Cool Work x Interesting People

Cool Work x Interesting People is an ongoing series featuring unique programs by indie cartoonists who are engaging with the comics community in ways beyond simply making work.

The series strives to introduce counter-narratives to our patrons who are underrepresented in dominant comics culture, whether they are new or established comics readers or makers. Brooklyn Public Library can likewise play a role in ensuring that these cartoonists can continue to make work, by subsidizing them through honoraria and working to build their readership. The library’s collections and programming continue to be enriched when we use our resources to support both cartoonists and readers.

The spring 2023 line-up is focused on graphic medicine, and curated by cartoonist and public health educator, Whit Taylor, and librarian, Leigh Hurwitz. Attendees of any of these programs will receive a copy of a zine edited by Whit, with original mini-comics by each of the cartoonists in the spring series.

The inaugural run of the series in early 2019 was co-curated by Carta Monir, award-winning cartoonist and head publisher at Diskette Press (who let the name of this series be borrowed from the tagline of her podcast, We Should Be Friends), and Leigh Hurwitz, Outreach Librarian at Brooklyn Public Library, who has now taken up the solo curatorial duties. In tandem with the programming, Brooklyn Public Library and Diskette Press co-published a zine which featured commissioned pieces from each of the artists in the series. Copies of the zine were distributed for free to event attendees. The zines were lovingly printed by Diskette Press on a Risograph GR3770.

Image Credit: Fifi Martinez

Past Programs

View recordings from many of these workshops.

Graphic Public Health: Comics on Pandemics, Health Equity, and Rats in Toilets with Meredith Li-Vollmer; Everyone Can (and Should) Make Mental Health Comics with Lawrence Lindell; Drawing the Invisible with Shay Mirk; Sex Education Comics with Isabella Rotman;  Screaming on Paper: Activism and Community Engagement Through Comics with Carta Monir; Comic Art Ed!: Comics in the Classroom with Cathy G. Johnson; Everything is Comics: How to Make Anything You Want with Laura Lannes; Graphic Medicine: Making Comics About Health with Whit Taylor; Coming of Age: Learning About Yourself Through Comics with Xia Gordon; How to Destroy Your Family with Carta Monir; Cool Work x Interesting People present Archie Bongiovanni; All the Details?? Making Zines About Sex with Carta Monir; Meaningful Stuff: Writing Flash Fiction Comics with Sentimental Objects with JB Brager; Creating Comics About Trans Women with Emma Jayne; Poetry-Comics: Confluence of Craft with Trinidad Escobar (View the recording.); Creating Autobio Comics with Hazel Newlevant (View the recording.); Mapping Our Digital Selves: Zine Making with Maamoul Press with Leila Abdelrazaq; 

An illustration of two people reading zines and the text "Cool Work x Interesting People: a Comics Series" above them.


Cool Work x Interesting People co-curator, Leigh Hurwitz, talks about how libraries and comics creators can work together over on Brooklyn Public Library's blog, Off the Shelf!