Several people have asked me if this European Literary water park is a real place. There is a place sort of like it in Ayia Napa, Cyprus, Water World Themed Water Park, where the slides have a Greek Mythology theme, such as "Drop to Atlantis," "Aeolos Whirlpool," "Fall of Icarus," "Quest of Herakles," and more. I started thinking of the slides they could add that would make the place too sinister to visit—who would go on “Scylla and Charybdis”, “Kronos’ Catapult,” “Medea’s Moshpit,” or “Cyclops’ Cavern”? We went for Helen's 11th birthday, and she was thrown into conflict by her aversion to Greek Mythology and her enthusiasm for sliding.
It's a blast from the past to read this thoughtful thorough review of a project that I was working on 3 years ago! It's always in the back of my mind that I plan to edit, revise, and expand the book after this coming year--but I have several exciting projects to finish before I can get to it. The themes of the book are still relevant, while my working methods, writing, and drawing, have evolved in the last few years. Inshallah, I plan to return to working on Alle Ego with new eyes in 2019.
What is Marsam? "Une bande cosmopolite d’auteurs de bande dessinée, d’écrivains, scénaristes et artistes qui se croisent, se découvrent, se retrouvent, s’emmêlent et s’entremêlent autour d’Angoulême, petite ville du sud-ouest de la France."
That is, a group of cosmopolitan comics creators, writers, scriptwriters, and artists who come together, discover, meet, and get tangled up around Angouleme, a small town in south west France.
I spent a month in residence, very happily working on several projects. One of these will be a book published by Secret Acres, a collection of comics I've drawn over the past few years, including comics that have appeared on The New Yorker, Spiralbound, and Muthamagazine, as well as new comics I drew while in Angouleme. This book will be all color (oh boy, a lot of fun work ahead!), ~250 pages, and out in 2019! I can't wait to see it come together.
Also while in Angouleme, I made a first draft of a middle grade adventure comic set in Late Bronze Age Greece, before, during, and especially after the eruption of Santorini. This book is due next year, and will be published the year after that (2020), all things going well, inshallah, etc. This is my first time writing so much fiction, and it is mighty fun. The story is about migrant artists and musicians, and is inspired by the Minoan-style frescos found in Egypt and the Levant and by my husband John's research on ancient music. Nothing to share yet in these early days! This book will be around 120 pages and in color.
In Angouleme, I had the great pleasure of sharing a studio with Giorgia Marras, who is working on a beautiful and epic book in monochrome watercolor on the empress Sisi. I shared a house with Giorgia Casetti, who was coloring her lovely book Ocean that will be out this summer in France. I often had lunch with them, as well as Tamia Bauduin who is working on a second book with Nathalie Ferlut, following their book Artemisia (I love my signed copy). I was happy to see Amruta Patil again and to meet Mathilde Vangheluwe, Francesca Oltremare Marinelli, and others cartoonists (I'm sorry not to mention everyone here) whose work I admire, and who make life much richer and more fun.
This past year I've ben working on a graphic biography about Charlotte Bronte for the Center for Cartoon Studies Series. In May, on my way to a residency in Angouleme, I took a detour to Haworth, the village in Yorkshire where the Brontes lived to visit the Bronte Parsonage Museum and walk on the moors. I'm drawing the book now and-- if all goes well--it will be out in later 2019.
This comic appeared in the New Yorker in April. We read one third of Jane Eyre, the first two chapters of Great Expectations, and nothing beyond the first chapter of Wuthering Heights-- but enough to get essential commentary on the books.
The week of March 20-25 is consumed by the production of Euripides' Helen at the Black Box Theatre at the Main Street Landing in Burlington, VT, and stars UVM students & affiliates. The show is a unique mix of pathos and comedy, with new music, dance, costumes, and my projected images.
The play began with John (Franklin)'s idea to honor Phil Ambrose (professor emeritus) and his desire to compose music for ancient songs. Following the constraints of ancient rhythms and tunings, John creates songs that are both accurate to possiblilty and catchy. He had an electrified lyre made especially for the occasion by Creston Guitars. John and the other two musicians seem to be having a very good time with this music.
