Originally posted on Ladydrawers At Internet Dot Com:


The Ladydrawers documentary Comics Undressed.

Come check it out, share it with your friends and fund our project!


View original


Spring is coming, which means things are about to start growing again. In Illinois, the growing season for fruits and vegetables runs from March through November, so it’s just beginning. As a fan of farmers markets and canning/preserving, it’s good to know when produce is in its peak season.

I came across a couple good calendars on the ‘net (you can find one for each state at pickyourown.org), but none of them were printer friendly – so I made my own!

Crop Harvest Calendar.xls

Crop Harvest Calendar for Illinois


Click the link below for a printable version:

Crop Harvest Calendar PDF

Weather can always affect growing seasons, but this is a good general rule-of-thumb chart. I tacked mine to the fridge so I can check it before heading to the market.

Happy harvesting!

old diary #2


April 9, 1994

Dear Diary,
I still haven’t figured out why it smells like cow manure when it’s warm.


old diary #1


I will list all the stupid boys in my third grade class. Jared! Jeremy! David! David! David! Nick! Kevin! Edgar! Matt! Matt! Kyle! Eric! Steven! Rob! Jimmy!

Back in January, I had the honor of performing at the bi-monthly comix reading series, Brain Frame. In collaboration with Sara Rougeau, I put together a slide show about the menstrual cycle that was styled after The Magic School Bus series.

Based on information from my book, Cycling: A Guide to Menstruation, we performed with the slide show as our backdrop:

Laura Szumowski, drawing on her book Cycling and dressed as Miss Frizzle, takes us on the Magic School Bus through the female reproductive system, with help from passengers Sara Rene, James Tadd Adcox, Michael Morril, and Jennifer Buchko, at Brain Frame 4 on January 19th, 2012.

It was a lot of fun, but also a surprising amount of work to put this performance together. I will forever appreciate the performances I see in the future. The adaptation from book to live performance required a script, props, an illustrated slide show with all new artwork, and faithful friends to pull it off (and many meetings over coffee between Sara and myself). It also reminded me why I prefer a quiet, secluded drawing table to the stage.

And now the slide show, for your viewing and learning pleasure!

The Magic School Bus: Cycling with Ms. Frizzle

(The Magic School Bus theme song plays.)

In the classroom, students talk amongst themselves. Ms. Frizzle enters and explains that today is another field trip! The students grab their coats and hop on the bus.

Ms. Frizzle and her class (and the bus) shrink down to miniature size.

The class arrives inside the ovary. Ms. Frizzle explains that the human ovary is the size of an unshelled almond.

“Ovaries are where eggs come from. They’re tiny sacks that hold egg follicles, and right now a bunch of follicles are maturing…”

Look, the bus is a follicle! The other follicles are being absorbed by the ovary– it looks like the bus has been selected to mature into an egg.

The bus is getting bigger and bigger, and its cells are secreting estrogen. This creates a thick, nourishing lining inside the uterus.

Suddenly… POP!

The bus pops into the fallopian tube. This is ovulation!

The bus makes its way down the fallopian tube, as the walls of the tube flex and microscopic hairs push it along. The bus is en route to the uterus!

The bus pops into the uterus! But then…

The bus changes…

…and is no longer an egg! Why? Because the unfertilized egg only lives for 12-24 hours. After that, it disintegrates in the uterus and flows out unnoticed.

Around the bus, along the walls of the uterus, are weird worm-looking things. These are special arteries that provide blood to the uterus, and a healthy place for a fertilized egg to grow.

Hey, the arteries are closing up! The uterine lining is done growing now, and it’s getting ready to shed.

Uh oh, cramps!


…and more cramps!

Luckily, there are lots of helpful things we can do: drink chamomile tea to help relax the uterus, increase iron intake with beets and carrots, or practice yoga. Ah, looks like everything is back in balance!

And now it’s time for us to go with the flow!

(Excerpt from The Magic School Bus: At the Waterworks.)


If you’d like to view the full performance, the recording is posted on Vimeo.

Mark Brand has put out a new book over at Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, and it’s all about sleep – or rather, a lack thereof. If you’ve ever worked the nine to five grind, you’ll surely find this a stirring and thought-provoking read.

It is the day after tomorrow, and a device has been invented that immediately induces REM sleep, otherwise known as “Sleep” with a capital S. Society has been transformed. The average person now only needs two hours of rest a night. The work day is officially sixteen hours long. Americans party at clubs until daybreak, then log into virtual worlds and party in a reunified Korea all morning too. And within this busier, noisier, more global society, we watch the intertwining fates of four people as they struggle with issues regarding Sleep: new parents who for postnatal reasons aren’t allowed to use their special Beds; an Iraq vet and PTSD victim who is haunted by the non-ending nightmares that Sleep produces; a harried, arrogant doctor whose Bed has stopped working, driving him to the brink of madness; and a band promoter with an illegal Bed that lets her Sleep for hours on end, then stay up for four straight days and nights.

