To the Comic Drawn

“The quickest way to drive yourself insane is to work at home,” says Julia Wertz. Which is why, in January 2010, she and a few other cartoonists formed Pizza Island, an all-female cartoonists’ collective based in a Greenpoint studio. The six members will be speaking on a panel at this weekend’s Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art’s annual festival, a historically male-heavy event featuring small presses, independent comics, and emerging artists. No doubt they will be stressing the joys of working en masse: “Getting inspired by what the others do,” says Lisa Hanawalt, “getting input on things I’m struggling with and, most important, making a lot of really stupid jokes.” We asked each for a self-portrait and to give thoughts about their co-Islanders.

Julia Wertz Age: 28.
Published works: The Fart Party, Vols. 1 and 2 (Atomic Books); Drinking at the Movies (Three Rivers Press).
Style: Autobiographical diaries on everything from what she thinks about in the shower to moving from San Francisco to New York.
Sarah on Julia: “She transforms mundane interaction into something hilarious and unique.”

Lisa Hanawalt Age: 27.
Published works: I Want You #1 (Buenaventura Press) and #2 (Pigeon Press); monthly strip for The Believer.
Style: “Narrative art and jokey lists of things, usually combinations of what I find funny and disturbing with what’s just plain fun to draw, like car wrecks!”
Sarah on Lisa: “I don’t know what’s going on in that sweet, twisted brain of hers, but I want to go there on vacation.”

Sarah Glidden Age: 30.
Graphic work: How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less (Vertigo); working on a comic about Iraqi refugees in Damascus.
Style: Politically inflected journals. “I’ve gotten addicted to watercolor lately. I’m not sure I can do black-and-white comics anymore.”
Domitille on Sarah: “Her work is smart, witty, generous, and genuine.”

Domitille Collardey Age: 30.
Published works: Two books in French; comics in McSweeney’s; her next project is “Wreckhall Abbey,” about a British girls’ boarding school.
Style: “Definitely fiction.”
Kate on Domitille: “Her drawings are charming, inviting, and effortless. She’s secretly the most talented. If she did more work in English, I’d be out of work, probably.”

Meredith Gran Age: 26.
Published works: Web comic “Octopus Pie,” self-published in three volumes; Octopus Pie: There Are No Stars in Brooklyn (Villard).
Style: Stories of funny, relatable Brooklyn-dwelling twentysomethings”like her.
Sarah on Meredith: “She’s a comics machine”a full team of artists in one. Her line control is inspiring, yet her work has great movement.”

To the Comic Drawn