Three Stones Make A Wall

I’m excited to be illustrating the latest book by Eric Cline, best selling author of 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (2014), Princeton, NJ. For Three Stones (also to be published by Princeton) I’ve drawn many sites I’ve visited (Troy, Mycenae, Delphi, Saqqara, Palmyra, Masada, Qumran, Megiddo, Pompeii, Rome) and some I haven’t (Tikal, Machu Picchu, Mesa Verde)–it feels like I’ve been revisiting them all in pen and ink.  Eric’s book is a lively and engaging overview of the archaeology of these places, enhanced by his depth of experience in excavating and teaching.  I cannot wait to see this book!

Submissions to the Strumpet are Open!

I am very pleased to co-edit the next issue of the Strumpet with my friend and Strumpet founder Ellen Lindner.

The theme for this issue is Origin Stories. Where did you come from? How did the stuff you love or hate begin? Answer the question – how did we get here (particularly relevant in this year of massive political change)? Renaissances and re-inventions of all kind are also welcome, and we encourage you to look all around the globe, as well deep into your own history, for your fictional and non-fictional tales.  Surprise us!

We have instituted a suggested page count of 1-3 pages for newbies, 1-6 pages for folks we’ve published in the past. Want more? Please shoot The Strumpet an email at strumpetcomic at gmail dot com and pitch us your idea. We are also happy to look at scripts or roughs and give editorial tips.


March 1st, 2017.  No exceptions! (Seriously, anyone who’s been in The Strumpet before can tell you – we are reasonable, though strict, about enforcing the deadline.)

For more information and details, head over to Strumpet HQ.

Kenchreai, Greece

It’s the time of year (June) when my heart turns to thought of drawing pottery on the Kenchreai Excavations in Greece.  I’ll be there for two weeks of illustration work on the project and then two and a half weeks of travel to Islands with my family.

Καλή διασκέδαση!

The Three Apples

New on the website MARSAM (founded by residents at La Maison des auteurs) is my comic The Three Apples, a tale from the Arabian Nights. It looks even better in French, with many thanks to Mosk Mimo for both the font and the translation.  I drew this comic for the Graphic Canon, forthcoming in the Spring of 2017.  See full 8 pages on Marsam, both in French and English.  Sorry no Arabic (yet)!

Kinyras the Divine Lyre

My husband John Franklin’s book, Kinyras the Divine Lyre for which I drew about 50 illustrations, 2 maps, and designed the cover, was published in 2016 by the Center for Helenic Studies Press.   This book was 10 years in the making and is as thick as a brick.  

Congrats to John!

Dirty Diamonds Comics Anthology

I have a short comic in the anthology about Helen of Vermont.

Dirty Diamonds, an all-girl comic anthology, features the “semi-autobiographical” work of female comic creators from around the world, focusing on a single theme for each issue. For this, our sixth issue, we, the editors, released an open call, seeking comics related to the theme of BEAUTY.

The final product will be a perfect-bound, 8.5″ x 11″, 200 page book featuring a brilliant, gorgeous special guest cover by Carolyn Nowak.

SevenDays VT Previews ‘Graphic Lives’

Local Artists Depict Their Lives Through Comic Art


Sculpture by Alex Costantino
  • Sculpture by Alex Costantino

Somewhere at the intersection of memoir, fine art and illustration sits “Graphic Lives,” a four-artist installation that opens this week at Burlington’s New City Galerie. In using the medium of illustration to represent events and ideas from the artists’ lives, the show calls into question the standard definitions of “memoir” and “comics.”

Vermont artists Glynnis Fawkes and Alex Costantino are joined in the show by New York illustrator Summer Pierre and New Jersey cartoonist Jennifer Hayden. Even though — or perhaps because — all the artists’ styles are distinctive, the artworks in “Graphic Lives” combine to suggest possibilities not traditionally associated with comic art, or with the memoir genre.

Fawkes’ willowy illustrations draw on her experiences in art school, as well as on the classical myths she has studied and taught. Pierre specializes in single-page comics about complex subjects and people, including herself. Hayden uses pointy-nosed characters (which evoke those of Vermont Cartoonist Laureate Ed Koren) to tell the story of her battle with breast cancer. Costantino’s is the most unconventional work, combining not only comics and memoir but also ceramics. He makes jars and pots etched with scenes that unfold in frames akin to the panels of a comic.

“These are lives, expressed using these unique forms,” says Joseph Pensak, the show’s cocurator and director of New City Galerie. “They’re stories, and each life is a collection of stories. Sometimes those stories are scattered and not fully formed; some are so clear that they can be depicted in six panels.”

