January 30, 2017
A Comics Publisher’s Place is in the Revolution
by Ryan Harrington
Like it did for so many of us, the election of Donald Trump gave Gabe Fowler a real punch in the gut, and caused him to think, “What do we do now?” And like the rest of us, he too had his own little something to offer the resistance movement. Gabe—who owns the beloved Brooklyn comics shop Desert Island—publishes a quarterly comics newspaper called Smoke Signal.
Perhaps he could publish a special edition of Smoke Signal, dedicated to women’s voices? But do men really need to be leading that charge? Nope. And Gabe didn’t think so either.
And so, as Megan N. Liberty reports for Hyperallergic, Gabe recruited mother/daughter team Françoise Mouly (The New Yorker) and Nadja Spiegelman (new memoir!), re-titling the magazine RESIST!: A Woman’s Place is in the Revolution!
Of the process, Liberty writes:
Mouly scrawled the title RESIST! in red sharpie, and Spiegelman put out a call to action and a call for artwork on social media. The pair received over 1,000 submissions — by women and men, young and old, American and international, all expressing a range of emotions regarding with the current President and his proposed cabinet. They narrowed down the submissions to those that could fit in a 40-page newspaper, including the work of lesser-known artists alongside comic legends and New Yorker illustrators such as Alison Bechdel, Roz Chast, Bill Griffith, and Kristen Radtke.
If you attended one of the January 21st Women’s Marches around the country, perhaps you were lucky enough to snag a copy of the free newspaper as it was distributed by a network of volunteers. Supremely lucky, in fact, as all 60,000 copies are now gone.
The special issue’s fantastic artwork (and please do click that Hyperallergic link to see it) continues the newspaper’s commitment to anthologizing voices both known and unknown. With bylines as diverse as the art itself, RESIST! can be proudly called the organ of the revolution.
Ryan Harrington is a senior editor at Melville House.