019 Ignatz Award for Promising New Talent. Her first book, Hot Comb, was recently published by Drawn & Quarterly. She lives in Denver with her son, husband, and cat.

Alitha Martinez:
Alitha Martinez started working in the comics industry in the 1990s as an assistant to Joe Quesada on Azrael & Ash and Daredevil, then as an inker’s assistant on Aquaman. She got her first headlining role as artist on Iron Man, then moved on to X-men: Black Sun, Marvel Age Fantastic Four, Black Panther, World of Wakanda, Batgirl, and Voltron. In addition to her creator-owned work Yume and Ever, she illustrated three graphic novels for younger readers and teens for Graphic Universe: Kung Fu Masters, written by Evonne Tsang; The Quest for Dragon Mountain, written by Robin Mayhall; and My Boyfriend is a Monster #3: My Boyfriend Bites, written by Dan Jolley. We are showing a selection of four pages from Lazarus-x-66-4 (Image Comics). Recently Alitha drew It’s a Bird! for DC a free comic based on the Central Park bird watching incident.

Lee Marrs:
Lee Marrs was the first woman to work for both DC Comics AND Marvel simultaneously, Lee Mars was one of the founding mommies of Wimmen’s Comix. A 1982 Inkpot Award winner and 2016 Eisner Award nominee, Lee’s wide-spectrum art styles have ranged from illustrative (Heavy Metal magazine, Epic Illustrated, Star*Reach, Prince Valiant, Lil’ Orphan Annie) to humorous (DC’s Plop, Weird Mystery and House of Secrets, Marvel’s Crazy Lady and all of her underground comics. She’s best known for her book The Further Fattening Adventures of Pudge, Girl Blimp, and her most recent work is in Drawing Power, edited by Diane Noomin, Abrams Comicarts.

Drawing Power has many mothers: some of the stories of Wimmen’s Comix and Tits N’ Clits covered this horrifying, traumatic subject matter. But each new generation has its own stories. With the #MeToo movement, these personal experiences can be told to an even broader audience. We are showing Lee’s entire four page story “Got Over It” from Drawing Power.

Kim A. Munson (Curator, Moderator):
Kim A Munson (MA SFSU) is the editor of the groundbreaking anthology Comic Art in Museums (University Press of Mississippi) the first academic book to explore the evolution of thought about comic art 1930-present as manifested in art exhibitions. Kim is an art historian, author, artist, and curator living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Under Neurotic Raven, she authored and published the exhibition catalogs Dual Views: Labor Landmarks of San Francisco & On Reflection: The Art of Margaret Harrison. Her essays on comic art, museum exhibitions, and labor history have been published by the International Journal of Comic Art and Places Journal.

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Trinidad Escobar