Chicago science-fiction veteran and former medical assistant Mark R. Brand presents a stunning and nuanced look at the world that might await us just around the corner. Rich in its prose and deep in its metaphor, you don’t have to be a fan of sci-fi, Michael Crichton, or Malcolm Gladwell to love Life After Sleep.

Mark R. Brand is a Chicago-based science-fiction author and the online short fiction editor of Silverthought Press. He is the author of three novels, The Damnation of Memory (2011), Life After Sleep (2011), and Red Ivy Afternoon (2006), and he is the editor of the collection Thank You Death Robot (2009), named a Chicago Author favorite by the Chicago Tribune and recipient of the Silver medal 2009 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) in the category of Science Fiction and Fantasy. He is the producer and host of Breakfast With the Author and lives in Evanston, IL with his wife and son. Find him online at www.markrbrand.com.

Originally posted on Ladydrawers At Internet Dot Com:

Wow, it’s been such a big day at Ladydrawers HQ. First WAM! Writes a totally sweet blog post about our work, then we launch a fundraising campaign to fund our next book! (Above is an artists’ rendering ONLY. Not indicative of actual book. Except the cat. And maybe the amaze-lines coming from it?)

First, the WAM! niceness: Noting that, despite equal submission rates, men are published more often than female and trans creators, the blog post gives a nod to our latest Ladydrawers strip on Truthout, and then lists some other great folk involved in the Adventure School and cool feminist web comics all over the US.

Boyett, Dahm, and Moore use the same medium from which women and transgender people are underrepresented. And their strip looks pretty amazing. Not to mention that it’s full of cool statistics from … a collective that researches and publishes comics and texts about the…

View original 108 more words

I’ve been making the rounds promoting The New York Stories, a book I illustrated last fall. It was a really fun project, involving 40 illustrations for a collection of short stories by author Ben Tanzer.

The (virtual) book tour is stopping at a bunch of great blogs- here’s the rundown:

Another Chicago Magazine
The Next Best Book
Baby Got Books
The World’s First Author
Artifice Magazine
Vinnie the Vole
Untoward Magazine
Big Other
David David Katzman
Orange Alert Reading Series

Below are some of the illustrations for The New York Stories:

I also put together a video about my studio. Have a look!

If you’d like to see more of the NYS illustrations, you can find them here. (Note: click on the brown cover in the upper left.)


Julia V. Hendrickson does a great interview. Here are some questions she asked about my recent project illustrating The New York Stories by Ben Tanzer.

Originally posted on Artifice Blog:

Artifice loves it when our friends get up to interesting projects, and we especially love projects that include non-traditional book tours, fantastic illustrations, and a weird, dark sense of humor. This post concludes a month of virtual book tours for The New York Stories, which is a collection by Ben Tanzer, illustrated by Laura Szumowski. The New York Stories was recently published by the Chicago Center for Literature & Photography (CCLaP) as a hand-bound, special edition (vellum illustration pages, faux-suede covers, and external Coptic stitching, oh my!), available now for $50.

The type for The New York Stories is creatively laid out in a condensed square format, with the text running like a magazine: two justified columns set close together. Szumowski’s illustrations leading into the stories are apt, tone-setting introductions to Tanzer’s acerbic, dark texts. Kids watch Mermaids and get into trouble, while adults ignore their problems at…

View original 1,869 more words

I’ve been using Pinterest since last August to keep track of awesome things happening on the ‘net. Yes, I have a weakness for recipes and d.i.y. projects that will never happen, but I’ve also made use of the site for gathering artwork, resources, books, articles, projects > things I would normally lose track of.


Here are some of my favorite things I’ve come across recently:

1.) 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader

This is a pretty solid list compiled by Bitch Magazine. It includes one of my old favorites, Dealing with Dragons. You can also find a similar list, organized by Jessica Stites of Ms. Magazine, on Goodreads.

2.) Get Hired.

What I (the Interviewer) am Really Trying to Figure Out:

This is an AMAZING post by Liz Fosslien illustrating her advice for job interviews. It’s very smart and the advice is excellent, I cannot recommend it enough. If you’re ever planning to interview for a job, read it.

3.) Skylight Books

Skylight is an independent bookstore in LA. Apart from their selection of zines and graphic novels, I love how the website has hand-drawn versions of bestselling titles. It kind of puts everything on the same level, and I love that. [Check out their ‘Contact Us’ page for consignment info!]

4.) Free Yoga Chicago

Free Yoga Chicago is a directory of free or discounted yoga classes in Chicago. (Yoga typically ranges from $12-$18, yikes!) It has extensive listings for several $ categories: free and suggested donation classes, new student specials, free events, and $10 classes.

5.) Airbrush

Keep an eye out, it’s coming back!

More picks coming soon!  Check out my Pinterest for more awesome stuff (and jam recipes).


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 115 other followers