Krystal DiFronzo did sort of amazing thing with this piece: assigned a piece of theory by Charlotte Perkins Gilman to translate into a four-page comic, she combined it with a piece by Ursula K Le Guin, took out all the words, and did some two color amazingness that still gets across the intentions of the originals, just with more boobs. It’s a two-color centerfold in Hand Job, which means you can own it for yourself for $15 by going right here.
One of Franny Howes’ contributions to Hand Job was this teeny gag panel. Of course, the challenge of working with really damning statistics in the gag panel format is that, really, they’re just not going to be funny. Unless you can completely recreate the world against which they can be viewed, in one teeny panel. Like Franny did here.
Nicole Boyett, the Senior Prefect of Cats at the Adventure School for Ladies, drew this amazing gag panel for Hand Job based on an interview with Quimby’s Liz Mason done by one of the Ladydrawers in the spring.
We’ve started to mail out all the Hand Jobs, by the way, so if you pre-ordered one it should be arriving shortly. We know people are getting them, cause they’re psyched to be listed on the thank-you page! Even though they surely realize that pre-ordering the book gave us the funds to make it!
Now that we’ve started to fulfill orders, however, it’s pretty clear that we’re going to run out of books pretty soon. We’re about down to our last 50, and we haven’t even brought any to Quimby’s yet. For shame!
One of my favorite essays of all time, Ian Bartky’s The Adaptation of Standard Time, is a sharp and condensed history of the different ways time used to operate, the standard way we believe it operates now, and how that came to feel natural, permanent and unavoidable. It’s a short essay already, and deeply complex, but by adding her own narrative (a failed breakfast order) and conveying much of the story through image, Liz Rush managed to get across all the nuance of the original in her own voice. It’s really smart, and you can read it in its entirety in Hand Job: A Labor of Love.
From my Lynda Barry interview, part of which appeared on the Rumpus earlier this spring. Julia did a lot of really amazing work for Hand Job: A Labor of Love, and we ended up including both an autobio piece she did and a short theory piece on Emma Goldman. But this little panel—and another one she did, also from the Lynda Barry interview, that you can see in the book—were Adventure Scholar favorites.
Katari Sporrong’s “No Girls Allowed” was assigned as two weeks of a newspaper strip, including two Sunday color pieces. Unfortunately, we only had room to run two pages of them in Hand Job, and none in color, but the charming characters and storyline still shine through. Still: you should see it in color!
Rachel Swanson’s totally amazing Zhe-na, Regent of the Jungle (the center spread in Hand Job: A Labor of Love) is not only a great action-adventure comic with zombies, as well as the perfect synthesis of information and aesthetics we’re into at the Adventure School, but represented one of those amazing artistic breakthoughs in Rachel’s work that was flat-out jolting to watch unfold. Not that I expected any less from longtime Ladydrawer collaborator Rachel, the Senior Prefect of Jokes at the Adventure School for Ladies.
While in Adventure School, Mara Williams created a delightful thing called the Underpaid Career Friends, an all-ages cast of animal pals who work in the comics industry together and have a hard time getting by, but really enjoy each others company. You can buy it here, and I suggest that you do.
While you’re doing that, you can sing the Underpaid Career Friends Theme Song quietly to yourself. Here are the lyrics (third verse coming soon!). Anne Elizabeth Moore wrote them:
Underpaid … Career Friends!
Underpaid … Career Friends!
We’re scrappy but we’re happy,
With lots of time to hang.
You might call it sappy,
But we’d really like to get paid more than 27% of what males earn in our chosen field.
We like to draw and write
And make loads of funny jokes!
But it does make us uptight
When we get rape threats just for doing work that we love.
Over the next week, your Lead Adventurer will post a brief excerpt daily from Hand Job: A Labor of Love, which you can (and should) now order here. We only made 200 of them, and close to a hundred were gone after CAKE (including 60 + pre-orders!), so quantities, as they say, are limited. Not sure what we’ll do when they’re gone—maybe reprint in a less intensive process?—but we did decide not to put this one online for free like we did with Unladylike. So if you’re waiting for that, you might be waiting a very, very long time. Like, until we are all dead and all intellectual property in the history of the world is being fought over by Google and Disney, who at that point are just snatchy automatons, claiming ownership over the only new cultural production possible in the world, which is cockroach feces.
ON THAT NOTE, Here’s an excerpt from Mara William’s brief introduction to the Haymarket Affair, which situated the Adventure School for Ladies’ work firmly in the historical and cultural landscape of Chicago.