The Two Guys talk with a lot of comics creators about their craft, their ideas, and their passions. But they never really talk with them about their health. On this interview episode, Gene and Derek have as their guest an artist who is all about health and well-being. Kriota Willberg, whose new book Draw Stronger: Self-Care For Cartoonists and Other Visual Artists (Uncivilized Books) was released last month, discusses her experiences in health care, her years as a massage therapist, and how it all informs her creative trajectory. Draw Stronger is a text targeted to visual artists who work within fine and detailed contexts, and it provides helpful means to avoid pain and address the kind of physical practices that will best nurture creativity. The book is divided into three sections, revealing the basics of creative self-care, exercises that target a variety of body movements, and useful first aid to address stress and pain while waiting to visit a health professional. Over the course of their conversation, Kriota discusses the genesis of this project in her minicomics, the ways in which humor informs her approach, the vast research that went into this guide, and how her work in bioethics has impacted her comics.
Hazel Newlevant is an artist and editor, known for their graphic novella Sugar Town, which they call “a queer poly rom-com,” as well as Tender-Hearted, winner of the 2017 Ignatz Award for outstanding minicomic. In 2016 the Two Guys discussed Hazel’s edited collection, Chainmail Bikini, an anthology of comics by and about women games released in 2016, and for which Hazel served as editor. Earlier this year they have had two other collections where they served as co-editor: Puerto Rico Strong, released in March by Lion Forge, and Comics for Choice: Illustrated Abortion Stories, History, and Politics, an anthology of comics about abortion and reproductive rights published by Alternative Comics. During this interview, Derek talks with Hazel primarily about Comics for Choice, but they also discuss some of their other work as well, including their many efforts as an editor within the comics industry.