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.
A 2-page comic of mine about Atalanta and Free To Be You And Me will appear in Resist! 2, coming out July 4th. Keep scrolling down to read it--and then order/buy a copy at your local comics store!
A word from the Resist! team:
RESIST Volume 2 is hot off the press! The issue looks gorgeous - we couldn't be more thrilled. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for each and every one of your funny, angry, smart contributions. We loved them all so much that we stretched the issue to a thick 96 pages.
RESIST Volume 2 will be officially released on July 4th, 2017. It will be given away free in comic book stores and book shops and by volunteers who pre-order on our website. Please don't hesitate to encourage your local shops to order a box through Diamond Distributors - all of the info is now on the homepage of our website. Soon, a list of participating stores will be there as well.
We've been so inspired by your hard work and support. This project could not exist without the generosity of time and effort each of you has put into it. In a moment where every news alert has us cringing with shame at being American, you make us deeply proud. We can't wait to celebrate July 4th, and to share the final printed book with you.
I'm excited to announce a new book: Reign of Crumbs, published by Kilgore Books. You can read and hear all about it on the Kilgore Kickstarter, along with the other books in Kilgore's Spring line-up. Supporting the Kickstarter will help get all these books published--don't wait!
Reign of Crumbs is 76 pages of brush pen drawings about my family over the course of year's worth of kids' antics and bedtime conversations. Several of these cartoons have appeared on Muthamagazine.com
The Most Costly Journey (in Spanish, El viaje más caro) is an ethnographic cartooning project that employs collaborative storytelling as a tool to mitigate loneliness, isolation, and despair among Latin American migrant farm workers on Vermont dairy farms.
I'm very honored to have received the silver medal for long form comics for Greek Diary at MoCCAfest in New York. Penelope Bagieu's book California Dreamin' won the gold--it was a dream to meet her and to read her book on the plane home. This book made me feel like I was carrying the wild sprit of ambitious and joyful comics home with me. R Sikoryak's brilliant Terms and Conditions won the other Silver in long form. On the jury for this award were Rutu Modan, Maelle Doliveux, Nick Bertozzi, Joan Hilty, and Josh O'Neill--each of them produces work that I admire. Jason Little and Lauren Weinstein were also involved--how I love them! (Lauren wasn't there because she has a new baby.)
Most enjoyable this weekend was to be behind a table with Jennifer Hayden and Summer Pierre. Ellen Lindner and Alissa Harris were right next door. (On the other side was Fantagraphics). The work and the company of these women give me energy and crack me up. With Ellen, I'm co-editing the Strumpet 5, transatlantic anthology of comics by women, coming out this fall.
Vive this comics community!
PS I won a MoCCAfest award last year too, but for a completely different project, AlleEgo (Other Self), also a biographical story that takes place in Greece, but 20 years earlier, and is fictionalized, not diary comics, and a larger format with a greyscale wash.
MoCCA Arts Festival is happening this weekend in New York City and I’ll be at table C139 with Summer Pierre and Jennifer Hayden!
I will have freshly printed copies of Greek Diary, The Homeric Hymn to Dionysos, and lots more.
Saturday, April 1 & Sunday, April 2, 11:00am-6:00pm
Metropolitan West, 639 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036
The Burlington, VT femme Alt Comics, The Ladybroad Ledger is now available in locations across Vermont and to order.
Ladybroad Ledger is a twice annual publication to promote comics and comic art by femme Vermont cartoonists. I drew the cover comic and Stephanie Zuppo interviewed MOI inside the issue.
I drew this comic, Ancient Party, before the election, with an ominous feeling for what would happen.
I ordered a box of 50 copies of Resist! that I'll distribute around Burlington, starting with Phoenix Books. If you're in town and would like a free copy--and you're quick--you will be able to find them there in the next few days. Or order on line (for $10) while supplies last!
The last few days I've taken a break from digitally editing my Greek Diary to make the watercolors of Egyptian and Minoan patterns. Working out the patterns on graph paper and painting in watercolor are a vacation in themselves. Happy holidays to all!
The comic below will be part of Resist!
RESIST! will be published as a special issue of Gabe Fowler's tabloid newspaper, Smoke Signal. 30,000 copies will be distributed for free on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017, in Washington D.C. Further distribution will occur at the Women's March on January 21st and throughout the United States.
It is guest-edited by Françoise Mouly, art editor of The New Yorker, and writer Nadja Spiegelman.
I plan to write more about my time in Syria in the future.