IT'S AJUAN MANCE AND MARINAOMI!!!!!
Ajuan Mance is a Professor of African American literature at Mills College and a lifelong artist and writer. Ajuan's comics and zines include Gender Studies, an autobiographical comic series that follows her adventures as a Black, genderqueer nerd; The Little Book of Big, Black Bears, a tribute to African American men in the bear community; A Blues for Black Santa, a humorous appeal for recognition from Black Santa himself, told in rhyme; and the 1001 Black Men series, featuring images from the online sketchbook of the same name. Ajuan has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as comic and zine fests, from the Bay Area to Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in a number of publications, including, most recently, Cog, Transition, and Mission at Tenth. Both her scholarly writings and her comics and zines explore the relationship between race, gender, and representation, specifically as it applies to people of African descent in the U.S., she is partly inspired by her teaching and research in the related fields of U.S. Black literature and history. She is the author of two books on the history of African-American writers. They are: Inventing Black Women: African American Women’s Poetry and Self-Representation, 1877-2000; and Before Harlem: An Anthology of African-American Literature from the Long Nineteenth Century, both from the University of Tennessee Press.
MariNaomi has been making memoir comics since 1997. She's the author and illustrator of the SPACE Prize-winning Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22 (Harper Perennial, 2011), the Eisner-nominatedDragon's Breath and Other True Stories(2dcloud/Uncivilized Books, 2014), critically acclaimedTurning Japanese (2dcloud, 2016), the upcoming I Thought You Hated Me (Retrofit Comics, 2016), and her self-published Estrus Comics (1998 to 2009). Her work has appeared in over sixty print publications and has been featured on numerous websites, such as The Rumpus, The Weeklings, LA Review of Books, Midnight Breakfast, Truth-out, XOJane, Buzzfeed, PEN America and more. Mari's work on the Rumpus won a SPACE Prize and an honorable mention in Houghton Mifflin's Best American Comics 2013.
MariNaomi's comics and paintings have been featured in such institutions as the De Young Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco's Asian American Museum, and the Japanese American Museums in Los Angeles and San Jose. In 2011, Mari toured with the literary roadshow Sister Spit. She is the creator and curator of theCartoonists of Color Database and the Queer Cartoonists Database.
We'll be announcing readings and signings with both our featured artists, as well as a slew of other horribly talented people, as Labor Day Weekend approaches! Stay tuned!