i want the kind of funding that scientists in comic books have. where are you getting this money? do you publish papers or do you just turn people into giant lizards and call it a day? do you have to get that shit peer reviewed? who is paying for your research? can you give me their email address
i have googled ‘evil science grants’ and the results were not satisfying
"yes hello National Science Foundation, I’d like to renew my $3m grant for genetically modifying spiders to give humans superpowers - what’s my broader impact outreach? seriously did you see how many newspapers we sold"
It’s half past midnight, I’m packed in a basement ballroom with a hundred or so strangers in varying degrees of formal wear, we’re all some combination of sweaty, drunk, exhausted, and alive, and I…
I just realized I didn’t tumble about my trip to SPX, because Tumblr is this amazing time sink and I’ve been signed out on my computer for a while. Anyway, I went to SPX. It was wonderful. It made me far more excited about comics than I’ve been in some time, and I can’t imagine a year where I won’t be planning to return.
We’ve started placing non-monetary bets on the likelihood that I’m asked about my personal life during publicity interviews.
So far I’ve been correct 100% of the time.
I can’t completely understand the fascination with my dating life; maybe I just really do a stellar job of keeping it ambiguous and therefore compellingly mysterious, such that it warrants questioning during professional interviews. But more often there’s this awe-like oscillation between “It must be really hard for you to date because your job is so unique and you do gross things sometime” and “You must get dates all of the time.”
Like today. I mention how I find standing in the dermestid colony room is comforting; it’s an area I wander to when I need to clear my head. It’s quiet, save for the gentle crackling of the busy beetles, hungrily going about their lives while they eat and breed and die amongst eviscerated fauna. Pretty soothing. Believe me, there is no quieter place in the Museum. But the minute I being this up the response is “oh giiiirrrrlll we’ve got to get you a date.”
I get that I’m this quirky paradox of a woman: how is it possible I’m pretty, articulate, and also smart? and kinda weird? Gosh the solution to those problems must mean I only got this way because I didn’t have a man in my life to keep me boring and level-headed. Ignore the fact they assume I am also straight.
It comes up again: “do you work with any hot, Indiana Jones scientists?” Hey here’s one for you: are you going to ask my male colleagues these same questions? Going to imply they need to get a date instead of publish so many compelling papers about their research? And I’ll have you know that I’m infinitely more attracted to someone’s wit and candor, and the quality of the work they publish in reputable scientific journals and the eagerness they have to explore our world than whatever physical form they ended up taking. I would marry a gorilla if it were so sophisticated.
Sometimes I feel the most sexism occurring in these fields comes in the form of awkward publicity. I’ve also been asked by reporters if I would pose for Playboy if approached - and what I would charge to accept. If you want to ask me about natural history, or museums, or social media, or science literacy - be my guest. But don’t expect a straightforward answer if you derail the conversation to pry into my personal life.
There are contexts where “would you pose for Playboy" is an appropriate question to ask a scientist (or any interview subject, really), though I can think of only two:
1. If the scientist brought up the magazine and the subject of modeling for it.
2. The interview was in Playboy (and even then, I’d be wary of asking it).
Asking about someone’s personal/dating life falls into similar territory, too. Are you a magazine more known for your dating advice than anything else? Then maybe you’re not out of line asking a question about it, but maybe you should just let the subject bring it up if they want to and instead focus on who they are as a human being and what they do for a living that makes them an interesting interview subject.
The funny thing is that there are likely interesting discussions to be had down both these avenues of questioning when interviewing an intelligent and thoughtful subject, but those aren’t conversations the interviewer is trying to start when they ask their subject how much they would need to be paid in order to pose nude.
It’s not just the sciences either, though I doubt anyone is surprised by that. I’ve seen cartoonists like Liz Prince go off on how frequently she’s had to answer the question of what it’s like being a woman who makes comics. I’ve seen it in punk interviews too, and it’s incredibly telling just how quickly an interviewer will shift over to thinking of their subject as a woman who does something instead of a scientist/cartoonist/musician/whatever who happens to be a woman.
I’ve had an interview project idea for Loser City brewing on the backburner for a little while now, and I feel like I’m going to have to ask the men I interview what it’s like being a guy who makes comics. I’m curious what their responses will be…
Drew Weing's graphic novel debut Set to Sea, which follows the adventures of a poet who ends up seabound aboard a pirate ship, is a mere month away from its upcoming paperback release. We’ve got a 12-page, 1.1 MB excerpt you can download and read while you wait. Want to pre-order your copy now? Step right this way!
This comic, it impacted my life in some important ways. It taught me that someone could understand me in ways I didn’t even understand myself.
Are there awards for crushing on folks that are too damn far away, because apparently that’s required for me to even start to fall for anyone anymore.
I just got home from SPX, and I wanted to put up a note for anyone who saw me and got a copy of Handbook Number One.
A lot of people who read it this weekend came up to the table and told me how much they enjoyed it, which is literally the reason I started drawing comics, so thank you everyone. You’re the best.
I sold out of the copies I brought, but I have some left, which I just made available through my online store.
LINK GOES HERE:
The next show I’ll be at is SHORT RUN SEATTLE in November. Hopefully by then I’ll have Handbook Number Two ready, as well as some other goodies to share.
Also if timing is right I’ll have Old Gum Wrappers and Grocery Lists and Flower Grow by then, too.
Y’all should check this out.
a discussion on sexual orientation
- me: *explaining various sexual orientations to a classmate*
- classmate: wait, what's polyamory?
- me: well, it's when someone has more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.
- professor: *overhears from front of class*
- professor: that is d i s g u s t i n g
- me: *defensively* um, actually, no it's--
- professor: how DARE they put a greek prefix on a latin root like that?! What right do they have to decimate my beautiful antiquated languages?!?! GREEK AND LATIN DO NOT FRATERNIZE THIS IS LIKE THAT STUPID ROMANTIC SUBPLOT BETWEEN THAT DWARF AND THAT ELF IN THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!
- me: ....
- me: ....
- me: ....
- professor: it should be polyerosy
- (side note: this is why the plural of octopus shouldn't be octopi)