The combination of comics and autobiography is a more and more common — and savvy — union. Recent graphic memoirs such as Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? and David Small’s Stitches: A Memoirhave appeared regularly on best-seller and end-of-year lists, as Alison Bechdel‘s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic did before them. A January Publishers Weekly article on genre sales trends from 2013 to 2014 lists the second-biggest climber in nonfiction as biography/autobiography/memoir (up 12 percent); meanwhile, graphic novels made the biggest sales jump in the fiction category, with an increase of 15 percent.

For Fawkes, it was natural to use cartoons to depict events from her own life. “My memories are as visual as they are verbal,” she says. “I could just write the story — Once upon a time, I did this — but I can’t help but think of events that happened as very brightly visual, so that’s the way I want to capture them.”

Fawkes and Colchester artist Elise Whittemore came up with the idea for the show; both are, with Pensak, its cocurators. Fawkes knows Hayden and Pierre from comics expos; Whittemore, a friend of Fawkes and an admirer of her work, brought Costantino’s work into the show. “Seeing how comic artists create stories with text, visuals and design really intrigues me,” says Whittemore. “I admire this form that pulls all these things together.”

Pensak’s approach to the show’s subject matter is to treat it as a kind of folk art that is both accessible and profound. “Graphic Lives,” he says, offers “points of entry for anyone to discover the artists, and to dive in deeper.”

The artworks in the exhibit have no shortage of either of these qualities, which may be their appeal. Hayden’s panels, for instance, bring to mind familiar newspaper comics of previous decades but address the subject of life-threatening illness. Fawkes’ work is lissome and instantly engaging, yet its pictorial grace is countered and enriched by its multifaceted story about an artist finding her creative identity.

Pensak returns to the idea embodied by the show’s title. Though no artist can depict every single event or thought in his or her life, he says, “through a very specific story, [they] capture a life. It’s not a whole life, but it’s nothing less than a life.”

The original print version of this article was headlined “What’s So Funny? Artists Depict Their Lives Through Comic Art”

related events

‘Graphic Lives’ @ New City Galerie

Sketches, paintings, books and sculptures that examine the act of writing and drawing a life by comic memoirists Glynnis Fawkes, Alex Costantino, Summer Pierre and…

Through July 28

Soon to be in residence in Angoulême

This July and August I will be in residence at La Maison des Auteurs at

in Angoulême, France.  Here is what it is all about:

La maison des auteurs opened its doors in July 2002 in order to provide positive support to cartoonists and animators working in Angoulême or who wish to spend time here as creators in residence.

La maison des auteurs has been established with the following purposes in mind:
> we offer a working environment that encourages creativity, host authors with a view to completing a professional project,
> we act as a showcase for creative achievements in the fields of comics, animated films and multimedia, through exhibitions and events,
> we provide a center for technical and documentary resources,
> we host professional development workshops and exchanges,
> we help to protect the author’s status and to defend intellectual property rights in the field of artistic creation.

Since its inauguration, la maison des auteurs has hosted more than 200 creators, whether new talent or seasoned authors, coming from France and abroad: Nicolas de Crécy, Aude Samama, Jimmy Beaulieu from Quebec, the Americans Jessica Abel, Matt Madden, Richard McGuire, Ted Stearn and the Russian Nikolaï Maslov.

The Sultan’s Daughter

...tells of the adventures of the beautiful daughter of the Sultan of Babylon, a story from Boccaccio’s Decameron.  I am currently serializing the story on Activatecomix  (updated every Friday).  Now the 120-page book is available in print with many new images onStorenvy.  This book began with Locating Boccaccio in 1013, an artists book exhibition celebrating Boccaccio’s Septcentenary in Manchester, UK with a series of paintings in gouache.  Then, with the generous support of the Sequential Artists Workshop, I drew the whole story in pages using a brush pen and colored pencil.

The Sultan’s daughter is on her way to marry the King of Algarve when she is shipwrecked on Majorca.  A duke rescues and seduces her.  The duke’s younger brother falls for her, murders his brother, and starts a cycle of murder and rape that carries the Sultan’s daughter  across the Mediterranean in the hands of various noblemen.  Her odyssey ends when a family friend helps her return to her father in Alexandria and tricks the Sultan into believing she is still a virgin.  She finally marries the king, which, in the medieval logic of the story, makes this a romantic comedy–the girl both enjoys free love AND the security of marriage–and a happy ending.