Archive for November, 2011

library confusion

November 23rd, 2011

I made a post here in the summer of 2010 about a book called Unpacking My Library that I was being included in. Now the book is out. I haven’t seen it yet, but I just noticed a post about it on the New Yorker’s website.

It’s kind of a photography book—it’s pictures of different writers’ libraries. But the funny thing is, in this New Yorker post, the photo they run with a quote from me is of Holly’s books, not mine. It’s a shelf full of field guides and shells and Rachel Carson and John McPhee, all very interesting, but not my books. The skull is that of a sloth that Holly found in Panama once. She cleaned the maggots off of it and brought it home. She can’t remember if it was a two-or three-toed sloth.

barbara grier

November 11th, 2011

naiad cover

Barbara Grier, the founder of Naiad Press, died yesterday at age 78. Victoria Brownworth has a very nice piece about her on the Lambda Literary Review site. I think I first learned about Naiad when I began reading their reprints of Ann Bannon’s Beebo Brinker books in the early 1980s. Later, when I started drawing Dykes to Watch Out For, I would occasionally poke fun at Naiad books by giving them these barcode covers. Some years later, I actually met Barbara. I was nervous she’d think I was an ungrateful young punk, but she said she always loved seeing the Naiad jokes in my comic strip. I was completely charmed. You should read Victoria’s whole column, but this part sums up our collective debt to Barbara Grier very nicely.

Grier wanted no memorial service and McBride has requested that people not call her at this time. But somewhere, someplace, a woman is reading a lesbian book–perhaps in a room hidden away where no one can see, or perhaps right out on the subway on her way to work. All those women reading all those lesbian books–be they intellectual treatises or pulp fiction in the Ann Bannon tradition–owe a deep and abiding debt of gratitude to the force of nature that was Barbara Grier.

UPDATE 11/16/11: The New York Times ran a great obituary of Barbara!

new post

November 9th, 2011

I am way deep down in the mine of my new memoir Are You My Mother, so haven’t had time to blog. But in case anyone’s still reading, here are a few odds and ends.

Here is a picture of me on a recent visit to Quimby’s Bookstore in Chicago signing these two very adorable young peoples’ skateboards. I never signed a skateboard before.


Here is my friend Hillary Chute, who I will be teaching with at the University of Chicago next spring, in front of a beautiful life-size Anders Nilssen comic panel at an exhibit called Cartoon Ink: Emerging Comics in Context, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The show is down now but it was really good.


Here are two very worthy Kickstarter projects:
• The Harvey Pekar memorial statue!
Jessica Abel’s new project sounds amazing–a graphic novel about roller derby on Mars. If you pitch in, she’ll give you an article from her wardrobe. (I’m hoping for the vintage 40s men’s swim trunks.) Check out her great little film about what she’s up to.

My buddy Phranc has turned her cardboard crafting skills to artifacts of the old west. She has an installation of cardboard cowboy boots, geetars, and suchlike, at the Autry Store.

Fun Home The Musical is under way. The brilliant Lisa Kron (Well, The Five Lesbian Brothers) has written the book and lyrics. The very awesome Jeanine Tesori (Caroline or Change, Shrek The Musical) is the composer. It’s kind of unbelievable. But I’m starting to believe it. I’ve seen some of their early work and it blew me away. Lisa and Jeanine are working on the play right now at the Sundance Theater Lab.

And if you’re in Chicago, come see the premiere of “Alison and Riva,” a documentary about the artist Riva Lehrer, and our collaboration together as she draws a portrait of me. Riva’s work is fascinating. You can see some of it, and also details about the screening, here.

Okay. I’m now I’m grabbing my pickaxe and donning my miner’s helmet and going back down. OMG. I once had a miner’s helmet! I sent away for it with boxtops from Quake cereal. It was yellow hardhat with an actual flashlight in it!