Wednesday, 25 May 2011

ms valerie park - new website

Ms Valerie Park Distro has a lovely new website: with so many really terrific zines for sale. It's one of my favourite distros.

This also means Shape & Situate (issue 1) has got a lovely new page on the site: Perfect for those wanting to buy S&S from the other side of the pond.

Friday, 20 May 2011

anne alizabeth moore on gender inequality in comics, and her ladydrawers column

I think it's well known amongst my friends that I have a brain-crush on Anne Elizabeth Moore, and here's more proof of why...

I suggest skipping through to about 13:36 til 30:17 of this podcast to hear an interview with Anne Elizabeth Moore: about women in comics ahead of her new project that I got an email about today. I'll paste that email below cuz it's kinda rad and I don't want to paraphrase what AEM has to say or misquote the radness she has in store!

Hi friends,

Exciting news!

Starting in mid-June, I'll be doing a biweekly column on gender in media and comics for Truthout, a progressive news and opinion site on the internet! But this column is unique, because I won't be doing it alone: each installment will be a collaboration with a different artist, mostly (or at least initially) from the comics community.

Some of you are probably familiar with the graphic essays I've been doing since I left the Best American Comics—collaborations with Esther Pearl Watson, Susie Cagle, Christa Donner, and most of the young Chicago comics community for lit pubs and mags like Tin House, Bitch, Annalemma and others. I also teach a course on gender and comics at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago that has allowed me to collect, sort through, and play with a whole mess of raw data, stats, and media theory that I look forward to working with you on presenting to the world in as funny a manner as we can collectively muster.

The latest set of data looks at the participation of women in comics creation (approximately 40% of the field) as compared to the number of published pages they are offered (currently between 13-24%) across the spectrum of comics published in the US. Once gathered, we can compare this to, for example, the likelihood that women are to appear sans culottes on comics pages (5.3 times more likely than they are to draw them). We also looked at rape stats (75% of Vertigo books feature a rape or sexual assault), MSRP per book (on average, pages by female creators cost approximately 58% what pages by male creators do), and plain old ridiculousness (that in most cases—in comics, journalism, film, and literature—the experts offered space to weigh in with opinions on these matters are men.)

In addition to statistics, the column will feature interviews with artists that both stayed in (Lynda Barry, Alison Bechdel) and left the game (Julie Doucet, Katherine Collins) and will intercut the heaviness with, basically, splash pages. Titled things like, WHY WOMEN CAN'T DRAW GOOD FIGHT SCENES; CUTE GIRL IN THE COMICS SHOP; GET OVER IT, SISTER; and I don't know what-all else. Your funny ideas, however, are welcome. Nay—necessary.

To start with, the column will appear as a regular series of collaborations with various women and trans comics artists: Over the run of the series I aim to involve as many creators as possible. Each assignment will start with a loose script we can finalize together—although all non-text decisions I'll leave to your superior skills—and I'll try to get them to you with a ton of lead time. Final JPG art must come in black with one color of your choice (pink seems popular but is not mandatory) at 800 pixels wide and 1600, 2400, or 3200 pixels tall (your call, depending on how you choose to depict the material) and there will be some flexibility in how many subsequent assignments it takes you to fill out the script. I can currently offer a hundred bucks for totally new work, and $50 for reworked, previously published pieces that fit within the structure (most of these will be print pieces we've collaborated on together, but I'm open to other ideas, too).

Want to get started? I have scripts read to rock it, due as soon as June 8. Just hit me back with a "Yes, please!" and a "I'd be into doing something about __________!" or an "I won't be free until _______" and we can put you in the lineup.

Excited to work with you all!


Thursday, 19 May 2011

international alternative press festival 2011

I sadly can't make it, but the schedule of things happening as part of International Alternative Press Festival 2011 is pretty staggering.
I don't know how Jimi and Co have managed to put so much awesomeness together, but hats off to them!

The festival runs 27th May - 13th June 2011 and there's now an online calendar to help you co-ordinate what you want to do and see and when (cuz there's *a lot* going on).

