My Interview with 7 Contributors of “The Big Feminist BUT” for Slice Magazine

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I was honored when the editors of Slice Magazine asked me to interview 7 contributors of The Big Feminist BUT. As a feminist and artist myself (including my own comics), I appreciate that this conversation was engaged in the illustrated form and hope to see it continue into more voices for the future. Check out the interview here on Slice’s A Word About Writing. And here is an art sample from Gabrielle Bell, involving her Mom & Valerie Solanas:

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Gabrielle, your story is so rich and complex; I loved it so much. I have a friend who thought everything you wrote was true – verbatim. How do you balance truth with fiction, especially in a story that is rooted in historical events?

I didn’t worry too much about messing with history, at least not until after I’d finished the story. I tend to worry about upsetting people I’ve used in my story only after I’ve done. While I am in the grips of storytelling, it doesn’t occur to me that someone might take issue with it. It wasn’t easy though…continue reading

cover © 2013 Joan Reilly; comic sample © Gabrielle Bell

DIY: Jewelry Organizer & IKEA Closet Hack

I love our Brooklyn apartment to pieces, but it definitely came with its own set of challenges. One of them being no proper closets, albeit a common apartment-dwelling dilemma. For over six-years I have been gradually developing IKEA’s Pax Wardrobe into my own dream closet as best I can. The next problem that needed solving (after my jewelry hanger broke) was how to have easy access to my chunky jewelry. I was originally going with pegboard, until I spotted this lattice metal grating across the aisle in Lowe’s. The corners are a little sharp, but it was definitely more my speed with its metal industrial look. Tim helped me hang it up by drilling carefully into the narrow Pax door using eight screws, nuts & washers.

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My solution to the bulkier items were to hang these little drawer organizers by Rubbermaid. We drilled two tiny holes into each bin and bent thick metal wire to act as hooks. I’m sure there are better options, but this was my down & dirty problem-solving for the time being.

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Some time ago, while watching an unforgettable marathon of Graham Linehan’s Black Books in the background, we wallpapered the wardrobe with my substitute (and more affordable choice) to Cole & Son’s Two Woods. I love my customized DIY closet!

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Renegade Craft Fair: Herkimer & Hotdogs

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Yesterday at Renegade Craft Fair Brooklyn I was filled with inspiration. I also ran into old art pal & illustrator extraordinaire, Nicole Ray of Sloe Gin Fizz! Check out Nicole’s awesome site here.

I am planning on having my own table at the next one, so keep a lookout for more information in the fall.

shirt © CHANDI, herkimer necklace © Collarbone by Catharine Luckett & vegan hotdogs at Yeah Dawg

In The Heart Where Old Dreams Whistle On Bone Flutes

Swearing off greeting card purchasing is no easy task; it means making every single holiday by hand. It is more special this way though, and each year gives me the chance to creatively express thought and humor to those I love. The above is my Father’s Day card for 2013, below is a joke that could not be avoided: when you see a vintage photo of your Dad dressed as Frankenstein crushing a baby you just have to post it:

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Baby steppin’ in ’67

A few days ago my Dad found this little runt (below) under the kitchen extension, abandoned from her siblings and hidden behind shutters without making a single peep. My Dad was cleaning the backyard and randomly found her…or maybe they found each other. What perfect timing, little Charlie!

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I can’t visit home without thinking about my Mom. Gone since 2008, yet her touch is everywhere. I’ve had haunting dreams about her wedding crystal that remained untouched behind precious glass. As Marge Piercy so eloquently wrote:

I gave her presents and she hid
them away, wrapped in plastic.
Too good, she said, too good.
I’m saving them. So after her death

I sort them, the ugly things
that were sufficient for every
day and the pretty things for which
no day of hers was ever good enough.

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something old, something new, something borrowed, something…bird-like

Though no day was ever good enough for my Mother’s pretty things, I have decided to take them out to see the light of day. They deserve to be seen. While an apartment full of crystal and china may not suit my style, some of her items sprinkled about pays tribute to a woman I loved with all my heart. xo

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Miss you, Mom. So glad you showed me it’s okay to grow up silly and weird