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Jessica Abel


Jessica Abel

Cartoonist and writer Jessica Abel is the author of  the graphic novel LA PERDIDA (Pantheon Books), as well as two textbooks about making comics, DRAWING WORDS & WRITING PICTURES and MASTERING COMICS (First Second Books), written in collaboration with her husband, the cartoonist Matt Madden. She’s also the co-writer of the graphic novel LIFE SUCKS.

Previously, she published "Soundtrack" and "Mirror, Window" (Fantagraphics Books), two collections of stories and drawings from her omnibus comic book ARTBABE, published between 1992 and 1999. She collaborated with Ira Glass on RADIO: An Illustrated Guide, a non-fiction comic about how the radio show "This American Life" is made. Abel won the Xeric Grant in 1995, and both the Harvey and Lulu awards for “Best New Talent” in 1997; "La Perdida" won the 2002 “Best New Series” Harvey Award.

Abel’s new new science fiction comics series, Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars (Dargaud France), debuted in January 2015. She’s also at work on a nonfiction comic about how the best radio producers in the world use story to keep us listening, OUT ON THE WIRE (Broadway Books), out August 2015.

Madden and Abel were series editors for The Best American Comics from 2007 to 2013 and teach at various institutions. They live in Brooklyn, New York, with their two children, but are currently on a residency at the Maison des Auteurs in Angoulême, France.

Books by Jessica Abel

by Jessica Abel - Coming of Age, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Futuristic, Graphic Novel, Science Fiction, Young Adult 13+

After meeting the indigenous Martian, Qiqi, Trish Nupindju’s life changes forever. Qiqi has taught her to skate on terrain, helping her immensely on her hoverderby (a futuristic roller derby) team. She has also introduced a new way to harvest the moisture essential for life on Mars. But the suits at AREX are watching and they are not pleased. Trish’s innovations could cause irreparable damage for everyone in her life --- including her team and family!

by Jessica Abel - Comic Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Science Fiction, Young Adult 14+

Seven-year-old (fifteen in Earth years) Mars girl, Trish Trash, is still excited about her big contract to the roller derby team, but changes are afoot. She has added a new member to the household: Qiqi, an alien she found clinging to life in the untouched part of Mars. Together with her working class aunt and uncle, the family rehabilitates her to health. Meanwhile, life on Mars is getting harder and Qiqi’s presence brings a new financial burden. Trish’s contract with the roller derby team is at risk as she needs to help provide for her family. 

by Jessica Abel - Science Fiction, Young Adult 14+, Youth Fiction

Two centuries from now, Trish "Trash" Nupindju lives on the newly inhabited Mars, whose settlers live under harsh and ruthless conditions. Trish dreams of only one thing: becoming a hoverderby star. It seems like making the professional derby team is the only way to escape a future of poverty on her parents' farm. But, what happens when a half-dead Martian shows up on her doorstep and changes everything?

by Jessica Abel - Graphic Novel, Nonfiction

Every week, millions of devoted fans tune in to or download "This American Life," "The Moth," "Radiolab," "Planet Money," "Snap Judgment," "Serial," "Invisibilia" and other narrative radio shows. Using personal stories to breathe life into complex ideas and issues, these beloved programs help us to understand ourselves and our world a little bit better. Each has a distinct style, but every one delivers stories that are brilliantly told and produced. OUT ON THE WIRE offers an unexpected window into this new kind of storytelling --- one that literally illustrates the making of a purely auditory medium.

by Jeff Smith, Jessica Abel, and Matt Madden - Anthology, Comic Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel

THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS showcases the work of both established and up-and-coming contributors. Editor Jeff Smith --- creater of the classic comic Bone, a comedy/adventure about three lost cousins from Boneville --- has culled the best stories from graphic novels, pamphlet comics, newspapers, magazines, mini-comics, and web comics to create this cutting-edge collection.

by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden - Graphic Novel

A course on comic creation – for college classes or for independent study – that centers on storytelling and concludes with making a finished comic.

by Jessica Abel, Gabe Soria, and Warren Pleece - Graphic Novel

Life sucks for Dave Marshall. The girl he’s in love with doesn’t know he exists, he hates his job, and ever since his boss turned him into a vampire, he can’t go out in daylight without starting to charbroil.

Undead life in its uncoolest incarnation yet is on display in this cinematic, supernatural drama told with gallons of humor and hemoglobin. In striking, colorful, B-movie style artwork and light-hearted, intelligent writing by Jessica Abel, Gabe Soria and Warren Pleece, Dave Marshall’s story comes alive --- in a vampiric kind of way.