This Woman’s Work by Julie Delporte (Drawn & Quarterly)
French-Canadian cartoonist Julie Delporte began writing This Woman’s Work as a research project on Tove Jansson—Finnish creator of the world-beloved Moomin books and one of history’s few happy, accomplished artists. Over Delporte’s travels, the work morphed into a longform illustrated essay, unwinding her thoughts on the conflicts of modern womanhood, love, and creative freedom.
What still stands out about This Woman’s Work is the way Delaporte's colorful illustrations of Brussels, cabbages, and nude bodies provide her cover to explore extremely unpopular topics. She's terrified motherhood will destroy her artistic practice, and she often wishes she weren't a woman. She wonders if she might be able to outgrow heterosexuality and escape the expectation of constant adversity and inevitable violence that sometimes accompanies loving men. Delaporte's boldness in putting these ideas on the page gives hope that, though she may have a hard time finding living role models right now, she leaves some useful advice to the generations of women artists that will follow.