I started making resolutions as a sullen 11-year-old, whose life could not have been farther from her desires. In my head, I was an artist and writer, drinking bitter coffee in Europe, filling my sketchbooks with the world. My reality was mostly spent in in-school suspension. To keep sane, I began notebooks, full of lists — of languages I’d learn, places I’d go and ways I’d do my hair, once I was out in the vast world beyond childhood.
–Molly Crabapple, A List Maker Attempts the Impossible. New York Times, Dec 30, 2015
I worked on this damn book for two years. It was the hardest, most miserable, isolating, troll-beast making work of my life, but damn.. I killed that word beast dead and now am standing on its suddenly beautiful corpse and I’ll say it.
I wrote a book. 90,000 words. 100+ new drawings. Its out in the world. Its in Athens, Paris, Tehran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, London, The Mechanics Society Library and Chess Room of San Francisco and the Federal Prison System.
I don’t even care if it’s not cool or humble. The book took everything in me. I’m fucking proud.
Typically, by the end of the year I don’t remember much of what happened. Too much work makes time go fast. These blog posts are a sort of reminder that things happened, art got made, whisky drank, dawns met from both sides. Here’s some stuff I did.
I collaborated with Marwan Hisham, a young Syrian journalist, on pieces from Aleppo and Mosul. The first won a Front Page Award
With my friends at the Karam Foundation, covered a refugee school’s library in Reyhanli with swarms of cats. Karam has been doing brave, vital work with Syrian refugees for years. I’m honored to know them
Just a reminder: we’re kicking off the West Coast tour TOMORROW December 14th at the Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, Washington. Molly will be speaking starting at 7pm and will stick around to sign books and schmooze.
and immediately after – for all you LA residents – Molly will be at The Last Bookstore on Tuesday December 15th at 7pm. This event will feature her in conversation with author Laila Lalami, writer of “The Moor’s Account“.
We’re voracious readers (Molly is a book hoarder extraordinaire) and with that comes the need to find good places to read. We all have our favorites: Molly’s seems to be being curled up like a cat in the corner of her couch, the light from her large dusty windows illuminating the pages.
Where are you going to read your copy of Drawing Blood? In your favorite chair? At a coffee shop? On a bench overlooking the Seine? (If the last: we’re completely green with envy)
We’re holding a contest: anytime this week tell us on twitter where you plan on reading Drawing Blood (bonus points for photos) and hashtag your tweet #ReadingDrawingBlood. We’ll go through and pick our favorites and send one lucky winner a limited edition, signed and numbered giclee print from the book.
This has been an amazing whirlwind of a week. Drawing Blood hit shelves this Tuesday and its been non-stop from there. We had THREE consecutive events in New York, tons of interviews that will be coming out next week, and a press blast full of effusive praise. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites below and encourage you to check them out. We’ll keep you updated as more come out.
AND a shameless last plug: if these reviews haven’t convinced you that Drawing Blood is actually super really an amazing book and thrilling read – I’m not sure what more you need. A cookie? Sorry. Wish we could.
Still one more shameless plug: the above image is an illustration from the book (because hell yes absinthe is an amazing wonderful beverage) and we’ve made it available as a beautiful giclee print in our store. Please check it out along with other images from the book that we’ve made available there.
Every god needs his priesthoods, his churches, his taboos, his talismans. We stood amidst them in Ataturk Airport, with its customs agents, gates, and scanners, holding our passports like supplicants awaiting an audience with the divine. My friend and I hugged goodbye. I waited on the long lines for security that he could not pass through. After I crossed to the other side, he texted me to wish me a safe flight.
-Molly Crabapple, VICE: The Paris Attacks, Refugees, and the Brutal Fiction of Borders, 11/19/2015
Drawing Blood is going to be in stores in 17 short days!
After two years of arduous typing and drawing, Drawing Blood is finally really real: a beautiful, physical, hard cover book that you’ll be able to find at any bookstore in the country or anywhere online.
On December 1st Drawing Blood will be released (unleashed?) out into the world and we’re going to take the whole of December to celebrate!
If you can’t make it to any of these events, we’ll miss you, but you can still get a signed copy. For all pre-orders between now and December 1st we’ll be giving away free signed bookplates that fit right into the inside cover of the book. Buy the book now from your favorite retailer and then fill out this form: https://t.co/b1UT15IOTH. Come December we’ll send the signed sticker to you just in time for it to arrive alongside your “inspiring, intimate and just a bit intimidating” * new book.
Molly will be giving away and signing prints of the A.C.A.B. illustration (featured in her upcoming book Drawing Blood). These will be given out exclusively to those who have pre-ordered the book already (bring your receipts!). It’s not too late either, you can still pre-order online at any of the links below.
So if you’re in the neighborhood for Comic-Con, be sure to come by and visit the Harper Collins booth October 10th at 2pm.
Prints are limited so be sure to arrive promptly!
“On April 28, 2010, in the Restricted Housing Unit of Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institution at Dallas, Carrington Keys heard his friend Isaac Sanchez scream. Like Sanchez, Keys had spent years locked in the “hole.” It had been years since he’d hugged his mom. Years confined to a filthy box, drinking rust-brown water, enduring beatings by guards. Years beneath a fluorescent light that never went off, freezing in winter, smothering in summer’s heat, the sole window to a bare hallway covered with Plexiglas. Years in which each day dragged the same as the last, their monotony punctuated only by explosions of violence.”
