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‘Part’ of life: Cartoonist brings her graphic memoir to festival

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She’s drawn out her journey.

A Williamsburg artist will discuss her latest cartoon autobiography during the Comic Arts Brooklyn festival at Pratt Institute on Nov. 11. The author and illustrator of “Part of It: Comics and Confessions,” says that her fifth graphic novel will take readers on a journey from her formative years in California to landing in Kings County.

“My new book is a collection of comics I’ve been working on for the past decade or so, some written in my early 20s, some written in the past year,” said Ariel Schrag, who has been drawing stories about her life since she was in high school. “I was working consistently on these short comics since my high school series was published, and now I had enough material where I felt ready to put out the book.”

Schrag, who has also written for the popular Showtime series “The L Word,” and just finished her second prose novel, says that she never took a break from loving comics.

“I was never really away from comics,” she said. “My comic work is all autobiogra­phical.”

Her new book features cartoon anecdotes from her childhood, as well as stories about moving to the Big Apple, friends, dating, school, and notably, visits to numerous glasses stores, she said.

“There’s a long comic about glasses,” said Schrag. “I visit many different glasses stores across the Bay Area, Maine, and New York City, and then also a long story about teaching, when I was an after-school teacher at a middle school, and that takes place in New York.”

Brooklyn makes plenty of cameos in the new book, said Schrag.

“I wouldn’t say that Brooklyn is a huge emphasis, it appears in the background of stories,” she said.

Schrag will discuss her graphic memoir and her writing career with scholar Hillary Chute at the Brooklyn festival, which will bring hundreds of indie cartoonists to the borough for the day. Schrag has enjoyed visiting Comics Arts Brooklyn in previous years as a guest, and says that she appreciates its dedication to independent comics.

“It’s a great festival,” she said. “A lot of cartoonists I love will be there. It reminds me of the independent comic festivals I would go to when I was younger — all independent and alternative.”

Comic Arts Brooklyn at Pratt Activities Resource Center (395 Dekalb Ave. near Steuben Street in Clinton Hill, www.comicartsbrooklyn.com). Nov. 11; 11 am–7 pm. Free.

Ariel Schrag speaks with Hillary Chute in Classroom E02 at 5 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Posted 12:00 am, November 9, 2018
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