Things that I wish I could do/see/be at from this festival include:

The Main Fair
28-29 May
A million (or so!!) amazing people have stalls at this bumper event, including some of my favourites:
Sofia Lindh, Stina Johnson, Tanya Meditsky, Dead Trees and Dye, Ed Baldry, Ellen Lindner, Jimi Gherkin, Josie Long, Karoline Rerrie, Footprint Workers Co-op

Plus there's some neat events running throughout the day, including:
3pm – 4.30pm: Play the Anthology Game: A Whores of Mensa Experience.
Comix anthologies like Stripburger play a crucial role in developing new comics talent, and launched the careers of creators like Nick Abadzis, Jessica Abel and Chris Ware. Ellen Lindner (co-editrix of the long-running Whores of Mensa) will lead you through the process of making your own anthology, while introducing you to the history of the anthology in comics.

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Followed later in the week by:

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Team Girl Comic Brainstorm: Comics for Everyone, Let's Make it Happen!
30 May, 15:00 – 17:00
@ Orbital Comics 8 Great Newport Street London WC2H 7JA
Glaswegian zine queen Gillian Hatcher (editor of Team Girl Comics) leads a brainstorming session aimed at - but not exclusive to! - young women. In the punk rock, DIY spirit of Stripburger, we ask: what do women want from comics? And how can we get it? Refreshments will be served for a small donation.

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The Swedish Collection - An Exhibition of Art by the Students from the Comic Art School on Malmo
Monday 30th May - Sunday 5th June
@ The New Gallery London, SE15 5PY (map)
Alternative Press takes over The New Gallery to feature the work of ten artists from the Comic School in southern Sweden. On 30 May: Introduction to the Malmo Comic Art School by Sarah Klapp, the exhibition's curator, artist and editor at C'est Bon Magazine, followed by an evening with some of the artists.

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i've zine the darkness

Shape & Situate zine is to feature in an Art Zine exhibition in Germany called I've Zine The Darkness. Run by the exhibition will take place at the dieschönestadt gallery in Halle from June 3rd to 11th, 2011.

Shape & Situate arrived safely at the gallery, as can be seen here!!

After the exhibition all the zines are to be donated to the library of the Burg Giebichenstein University of Arts and Design in Halle.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

zine fest! 2011

I'm going to be London bound in June to put up an exhibition of the posters from Shape & Situate zine (#s 1&2) as part of the always-great Zine Fest! at The Women's Library...

Facebook event page here

(Blurb by Red Chidgey, organiser of Zine Fest! 2011)

Zines are hand-made magazines made for love not money. Requiring few resources to self-publish - just a pen, a piece of paper, access to a photocopier - zines are made on the fringes of journalism, art systems, activist scenes, and bedroom cultures. Basically, they rock.

We're super happy to confirm the 4th Zine Fest! to be happening at The Women's Library, London.
The Women's Library has a growing zine collection, covering the 1970s to now, which was first donated by the Ladyfest London 2001 collective.

The Zine Fest! event in June aims to showcase feminist, queer and women's media projects, hold workshops and discussion spaces, bring together loads of zine makers and stalls, and make connections between different generations of feminist publishing.

The event is free and open to everyone. We hope to see you there!


Saturday 25th June 2011, 12pm-4pm, Free

The Women's Library, 25 Old Castle Street, London

Programme (tbc): Comic-Making 101, Survivor Zines, Stenciling, Feminist Media History Panel, Zine Tours, Shape & Situate Exhibition.

Contact: Red Chidgey, (

Stalls: Marching Stars ~ Princesa Pirata ~ Other Asias ~ Walrus Zines ~ Fat Quarter ~ Richochet! Richochet! ~ Cherry Bomb Comics ~ Pamflet ~ Storm in a Tea Cup ~ will xyz ~ Vampire Sushi ~ Angry Violist ~ Volume Magazine ~ Scale Trees ~ Jen Claptrap ~ Sarah Tea-Rex ~ Emma Jane Falconer

Documentation of past ZineFests!:!/zinefest/photos

Getting to the Women's Library:

Accessibility info:

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

zinefest at the women's library 2011

I'm looking forward to exhibiting something special at the 2011 Women's Library Zinefest being held on Sat June 25th in London.
More news on that soon but in the meantime check out more details on the Fest:

khaela presents...

Oh, how I can identify with a lot of this!
I love Khaela so much for her eternal honesty.

Friday, 6 May 2011

queer youth music projects

Two projects came to my attention today...


My friend Ste McCabe writes, 'Anybody interested in supporting young LGBT people in Manchester getting onstage for the first time in their lives and performing, and giving them a massive boost with happy cheers etc, please come and support this event next Saturday 14th for International Day Against Homophobia'
The event in question is:

14 May
19:30 - 22:30
Nexus Art Cafe, Dale Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester. UK
Doors: 7:30pm
Tickets: £3 on the door

This year LGBT Youth North West are marking International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia with our music event IDAHO Down!