John asked me to design the costumes, sets, and to create projections that accompany three of the songs. I hand-cut stencils and then painted trims that were sewn onto costumes for the chorus, Helen, Menelaos, the Dioscouri, and the orchestra. Rachel Cosgrove and very hard working student volunteers Zoe Anszperger, Eileen Parks, and Claire Wilcox made all the costumes with tremendous care and attention to detail. The inspiration for the costumes comes from Greek vase painting, Minoan wall paintings of Santorini, and Egyptian art.
On stage there is a 4-foot high fence of lotus flowers and the one prop, a bench with hieroglyphs, that I painted in our garage.
I created around 80 images that are projected while the chorus sings the three Stasimon songs. The effect of the chorus of seven women dancing and singing to a live band in front of the projections is magical--in a strange Ancient-Greece-in-Vermont kind of way!
So many people have been involved in making this production happen--that alone is impressive for an extra-curricular event for all of us. Many thanks to everyone for making this show possible.
Dan Bolles wrote an article for SevenDaysVT about the play.
Vermont's only free femme Alt Comics newspaper, The Ladybroad Ledger, published in two recent issues these comics by me and my daughter Helen (age 11).
The LadyBroad Ledger is a twice annual publication to promote comics and comic art by femme Vermont cartoonists, and was founded by Stephanie Zuppo.
This 7-page comic is from Strumpet 5, international anthology of comics by women that came out in September 2017. The theme of the issue is Origin stories, and answering that theme, I made this compressed story about growing up in NW Portland, my mother's Alzheimer's, and the artists and writer who influenced me.
Ursula LeGuin, acclaimed author of the Earthsea Books and so many more, lived a few houses away from where I grew up. Her words that originated from a place so close to home have inspired me since I first read her books in the 1980s. Her sense of justice and depth of integrity, her exploration of political and social situations through fiction, her vivid descriptions of place have all affected the way I go about my own work. She died last week on Jan 22, 2018.
After I finished this comic in spring 2017, I sent Ursula LeGuin a copy and a fan letter. A few weeks later, she wrote back, one page, sympathizing with my parents' situation, and saying that she'd always envied the sleeping porch on our house. She'd had one in Berkeley, CA where she grew up.
Paintings and Drawings by Glynnis Fawkes
Show Dates: November 15, 2017 – February 28, 2018
Beginning November 15, the Center for Hellenic Studies will showcase a series of paintings and drawings by artist Glynnis Fawkes that represent nearly 20 years of work relating to the landscapes of the Eastern Mediterranean. The exhibited pieces draw inspiration from both the archaeology and mythology of Greece and Cyprus.
This unique festival occurred at UVM (and here's an article about it) with support from the Vermont FolkLife Center and many other sponsors. It was a thrill to contribute a small amount to the organization of this event and to be around such luminaries in the world of comics for 3 days.
Thursday began with a visit from James Sturm, Summer Pierre, and Allie Fitzgerald. We had coffee on Church St with Art Spiegleman before his talk later that evening. On Friday, Isaac Cates had a conversation with Joe Sacco in front of a full lecture hall, with a reception afterwards where I had a chance to talk with Joe, Hilary Chute, Chris Couch, Dan and Rachel Fogel, as well as meet the Quebecois cartoonists who came to the event: Francois Vigneault, Frances Desharnais, Alexandre Simard and Zviane of Pow Pow press, as well as Julie Delporte and Jimmy Beaulieu. I met Dana Walrath and Marek Bennet for the first time, after admiring their work for a long time. I came away from the exhibition hall on Saturday with an amazing collection of new books.
On Saturday there were five panel discussions, including mine on Autobiography--I was on the stage with James Kochalka, Julie Delporte, and Rachel Lindsay, moderated by Isaac Cates.
Alison Bechdel's talk on Saturday night was funny and inspiring, and I was made aware again how long she has been working (especially on Dykes to Watch Out For), and how much humor and truth she has given the world.
I feel very grateful to have been part of this unique event. Thanks to organizers Jonah Steinberg, Andy Kolovos, Margaret Tamulonis. I am sure I must be forgetting someone! It was FUN.
