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Jessica Abel
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commander-in-chief at artbabe dot com
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http://www.jessicaabel.com

sProfile created May 26, 2009
  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond (2008) with Matt Madden
    Drawing Words and Writing Pictures is a course on comic creation – for college classes or for independent study – that centers on storytelling and concludes with making a finished comic. With chapters on lettering, story structure, and panel layout, the fifteen lessons offered – each complete with homework, extra credit activities and supplementary reading suggestions – provide a solid introduction for people interested in making their own comics. Additional resources, lessons, and after-class help are available on the accompanying website, www.dw-wp.com.

  • La Perdida (2008)
    From the Harvey and Lulu award–winning creator of Artbabe comes this riveting story of a young woman’s misadventures in Mexico City. Carla, an American estranged from her Mexican father, heads to Mexico City to “find herself.” She crashes with a former fling, Harry, who has been drinking his way through the capital in the great tradition of his heroes, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Harry is good—humored about Carla’s reappearance on his doorstep—until he realizes that Carla, who spends her days soaking in the city, exploring Frida Kahlo’s house, and learning Spanish, has no intention of leaving.

    When Harry and Carla’s relationship of mutual tolerance reaches its inevitable end, she rejects his world of Anglo expats for her own set of friends: pretty-boy Oscar, who sells pot and dreams of being a DJ, and charismatic Memo, a left-wing, pseudo–intellectual ladies’ man. Determined to experience the real Mexico, Carla turns a blind eye to her new friends’ inconsistencies. But then she catches the eye of a drug don, el Gordo, and from that moment on her life gets a lot more complicated, and she is forced to confront the irreparable consequences of her willful innocence.

    Jessica Abel’s evocative black–and–white drawings and creative mix of English and Spanish bring Mexico City’s past and present to life, unfurling Carla’s dark history against the legacies of Burroughs and Kahlo. A story about the youthful desire to live an authentic life and the consequences of trusting easy answers, La Perdida–at once grounded in the particulars of life in Mexico and resonantly universal–is a story about finding oneself by getting lost.

  • Life Sucks (2008) by Gabriel Soria and Jessica Abel with Warren Pleece, Illustrator
    Life sucks for Dave Marshall.

    The girl he’s in love with doesn’t know he exists, he hates his job, and ever since his boss turned him into a vampire, he can’t go out in daylight without starting to charbroil.

    Undead life in its uncoolest incarnation yet is on display in this cinematic, supernatural drama told with gallons of humor and hemoglobin. In striking, colorful, B-movie sty;e artwork and light-hearted, intelligent writing by Jessica Abel, Gabe Soria, and Warren Pleece, Dave Marshall’s story comes alive – in a vampiric kind of way.

  • Soundtrack: Short Stories '90-'96 (2002)

  • Mirror, Window (An Artbabe Collection) (2000)

  • Radio: An Illustrated Guide (1999) by Ira Glass and Jessica Abel
    Radio: An Illustrated Guide is a comic book that explains how to make a radio program. Specifically, it explains how to make the public radio program This American Life. In comic book form, the producers of This American Life explain how to find a story, how to do an interview, how to edit sound, how to write for radio and how to mix a radio story. It also explains how the narrative structure of a radio story works, and how it's different from other kinds of stories. This American Life is the most popular documentary program on American radio, with a weekly audience of over a million listeners, on more than 380 public radio stations nationwide. It's produced at WBEZ Chicago and distributed by Public Radio International.

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