IDAHO Down will be taking place on Saturday 14th May at Nexus Art Cafe, Dale Street in Manchester's Northern Quarter, and is aimed at encouraging LGBT young people to compose music with local artists.

On the night artists will perform their own set, then each be joined on stage by the young people to perform the song they have composed together.

Performing are:

Ste McCabe
This Morning Call
Awesome Wells
Becca Williams
Plus special guests.





Queer Rock Camp is a brand new day camp for youth ages 12 - 20 starting this summer in Olympia, WA. USA, Official camp week is AUGUST 8th - AUGUST 13th!

Mission Statement:
Queer Rock Camp is a music camp for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual youth and their allies. Through instrument instruction, band practice, and workshops, Q.R.C aims to empower youth by building confidence, fostering and strengthening peer alliances, and dismantling gender binaries. Q.R.C aspires to promote queer visibility in music through L.G.B.T.Q.Q.I.A and allied instructors, mentors, and visiting performers.

We need your support to raise money to make this a free program for youth who need a voice! All of our staff is volunteer, and is working year round to make things happen. The money that is raised will go to paying for camp locations, musical equipment, food items for volunteers and campers that is not donated, showcase venue, art supplies, workshop materials, press / printing needs and much more!

For more information, visit our website
OR send us an email

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

sistershow revisited opens this week

In the first issue of Shape & Situate zine, Deborah Withers made a poster about Pat VT West; Pat was one of the creative forces behind Sistershow. Sistershow was the amateur feminist theatre branch of the Bristol Women's Liberation Movement. They used humour, dramatics and art to explore the feminist issues of the time. They challenged stereotypes about the humour-less feminist whilst exploring new forms of gender and sexual identities.

Deborah has been working really hard over the past year in her role as project coordinator to put together a series of exhibitions and events that open this week: Sistershow Revisited. This is the result of years worth of research and interviews that Debi has been doing.

This May an exhibition (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund) about Sistershow and the history of the Bristol WLM (1973-1974) is being held in Bristol.

The exhibtion aims to invoke the spirit of Sistershow for contemporary audiences. It will include participatory educational activities that will enable visitors to reflect upon the gender and sexual politics of the 1970s, as well as our own era.

To accompany the exhibition there will be also be a catalogue which will include the research generated by the project, commentary and analysis.

The Sistershow Revisited exhibition, is open 7 days a week from 7-26 May at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol UK
Opening times:
Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 11am-5pm

There's loads going on alongside the actual exhibition. The full programme of events is here:

Sunday, 1 May 2011

the women's liberation music archive

From my inbox, from the ace Deborah Withers...


Feminist music-making from the 1970s and 80s

Press release for 1st May, 2011

An exciting new online resource is launched today: the Women’s Liberation Movement Music Archive, at

This project documents the bands, musicians and musical projects that were part of, or influenced by, the great burgeoning of cultural creativity generated by the Women’s Liberation Movement (WLM) of the 1970s and 80s.
During this era, women’s music, film and theatre groups, visual art, literature, performance art, street theatre and other activities proliferated, fusing artistic activities with politics to develop and express feminist ideas. Feminist bands and musicians were not solely about providing great entertainment but embodied a world-changing commitment to putting politics into practice and advancing women’s rights. Challenging sexism and stereotyped gender roles, their lyrics and style reflected the values of the WLM. They were a vital and integral part of the movement, yet are often omitted from or marginalised by the media and historical accounts. Many operated outside the commercial mainstream or alternative circuits – or indeed were oppositional to them – and are not widely known about. Most were self-funded, grassroots groups who worked on a shoestring and many were unable to create lasting material.

Concerned that this part of women’s history is at risk of being lost, Archive Co-ordinators Dr Deborah Withers and Frankie Green believe the achievements of these music-makers should be mapped and celebrated. This work-in-progress collection comprises testimonies and interviews, discographies, gigographies and memorabilia including photographs, videos, recordings, flyers, press clippings and posters, plus links to ongoing women’s music-making and feminist activism. The project is an independent, voluntary and (as yet) unfunded venture. Funding possibilities and a safe eventual home for the physical archive are being investigated.

All women who were involved in women’s music – as solo artists, in bands, as DJs, MCs, in distribution networks, recording studios, photographers, journalists, events organisers, etc – are invited to contact and contribute to the project.