Democracy Dies in Darkness

Comic Riffs

Many cartoonists join forces to mark International Women’s Day through art

By Michael Cavna

March 8, 2018 at 8:30 AM

“Six Chix,” by Susan Camilleri Konar (KFS 2018/)

CAST YOUR eyes across many of King Features’ comic strips and you’ll see a theme: The syndicate encouraged cartoonists to draw whatever moved them in the spirit of International Women’s Day.

“Our editorial team came up with the theme ‘Empowering Our Daughters’ as a starting point for our creators,” King Features President CJ Kettler tells The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs, “but we opened it up to any topic that resonated with them.”

“Rhymes With Orange,” by Hilary Price and Rina Piccolo (KFS 2018/)

“Given where we are as a culture today,” the syndicate president says, “this event seemed like a great way for us to reflect the current zeitgeist and dialogue around issues that matter for women.”

One of the first cartoonists to sign on was Terri Libenson, creator of “The Pajama Diaries.”

“Terri’s poignant comic about the protagonist Jill, and her daughter, Amy, is an insightful look at what it means for a mother to share her own beliefs about women’s equality with the next generation of daughters,” Kettler says.

“The Pajama Diaries,” by Terri Libenson (KFS 2018/)

In the multigenerational spirit of that strip, the campaign aims to “share messages of strength and confidence with young women around the world.”

A few creators, Kettler notes, were already planning to mark International Women’s Day in their features.

The rotating roster of talent behind the feature “Six Chix” — Isabella Bannerman, Benita Epstein, Martha Gradisher, Susan Camilleri Konar, Mary Lawton, and Stephanie Piro — devoted a week of comics to addressing a range of themes. And “Curtis” creator Ray Billingsley wrote a special weeklong arc featuring the title character’s kind young friend named Chutney.

“Curtis,” by Ray Billingsey (KFS 2018/)

The campaign’s participating comics include Alex Hallatt’s “Arctic Circle,” Hilary Price and Rina Piccolo’s “Rhymes With Orange,” Patrick McDonnell’s “Mutts” and Dan Piraro’s “Bizarro.”

“I’m the mother of three girls — now young women — and there is an unending opportunity to surface issues for discussion that matter to us as women in general,” Kettler says. “Humor, especially, in the way that comics reflect our current culture, is a particularly heartfelt way to bring certain topics into a conversation that may otherwise be buried or avoided.”

Read more:

Why the new graphic novel ‘Brazen’ is a highly inspiring Women’s Day read


Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the Comic Riffs column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Washington Post's Book World.

Post Recommends
Outbrain

Comic Riffs

Many cartoonists join forces to mark International Women’s Day through art

By Michael Cavna

March 8, 2018 at 8:30 AM

“Six Chix,” by Susan Camilleri Konar (KFS 2018/)

CAST YOUR eyes across many of King Features’ comic strips and you’ll see a theme: The syndicate encouraged cartoonists to draw whatever moved them in the spirit of International Women’s Day.

We're glad you're enjoying The Washington Post.

Get access to this story, and every story, on the web and in our apps with our Basic Digital subscription.

Already a subscriber?

Secure & Encrypted