–Molly Crabapple, What Happens When Inmates in Solitary Confinement Blow the Whistle on Their Abuse? October 5, 2015
These are new illustrations Molly has produced to accompany the article “In The Court of Purity”, published in the most recent issue of the Index on Censorship. For the full article and more pick up a copy of the magazine online on itunes, amazon, or google play, or at your local retailer.
From the article:
One day in 1934, a middle aged man woke up from a terrible nightmare in the crimson-coloured bedroom of an old Istanbul mansion. For what felt like an interminable length of time he dreamt about a dark court of law that was filled with dozens of prisoners who looked at him with an
expression of sad desperation in their coal-black eyes. In the dream, he was a Great Judge to whom was given the power to kill or save those sickly men. Prisoners were placed inside large metal cages at the centre of the court room. He could see their long, untrimmed beards and yellow
faces; their claw-like hands reached out from the cages and their wet palms were visible from the podium where he sat. Their voices, in contrast, was incomprehensible to him —just a murmur filling the room and spiralling out from the cage, spelling out a message that was inaudible but no doubt addressed to him. From behind the group of prisoners he discerned a figure who eyed him with an intensity that sent shivers down his spine. Dressed in a blinding bright red uniform, this man moved his hands self-assuredly and was certainly a man of previous, recently lost authority. He looked at this glowing prisoner in awe and fear and felt, on his shoulders, the responsibility of deciding his fate — whether he should be saved or perish was entirely left to him. But before he could say or do anything, guards appeared in four corners of the court room. They approached the cage, entered it, brought the red coloured prisoner out, placed a piece of cloth around his head and took him away.
Molly was interviewed this week by PBS Newshour regarding her work with Marwan Hisham in Syria.
People live lives, even in war zones. Sometimes, when we just see photos of atrocity, we forget that these are humans in that atrocity, who scam and love and watch satellite TV and buy vegetables at the market and love their kids. Me and Marwan tried to show daily life, real life, of which war was a part but not the whole.
–Molly, Illustrator Documents Syrian Life Under ISIL Rule, September 24th 2015
If you happen to be in NYC this weekend, consider joining us to celebrate the opening of Power, Protest, and Resistance: The Art of Revolution at the Skylight Gallery. The originals of Molly’s ‘Can You See the New World Through The Teargas’ and ‘We Will Vote’ will be on view for the first time ever.
Opening Reception: Saturday, Sept 25 6-8pm
Bed Stuy Restoration Corp.
1368 Fulton St. 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11216
Curated by Che Baraka. Show will be on view until Nov. 8th 2015. See images below for more information.
In the first of a series of posts leading up to the release of Molly’s upcoming memoir, Drawing Blood, we’d like to share with you an image from the book with some of the accompanying text:
We walked through the frozen streets to the Oum Kalsoum Cafe. Over hookahs and sticky sahleb, we decided to catch a bus to the south of France. On a cold Parisian night, whimsy can pass for magic. We found a town too small to have ATMs. The sole hotel had decorated its reception room with butterflies in glass boxes. Above one, the proprietor had written,
“I am sorry. I used to do this but no longer. You’re more beautiful when you are living.”*
–Drawing Blood (Chapter 4) by Molly Crabapple
Butterflies is available in the shop as a 8.5 x 22 giclee print for a limited time.
Drawing Blood will be out December 1st 2015. You can pre-order your copy now through our new Book Page.
*Je suis désolé, Je ne fais plus ça. Vous êtes plus belle lorsque vous êtes en vie
“Old Hebron is honey-stoned and blue-doored—the sort of charming Mediterranean labyrinth that, in another universe, would be full of obnoxious tour groups. But thanks to the occupation, it’s scarred by gates, concrete barriers, barbed wire, and checkpoints. A souk where gold was once sold lies empty, the doors of its many shops welded shut by the IDF, its merchandise still inside.”
“The Oppresive Architecture of the West Bank” – Molly Crabapple. VICE
Yesterday, the widely read Italian newspaper, La Lettura, republished an open letter Molly had written to Lena Dunham, in response to her signing of a petition against Amnesty Internationals recommendations to decriminalize sex work.
As a benefit and tribute to the late comic book writer/photographer Seth Kushner, a set of 13 collectors’ cards have been published to benefit Seth’s wife and son. Each card features one of his portraits of top New York City creators like Molly, Neil Gaiman, Art Spiegelman, Scott McCloud, and Chris Ware. The cards retail for $15 a pack, and $25 for a pack with a single creator signature.
“The Syrian air force has a habit of following their first barrel bomb with a second. People say this is to kill first responders. (The government still denies that it uses barrel bombs.)
Despite this, the crowd did not run away. They dug in the rubble with their bare hands—old men, Civil Defense volunteers, and militants alike—all except the media activists shooting video. When they found a victim, they gathered to help snatch them out, screaming “Allahu Akbar” as they did. Once they laid the victim in an ambulance, they began to dig again.”
“Scenes from Inside Aleppo: How Life Has Been Transformed by Rebel Rule” – written by Marwan Hisham, illustrated by Molly Crabapple. Vanity Fair
The elaborate mythology of racial difference created to sustain American slavery persists today. Slavery did not end in 1865, it evolved. #SlaveryEvolved
The legacy of slavery can be seen in the presumption of guilt and dangerousness assigned to African Americans, especially young men and boys, the racial profiling and mistreatment that presumption creates, and the racial dynamics of mass incarceration.
EJI’s Race and Poverty project explores racial history and attempts to deepen our understanding of the legacy of racial injustice. By telling the truth about our past, EJI believes we can create a different, healthier discourse about race in America.
More information here: http://www.eji.org/raceandpoverty