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Another Illustration Interlude

2012 February 14

I thought I’d continue where I left off from this post of awesome artists that (as I put it) “get my feminist braincogs turning”.

Emily Carroll

Illustration by Emily Carroll. A blonde white woman kneels by a large black wolf, smiling playfully in a red pin-up style dress. Copyright Emily Carroll, reproduced under Fair Use guidelines.

She’s pretty well known, but deserves a mention anyway. I love the glimpse into (predominantly female) costume history I get from Draw This Dress – a shared project with award-winning fellow illustrator Vera Brosgol. Her Valentine’s day comic last year, Anu-Anulan and Yir’s Daughter, featured a lovely romance between two women (well, one’s a goddess, but anyway). Folklore-influenced The Hare’s Bride has a beautiful Carteresque simplicity to it. I love her work, and you should too.

Sarah Gordon

Illustration of a tall white woman in pink Edwardian attire with a large hat, leaning on her parasol with a sour expression. Copyright Sarah Gordon, reproduced under Fair Use guidelines.

I mentioned Sarah in the last post – working as colourist, she’s one third of The Peckham Invalids team along with Howard Hardiman and Julia Scheele. Her blog is a great read and her art is beautiful. The above wonderfully snooty lady is her own take on one of the characters from the comic. She says: “I’d like 2012 to be a year where I stop hiding all my personal/story work in my head, notebooks and sketchbooks and get it out onto… the internet”. That really struck a chord with me, because my own situation is very similar.1 So I wanted to cheer Sarah on. Hope that’s not too weird. Uh. Yeah! Go Sarah, from a total stranger! And now, dear reader, you must go and Do Similarly.

Patrice Aggs

Watercolour by Patrice Aggs. A cat sits on a pink armchair, staring at a cup of tea. Behind the cat, the cat's shadow adopts a humanoid stance and drinks the tea delicately. Copyright Patrice Aggs, 2002. Reproduced under Fair Use guidelines.

Thought I’d go a bit more longstanding – Patrice is pretty established, but she is also awesome, so if you aren’t familiar, here she is. Her work is soft-edged and has a kind of instant, gentle appeal – she’s done a lot of popular children’s books and resources for schools, but has a lifelong passion for comics. She’s worked with Philip Pullman and Horrible Histories and on The Snowman (CHILDHOOD NOSTALGIA WIBBLY ALERT) and has signed up to draw a story for new children’s weekly comic The Phoenix. Hurrah for getting children into comics! (TANGENT: Check out this sword-wielding art for one of the other stories. I’d have loved that as a kid. I hope the story’s as good as Neill Cameron’s art makes it look.) The other reason I want her on this post is she’s apparently quoted here2 over on Ladies Making Comics as follows: “Do-it-yourself is far duller than do-it-together. We need to champion each other. Drag the male-dominated blinkered attitude into the dustbin.”

Wise words indeed.

Marc Ellerby

Cover art by Marc Ellerby. A young white woman with ginger hair and glasses slurps a drink and looks suspicious. Behind her, large green monster hands loom. Copyright Marc Ellerby, reproduced under Fair Use guidelines.
“Chloe Noonan is a monster hunter, but she doesn’t have any powers. She can’t beat up bad guys, she can’t run without getting a stitch. She’s kinda flakey and really not bothered about saving the world. Plus she has to get the bus everywhere. I know, right?!”

I love Marc Ellerby’s clean lines and eye for detail. His monsters are bloody excellent – you can feel how much fun he’s had dreaming them up. Also, no one draws an unimpressed glare (a favoured expression of mine, naturally, as a Strident Feminist Blog Editor) quite like him. So of course, I’m now madly in love with Chloe Noonan, his wonderfully indignant teen monster hunter heroine. She’s amazing. She hurls bombs at monsters and plays in a band whilst loudly cursing both vocations and her schoool-friend sidekick is pretty cool too (also, female: BOOM BOOM BECHDEL BUST). Check her out. Buy the comics. DO IT NOW. That is all.

You know, I still don’t think I’m done. There is so much visual awesome out there. There’s a huge stream of female creators and artists and a rich seam of great heroines, characters, and attempts at inclusive projects out there. They need shouting about as much as possible. While we’re here, though not all my choices on this list are female creators, the women who work in comics, for example (and I know I’ve I’ve not really differentiated ‘illustration’ from ‘comics’ here, but anyway) give the lie to defensive statements on why women are so frequently left off panels at events, and so on. They’re around. You just have to look around you.

For further inspiration for the budding artists out there, I leave you with this photo of Patrice Aggs in action.3

Patrice Aggs, a black woman with short wavy hair and a pale blue shirt on, works at a drawing board. Photo reproduced under Fair Use guidelines.

More soon.

  1. I’ll get around to talking about the team and what we’ve been drawing at some point. I want to talk about these awesome people first, but if you’re curious, trumpet-blowing will happen. I’m, er, shy. []
  2. At least, I think this is a quote? I wasn’t completely clear, if I’m honest. But it’s great advice, either from her, or inspired by her work. So there you go. []
  3. If you took it, I hope you do not mind. I haven’t tracked down the image rights, but if it was you and you can let me know, I will credit you or remove it if you’re not digging my use of it, and so on. []
2 Responses leave one →
  1. Jenni permalink
    February 14, 2012

    Aaah! I love the cat drinking tea, that is all.

    Oh, and seconding the Emily Carroll recommendation.

    • Miranda permalink*
      February 14, 2012

      You would love Chloe Noonan, actually.

      I cannot imagine why anyone would not love it, but you would dig. <3

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