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RESIST! is a woman’s resistance zine in times of bigotry

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zine RESIST! is a free 40-page tabloid newspaper of political comics and graphics by mostly female artists. It is edited by Françoise Mouly, art editor of The New Yorker, and writer Nadja Spiegelman. “During our open call for submissions at the end of 2016, we received over 1,000 images from artists across the country and the world. The printed paper is a distillation of that powerful collective female voice and an affirmation of all we stand for: unity, diversity, and creativity. It was distributed at Women’s Marches across the country on Jan 21, 2017” say the women behind this zine that calls on action. And it all started with a man. “Against the backdrop of the #J20 art strike, free museum programming on January 20, and millions of people joining the Women’s March on Washington and solidarity marches across the world, Gabe Fowler, owner of the Williamsburg, Brooklyn, comics shop Desert Island, decided to devote a special issue of his comics newspaper, Smoke Signal, to women’s voices” reports HyperAllergic.


RESIST!, the special issue of Gabe Fowler’s Smoke Signal

“Watching the election results tally up in the early hours of November 9, Fowler decided he had to take immediate action. ‘Gender issues were in front of this whole election’ he told me. Doing an issue of Smoke Signal that focused on women’s voices seemed the best way to respond; But I am still a man doing an issue on women’s voices — how do I get myself out of the way? Then I thought of having a guest editor for the first time. And if I could have anyone, the dream would be Françoise.” With a little prodding but very little convincing, Françoise Mouly agreed to compile and edit the collection, with the help of her daughter, author Nadja Spiegelman. As Mouly explains in the forward to the paper, “The proposal felt right, a call to action, irresistible.”

Mouly and her daughter, Spiegelman, edited this feminist collection of comics and illustrations on the theme of “political resistance to the forces of intolerance”. Aptly named RESIST! the zine was printed at 58,000 copies and distributed on January 20th, Donald Trump’s inauguration day, for free by a grassroots network of volunteers also during the Women’s Marches across the country.


Work by Amy Camber (top) and Sophia Zarders (bottom) in RESIST!

“The zine was able to expand beyond Gabe Fowler’s original grant thanks to a generous donation from Mitch Berger and from thousands of supporters who sent in money or pre-ordered copies through our website. All of the time and labor that has gone into this project has been and continues to be offered on a volunteer basis and all of the artists have contributed their work without monetary compensation. A print artifact first and foremost Mouly’s RESIST! was inspired by the French satire magazines, Hara-Kiri, and Charlie Hebdo” reports FastCompany.

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency the publication received an overwhelming number of submissions, “500 or so in the first week”, including images from Julie Wilson, Ellis Rosen, Nelleke Verhoeff, Tatiana Gill, Sophia Zarders, Anna Christine, Valerie Schrag, Teresa Roberts Logan, and Margaret de Heer.


Work by Anne Jordan in RESIST!

As the JTA points out, “the idea was to only accept submissions from women and focus on women’s issues. The team has since broadened its scope — they are accepting submissions from men as well, but issues of female concern remain a dominant theme.” Many of the cartoons feature the tenuous future of Planned Parenthood (and Womankind). Worth mentioning is that when the submissions were separated “by gender — the female artists tended to include drawings of women, while the male artists tended to include an image of Trump.”

“I think women’s voices will be his downfall,” says Mouly to New York. “It’s much easier to unite people against something. It’s the cheapest and most effective trick in the book, and it’s the one Trump uses. It’s much harder, but ultimately the only solution, to define what we stand for. So it was gratifying to see the voices that came back to us were not so much a denunciation of Trump as an affirmation of the alternative.”

Collectable copies of this artefact are carried at comic book shops and bookstores throughout the country while supplies last.

More info here.


Spread from RESIST!


Work by Linda Medley in RESIST!


Spread from RESIST!


Work by Jess Hutchinson in RESIST!


Work by Kristen Radtke in RESIST!


Spread from RESIST!


Work by Caitlin Keegan in RESIST! (Αll photos by Megan N. Liberty, Hyperallergic)