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Writer. Artist. Educator. Facilitator. Fledgling Comics Maker.
Isabel Garcia-Gonzales is a writer, artist, educator, facilitator, and fledgling comics maker. She has received fellowships, residencies, and awards for her writing, including support from Hedgebrook, VONA/Voices, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She was a finalist for the Poets and Writers’ California Writers Exchange Award, the Pen Parentis Fellowship Award, and the Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Award. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications including Nonwhite and Woman: 131 Microessays on Being in the World; Kuwento: Lost Things, An Anthology of New Philippine Myths; and Riksha: Asian American Arts in Action. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College and is a core organizer of Banyan: Asian American Writers Collective. She lives in the Chicago Area with her partner and three children.
Isabel is at work on a novel-in-stories with illustrations, LISTEN FOR INSTRUCTIONS, and a collection of Super Flash Comics about her life in the Filipinx/Asian American diaspora, RECOVERED KNOWLEDGES.
More about me
For many years, I identified myself solely as a literary fiction writer, but during the pandemic, a time in which so many lines have been blurred, erased, drawn, and redrawn, my work has evolved in unexpected ways.
One sunny afternoon while on a lunch break from remote working, I sat down at the kitchen table with my ten-year-old son to join him in making comics. He was making an epic comics series called Stargirl, and I had earlier been scrolling through Instagram where a post by wonderful comics artist Lynda Barry caught my eye. She posted a prompt on how to create what she called a “super flash comic.” I decided to give it a try, to release the idea of what kind of art I did and didn’t do, release the idea of perfection, release the idea that parenting was in direct opposition to the time and space I needed to create.
On that afternoon, I made a quick and very amateur super flash comic called “Mushroom” and from there a light turned on inside of me. Now, I cannot stop drawing and making what I call my “fledgling comics.” And now, illustrations are part of my writing practice, seeping their way into my novel-in-progress and infusing new energy into my life and work. I am learning to allow the rich muck and joy of parenting to be a fertile place from which to learn, grow and make. I am learning to embrace imperfection and joy in making.
Mushroom: My very first super flash comic