A group of comic book creators will be at Hub Comics on Saturday: some of the best queer and feminist indie zine and spoken word artists will be joined by Somerville’s own Liz Prince for a book signing, slideshow, and reading. The funny ladies of funny books promise an exciting time. Luckily for us, Cassie, Nicole, and Liz had a few moments to spare on the road to give us an idea of what to expect on Saturday at 7 p.m. Nicole also gives a ‘friend’ some valuable cuddling advice.
DIGBOSTON: Nicole, thanks for taking the time, how is your book tour so far?
NICOLE J. GEORGES: It’s great. I’ve met three hypo-allergenic dogs, drawn dogs in lots of books, and had the pleasure of [having] Cassie J. Sneider as my guest “Dr. Laura” every night at the readings.
Your new book, Calling Dr. Laura, is a mystery of sorts about a daughter and her thought-to-be-dead father. You also delightfully explore the pangs of growing up and your search for a committed girlfriend.
Do you find it difficult to expose intimate details of your life through your art, or does this come naturally for you?
I have been doing autobiographical comics for 15 years, so I’ve gotten accustomed to writing about personal details of my life.
I know that in order to connect with readers, one has to be vulnerable, so I try my best.
Besides being an award-winning Zinester (is that a word?) you’ve appeared with Sister Spit: The Next Generation, and give a live version of your advice column. What can we expect at HUB, will there be performances?
How did you get into teaching about comics and zines? Specifically about the history of zine culture?
I started volunteering at a place called the Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland 13 years ago. About a year in, I was asked to accompany the director to a workshop with at-risk youth, whom I was frightened of. They asked me if I was pregnant, and wanted to do a zine about basketball, Tupac and weed.
Somehow I kept going, and started to understand the link between self-empowerment and self-publishing. I’ve been teaching zines and comics to kids, adults and seniors ever since.
Your queer animal calendar is adorable, can we get another please?
Yes. You can have one every year.
We love the way you tell a story in pictures, with detailed backgrounds and beautiful lettering. How much time do you spend drawing a week?
Currently I spend zero time drawing a week, but when I was working on the book I would work on it four to seven days a week. I would drive directly from teaching in elementary schools to my studio and labor over it until 10 p.m. each night.
10 p.m. is my cut-off. After that time of night, my drawings suffer and start to look sloppy.
Nicole thanks for coming to our town and being a powerful example to young ladies out there who may want to get into comics and zines. Also, here is one last submission for your advice column, from a ‘friend’.
You are America’s smartest girl, so please help me out. When my lady stays over, sometimes I need to get up early and read my stack of comics and or I may need to have both arms free to do so. I want nothing in the world more than to lay in bed with my Boo, but don’t wish to wake her to free my arm from a cuddle position. How can we have the best of both worlds, where she can cuddle with me at the same time I am catching up with my reading or worse yet …‘writing’?
While it is possible to read over one’s head as they rest upon your chest, it is not acceptable to try to write while they are resting on you. I recommend gently extracting yourself from the cuddle position and just scooching your body so your legs are touching as you write in bed. As long as your are nice and not acting disgruntled about it, they should be fine.
Thanks, Nicole. You’re the best! Let’s check in with your tour partner-in-crime, Cassie J. Sneider!
DIGBOSTON: Did you grow up in an ’80s movie?
CASSIE J. SNEIDER: I was a teenager in the ’90s, so I kind of missed the boat for the John Hughes “lovelorn nice guy doesn’t get the girl/creepy jock admits to taping someone’s butt together and nobody is that freaked out about it” sort of existence.
I think my teenage years were more like one of those She’s All That-type ’90s movies where some jerk makes a bet about getting a date with the ‘ugly’ chick, only as told from the perspective of the ugly chick, but with a couple of episodes of Roseanne and some Heavy Metal Parking Lot thrown in for good measure.
We love your readings … which is more important to you, reading spoken word or drawing comics? Can you carry the same or similar messages with both mediums?
Thanks so much! That’s a tough one. I feel like some stories have a whole different picture when I get to read them to an audience versus being read on paper. I like doing voices, and I feel I really shine brightest when I’m impersonating my family.
I draw comics when I get a flash of an idea or memory or image in my head and can only convey it by drawing it.
A lot of my drawings are about my dog, rock history, or corny puns. It’s a draw.
What did you think of the new Muppet movie? Did you hate it like Frank Oz did?
Good question, Clay. Though I make custom Muppets for people and have a deep appreciation for the Henson Empire, I haven’t seen a Muppet movie since Muppets from Space came out in theaters. I had this really crappy seasonal job at a bookstore where no one talked to each other and the only thing anyone would play on the overhead stereo was the Muppet Christmas CD. After a solid month of hearing this on a constant rotation, my feelings on Muppet voices soured.
I just don’t understand why Muppets always have to sound like a chorus of homeless tweakers. I find it hard to believe that not a single one of them can have a beautiful voice.
Until that happens, you won’t see me watching them on the big screen.
You’re making a zine float for your hometown St. Patrick’s Day parade. Here in Boston we kind of go all out but don’t think we’ve had the kind of float that you are describing at Kickstarter. Is this a lifelong dream of yours?
Totally! For as long as I can remember, the parade in my hometown has been exactly the same: two cesspool trucks followed by a marching band, a flatbed truck with 20 port-o-potties on it, another marching band, and an anti-choice billboard truck with a photo of a fetus in utero that said, “ABORTION STOPS A BEATING HEART.” I went last year while I was home on a visit and saw all these disappointed little kids and mediocre floats and I had a revelation moment where I was like, “I can do better!” I made a bunch of phone calls and now it’s actually going to happen.
My friends are sending in zines from all over the country and I’m giving out 100 copies of my book. It should be pretty wild. I promise there will be video evidence.
What’s next on the horizon for you after tour and St. Patrick’s Day?
I want to do a middle America tour with my friend Michelle Dwyer, who wrote a book called Junk Drunk. Probably a Northwest tour when I go through friend withdrawal and paint Nicole J. Georges’ face on a volleyball. I’m working on a second book and pretty regularly doing comics and interviews for The Rumpus, but other than that, a lot of karaoke and watching Law & Order with my pug.
That sounds like a plan! We all know Liz is not only a professional comic book artist with Boom’s Marceline and the Scream Queens, but some don’t know of her love of cats and pop punk. I asked her about the poster you see below used to promote the Queers, Teenage Bottlerocket, Masked Intruder, and Acro-Brats show on Sunday at Church. She put her drawing pencil and kneaded eraser away to get me just a few words about that!
LIZ PRINCE: I’m a huge fan of all three bands that are on this mega tour, so using my Masked Intruder connections to muscle my way into making a poster was a dream come true!
That’s how you have to do it, these days, muscle your way into the scene and keep on keeping on … can you even believe that The Queers have been a band for 20 years?
Earth Prime Time has your weekend booked!
NICOLE J. GEORGES, CASSIE J. SNEIDER, AND LIZ PRINCE
READ AT HUB COMICS
7PM/ ALL AGES/FREE
19 BOW ST.
BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE! CHECK OUT THE NEWLY REDESIGNED WWW.LEAGUEPODCAST.COM — BOSTON’S COMIC BOOK AND POP CULTURE PODCAST — “Thinking about Comics … ALWAYS”!
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