I spent the month of July with my family in Nicosia, Cyprus to work on a film based on my husband John's book Kinyras the Divine Lyre. I lived in Cyprus from 1999-2003, a formative time: I published two books, worked on many excavations, and met friends, including John. Returning there is like coming home.
John went to Cyprus three weeks ahead to write and plan scenes with director Stavros Papageoghiou of Tetraktys FIlms. The film explores the sites, myths, and activities associated with Kinyras, legendary lyre-playing king of Bronze Age Cyprus: ancient copper mining and working, perfume production, sea-faring, and music. Kinyras is known for having promised to send 50 ships to the Trojan war, but sent only one, and instead threw 49 clay model ships into the sea.
I have several roles in the project: I'm in the background drawing as John speaks with such experts as Jacqueline Karageoghis, Lina Kassianidou, Giorgos Papasavvas, and Sophokles Hadjisavvas. I drew (among other things) a Bronze Age sanctuary wall, the pit of Skouriotissa Copper Mine, and a replica of an ancient perfume distillery.
I'm part of the action in scenes where John and I visit sites around the island (including Amathus, Alassa, Skouriotissa, Petra tou Romiou, and Maa-Palaeokastro). At the Kinyras Taverna and hotel that very generously hosted us for a Romantic Dinner, we toasted the legacy of Kinyras on camera and ate delicious Cypriot specialties. After we filmed the Romantic Dinner scene, a group of Australian kids who watched the filming as they were also having dinner in the taverna, mobbed me saying, "Have you been in lots of documentaries?" (Yes, one: I was in the background of a documentary with Alan Alda about copper smelting filmed in Cyprus in 1999.)
My other role in this film is to create source drawings of the myths of Kinyras that will be animated by Stavros Christophorou. I'm excited to see these come to life.
Through the long hours, heat, and many takes, we had a great time with Stavros and his crew: Hektor Papageorghiou (camera), Marius (sound), and Ana Perfeito (assistant filmmaker). I'm also VERY grateful to Bronwen Hudson who came from Oxford for 10 days and hung out with the kids while the filming was happening. She kept us going the rest of the time with humor and cheer: "Hey hey hey, watermel-LOwn."
"From June 5th to July 7th 2016, artist Glynnis Fawkes was in Greece, first working as an illustrator on an archeological excavation, then vacationing with her husband John and her two children, Sylvan and Helen, on the Greek islands of Rhodes, Santorini, and Paros. In Greek Diary she gets it all down in comics form, everything from the pleasure of “nerding out” with fellow academics after a good day’s work, to the deep stresses of travel plans gone awry while looking after two strong-willed children. Throughout, Fawkes captures the beauty of the Grecian landscape: the bustle of busy ports, quiet villages baking under the summer sun, and days filled with sightseeing, swimming in the ocean, and lazy pleasure-seeking—interspersed with inevitable bouts of travel fatigue and ordinary family strife. The result is a work that’s more vivid, immersive, and entertaining than any vacation slide show could ever be."
Also this week, The two guys with Phds at Comics Alternative recorded a great conversation about self-published comics, autobiography, and the trials of children, starting with Greek Diary, and continuing with Summer Pierre's Paper Pencil Life and Katriona Chapman's Katzine.
It's exciting to hear Derek and Andy discuss my book in such vivid detail. Andy commented that as a kid he would have loved the chance to travel to Greece--or anywhere-- (as I would have) and my kids don't know what an opportunity they have. You tell 'em, Andy! They also discuss my job as archaeological illustrator and my past adventures in Greece.
They also suggested bringing the the adult children of aubiobio cartoonists together in 15 or so years to discuss their reactions to having appeared in their parents' pages: Summer Pierre's son, Keilor Roberts' daughter, James Kochalka's sons--but hopefully those kids will be too busy running the world to talk about their parents.
No Fair! collects 32 pages of comics about my kids from 2015, a some of which were published on Muthamagazine.com. This book comes before Reign of Crumbs, 70-pages, newly published by Kilgore Books. No Fair! is now available in my shop. By the way, though my book Alle Ego is sold out of my shop, it and Greek Diary are for sale at Birdcage Bottom books.