I love comics and I love my hometown of Chicago. So, naturally, I have sought out the works of women comic books writers and artists who live and work here. I have put together a list of my five favorite Chicago comics and authors. Check their work out in print and on their websites. It’s well worth a view.
Relish: My life in the kitchen by Lucy Knisley
Relish remains one of my favorite books. It’s a series of non-fiction short stories about food. Each chapter ends with a recipe. In one particular story that hits home for me, she talks about having a pastry on a trip and then fails to reproduce the pastry at home. It’s a perfect illustration of how place and time impact our taste and memory. The best Nutella Crepes I have ever eaten are from a small stand in Paris and eaten while walking the streets in the winter. Nothing will ever taste as good except in that moment. Knisley’s other works are also worth checking out, such as Displacement, about taking a cruise with her elderly and declining grandparents, and Something New, her adventures while getting married (any bride will relate big time). For more information, check out Lucy Knisley’s website: https://www.lucyknisley.com/
In the Sounds and Seas by Marnie Galloway
This work, originally released as three volumes, has to be one of the most beautifully illustrated comics I’ve ever read. In the Sound and the Seas is a pictorial adventure, inspired by epics like the Odyssey, that starts with three women singers whose song blends together to create a wonderful world of animals and the sea. Galloway received a Xeric Award for self-publishing the series. Her other works are also delightful and evocative, such as Particle/Wave and Burrow. Check out: https://www.radiatorcomics.com/creator/marnie-galloway/
New World: An Anthology of Sci-Fi and Fantasy edited by C. Spike Trotman
New World is a comic anthology about cultures coming together in 24 stories by a diverse grouping of comic book writers and artists. Sometimes the cultures come together in mutually beneficial ways whereas sometimes it is destructive. I love that these stories deal with the idea that exploration and adventure have a darker side. C. Spike Trotman is the editor, publisher, and one of the contributors. Trotman is a comics powerhouse as the owner of Iron Circus comics. She regularly puts out comic anthologies throughout the year and publishes erotic comics. She’s also the writer of webcomic Templar, Arizona, which is delightfully weird. Check it out here: https://templaraz.com/ and https://ironcircus.com/
The Complete Ouija Interviews by Sarah Becan
The Complete Ouija Interviews are a series of mini-comics collected together based on a series of conversations at a Ouija boards. Each chapter is a conversation with a different spirit. Some stories are rather funny while others are sad. It’s a lovely meditation on love and death, and a nice throwback to playing Ouija board at slumber parties. Sarah Becan is known for her wonderful webcomic I Think You’re Sauceome, which covers the love of food and body image in such a poignant way. Check out her amazing graphics of recipes and restaurant dishes and so much more.
Animal Sex by Isabella Rotman
This wonderful book explores the wild and wacky world of animal sex. Through very helpful diagrams and text, Ms. Rotman simplifies the diversity of animal reproduction. Everything from mammals to insects are covered. She writes several educational comics about sex and consent, such as You’re So Sexy When You Aren’t Transmitting STIs and Not On my Watch: A Bystanders Handbook for the Prevention of Sexual Violence. Check out her website: https://www.isabellarotman.com/
Any additional Chicago comics that you know? Have some comic book writers living in your city that you love? Let us know about it!