Well gang, Heather Mcadams is alive and well and still making art in Chicago. I already knew that, but I didn’t quite know WHAT she was doing and man alive she’s doing A LOT.
Two of you were kind to do more sleuthing on your own and found an e-mail address in an odd corner of the internet for Heather and sent it to me (thank you Robyn & Rebecca!). I was nervous as heck to write her because it wasn’t like she was advertising her e-mail anywhere and I didn’t want to come off as a crazy stalker. I hesitated for about a second and then thought the magic words *What*the*Hell* and e-mailed her. My intention was to see if she was still making comics and if there was anyway I could HELP her get more visibility. In these comics loving times, when her contemporaries are being celebrated for their groundbreaking work, it genuinely seems odd to me that her name is not thrown around more.
I am so happy to say she wrote me back and sent me some examples of her more current work–and gave me permission to show it off. Continue reading →
In search of autobiographical comics, I recently stumbled upon the work of Heather McAdams, a Chicago based cartoonist (filmmaker & artist as well) I adored in the late 90’s, but had forgotten about. Upon rediscovering her work, I immediately remembered what I loved–the folk art feel of her lines and the zany, sometimes dark humor. So much of the autobiographical work I read (and make) these days takes itself SO SERIOUSLY, I forgot how there was a strain of autobiographical comics in the 80’s and 90’s that could be dark and yet have a delightful artistic wackiness. Her drawing style makes me remember the thrift stores I went to as a kid, filled with country LPs and wood paneling on the walls.
Trying to find more of her work has been a bit of a sleuthing project, as she has no current internet presence at all, except for some breadcrumbs here and there from 2013 and back. She used to make a country calendar every year and (I think) has gone on to make An Everything But Country Calendar–though where you would buy this, I haven’t a clue. (Heather, if you are reading this–please set up a shop somewhere on line–I would buy your wares!) I ordered her fantastic (out of print) book Cartoon Girl and have been learning a lot from it. Why she is not more known or appreciated is beyond me. I may have to go to Chicago and track her down. I’ve been having fantasies of going out to breakfast or thrift store shopping with her so we can draw together. You never know. It could happen, right?