What is Caitlin reading? Ladies' Night Anthology

The covers for all five volumes of Ladies' Night Anthology: Chicago, Death & Prom, How to Magic, Eat It Up!, and Sisters.

The covers for all five volumes of Ladies' Night Anthology: Chicago, Death & Prom, How to Magic, Eat It Up!, and Sisters.

Not everyone who knows I love comics knows that I also help to edit an annually published anthology that grew up out of the Ladies' Night I go to at my local comic shop (shout out to Graham Crackers in the Loop!).  Back in 2012, I realized that I'd missed the deadline to apply to be a writer for the first volume, and volunteered to help edit.  I was, at the time, woefully unprepared to take on the responsibility of being an editor and had basically no clue what I was doing, but both my fellow editors and the creative teams I worked with were patient with me.

Five years later, I'm still one of the editors for LNA, and I also sort of operate as the COO, managing our inventory and finances.  I love this gig, really and truly, and it's  a natural growth from my love for comics.  LNA works mostly with people who've never made comics before, or have never collaborated before, or both.  It's open to women, non-binary, and gender non conforming creators from all over the world, though we do try to keep some folks local to Chicago, where all of the editors are based.

Enamel pins designed by Elizabeth Perez, a perk for Volume 5.

Enamel pins designed by Elizabeth Perez, a perk for Volume 5.

The thing about LNA is that we are involved in every step of the process as editors.  A lot of anthologies don't teach you how to make a comic, and that's great because you get a lot of really polished, professional people making dozens of incredible comics and collecting them.  But LNA is different, we walk our creators through the process from pitch to character design to script, thumbnails to art to lettering.  We host workshops, help people tackle new skills, and manage most of the promotion and marketing for the book.

We don't pay our participants, which can be a struggle sometimes.  We know we've lost out on some really great folks because of that, but for the last five years we've really wanted to focus on the people that have never done this before, and help them get their foot in the door.  We've had a couple of participants in past books go on to professional jobs as story boarders, writers, inkers, artists, and colorists.  It's incredibly gratifying to be able to pick up a comic at Graham Crackers and see the names of people I worked with on LNA on the cover of a comic from a big publisher.

From "Do you kiss your sister with that mouth?" by Jade Armstrong and Ellen Linzer

From "Do you kiss your sister with that mouth?" by Jade Armstrong and Ellen Linzer

We're almost 3/4 of the way through our Kickstarter for Volume 5, and almost halfway to our goal.  Next week, the other editors (Lauren Burke, Megan Byrd, Kris Mackenzie, and Summer Sparacin) and I will take on the daunting task of putting the pages in order and starting prepress.  So a lot of my free-reading time has been dedicated to LNA lately, doing copyediting and checking things over.

So what I'm reading this week is the work of 24 amazing female and non-binary creators, most of whom have never been published before.  And I want you to be reading it too, so please check out our Kickstarter, get yourself an awesome book.  If you can part with $20, you'll get a book and the matching pins, which to be honest are a huge draw for me.  It's not an addiction if you don't admit it's a problem, right?

Please help us get this book to the printer and into the hands of hundreds of people.  I've read the pages as they come in, and you'd never guess that most of these creators have never made a comic before.  

LNA Vol 5: Sisters (cover by Elizabeth Perez) and the companion zine (cover by Abby Shaffer)

LNA Vol 5: Sisters (cover by Elizabeth Perez) and the companion zine (cover by Abby Shaffer)