Women and Children First, Chicago

July 10th, 2006 | Uncategorized

I’m feeling sort of digitized as I shuttle about the country, like a piece of email that gets opened in Minneapolis, then forwarded to Milwaukee and then to Chicago. Or maybe it’s more that the real world is starting to feel virtual, and I have random access to it. Last night in Chicago, for example, I was startled to see all these people I know show up at my reading. I knew they all lived here, but I was still in virtual mode, and the actual, analog people came as a shock. I can’t quite explain it. It’s sort of like the last ten people you got emails from suddenly manifesting in your living room. There was Nicole Hollander, and Kris Dresen, and Anne Elizabeth Moore, and Carrie Barnett who used to run People Like Us, the erstwhile queer bookstore here, and a couple people introduced themselves as commenters on the blog.

Here’s everyone after the reading, waiting to get their books signed.
line at women and children first

Here’s Kris Dresen and me. If you don’t know her work, go check out her site immediately. She draws incredibly beautiful comics.
Kris Dresen and me

After the reading, I went across the street for sushi with Nicole Hollander, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Cat from the bookstore, and Michelle who owns a nearby art gallery. Here’s me and the awesome Nicole Hollander.

Nicole Hollander and me

Here’s Anne Elizabeth Moore, champion of cartoons everywhere and co-editor of Punk Planet.
anne elizabeth moore

Anne gave me a really nice intro before my reading, talking about the comics world vs. the lgbt literary world, and how my work has mostly been confined to the latter but now that’s changing. That’s a very bad paraphrase, but it’ll have to do for now. Anne is editing the Best American Comics series for Houghton Mifflin, and the first volume is coming out this fall.
cat and michelle

Here’s Cat and Michelle. And here’s Nicole in Michele’s gallery, after dinner, with a paper dress sculpture she made.
nicole's dress

Then Nicole drove me over to Riva Lehrer‘s place. Riva is an astounding portrait artist. Here she is with her latest project. And check out this portrait she did of my friend Eli Clare.

Okay. Jeez, this was an exhausting, link-filled post and I didn’t really explain everything properly. But now I have to run and catch my plane back to Vermont.

9 Responses to “Women and Children First, Chicago”

  1. Deb says:

    I have soooooooo enjoyed this blog and watching you travel around the country. How nice that you get a chance to meet some of the people that are blogging as well. How cool is it to be able to travel from women’s book store to book store and meet so many interesting and vibrant people who love your work? The pix are great!

  2. Ammie says:

    I loved your reading yesterday, and I’m so grateful that you were able to come to the midwest after all 🙂 Hearing you talk about how you work has made me appreciate it all the more. Thank you!

  3. Jaibe says:

    It is so cool you know Nicole Hollander!! Though honestly I have recently given up reading her comic because the site is such a mess & I’m so busy. You really make me miss Chicago (& Madison & Milwaukee…)

  4. Jaibe says:

    I take that back — I hadn’t cruised her home site for a while & have found a link to a better source for Sylvia now there, http://www.comicspage.com/sylvia/ hurrah!

  5. Elizabeth Flora says:

    Wonderful to know you hang with two heavy weights in Disability Studies: Eli Clare and Riva Leher. You should ask Eli if he could loan you a copy of Cameron Mitchell’s 2001 comix based on the _Maus_ aesthetic regarding a “family” trip to the gas chambers in Germany with his parents, amazing University of Chicago academes, David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder. My own efforts in this exciting field culminated back in the day with an undergraduate honors thesis, “Reflections at the Gene Pool: Literary Genealogies and Genetic Legacies in Katharine Dunn’s _Geek Love_.”

  6. Aunt Soozie says:

    Nicole Hollander makes paper sculpture too? Are she and Phranc dating? Cause I thought that I read that somewhere.

    Is Riva Lehrer’s painting an altered self-portrait? Pretty intense piece of work…and that foreshortening makes me shudder. I remember Freshman drawing seminar… ugh…did anyone else have to learn how to trammel elipses while studying perspective drawing?

    Alison, I love;
    that photo of you climbing up the museum…
    at first I thought, photoshop…and then, nah, that’s Alison climbing up the museum for real…
    And your drawing of Nemo falling outta the drawing and your facial expression…
    and analog people…

    I knew from reading dtwof that you were tremendously funny but you seem a bit shy in person…soft spoken, thoughtful… are you always so wildly silly when you get warmed up? or just giddy with circumstance?

  7. Sara says:

    I wish I could have made it to Chicago on Sunday evening. I read your strip religiously when I was starting to come to terms with being gay in a small central Illinois town years ago (and southern Illinois can make Alabama and Mississippi look very, very liberal). Those strips meant a lot to me! I hope you return to the midwest at some point on a more relaxed schedule. Keep up the great (art)work!

  8. tania says:

    nicole hollander looks exactly as i hoped she would!

  9. mlk says:

    it was wonderful meeting you in Chicago! from your last comment on this entry, it must be good to be home. do you ever get a break?!??!? here’s to a few moments of solitude and a chance to catch your breath. or some QT with your sweetie. anything that will help you bridge the gap between the virtual and actual worlds!