Georges at Stumptown Comics Fest 2013
|Born||December 10, 1981|
|Area(s)||zinester, cartoonist, author, instructor|
Calling Dr. Laura
Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home
Nicole J. Georges (born c. 1981 in Kansas) is an illustrator, writer, zinester, podcaster, and educator. She is well known for authoring the autobiographical comic zine Invincible Summer, whose individual issues have been collected into two anthologies published by Tugboat Press and Microcosm Publishing. Some of her other notable works include the graphic memoirs Calling Dr. Laura and Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home. In addition to this, Georges creates comics and teaches others how to make them, produces the Podcast Sagittarian Matters, and illustrates portraits of animals. She currently divides her time between Los Angeles, California and Portland, Oregon.
Zines and comics
Georges has been creating Invincible Summer since 2000, and has published 23 issues of the zine. It is an autobiographical diary comic that narrates the events of the period of her life following her move from Kansas to Portland at age 19. The work is largely a product of the excitement the artist felt toward multiple aspects of her new surroundings, from the "zine scene" the city offered to the "vegan food" it introduced her to. In the second edition of the first volume, Georges writes that the original name of the zine was "My Tooth Has Teeth," however, it was given its current name after the author was inspired by an Albert Camus quote that appeared on a bookmark she found in a thrift shop. Georges also notes that in Invincible Summer, she can see herself "growing up," and can "trace" different moments in her life as she was "figuring out how to live a little better all the time." Invincible Summer has a queer and feminist slant, and draws upon a variety of topics, some of which include a connection to animals, the importance of coffee intake, relationships with friends, family, and romantic interests, navigating the waters of creative pursuits, vegan cooking and recipes, and more.
The artist also co-edited the zine Coffeeshop Crushes alongside Jon Van Oast. The publication has been described as a comical compilation of tales of romantic interactions that occur between servers and customers in coffee shops.
Georges is also a contributor to the zine Tell It Like It Tiz, a collection of stories, illustrations, and advice created as a result of the artist's work with senior citizens at the Marie Smith Center in Portland, Oregon.
Georges also creates diary comics and produces comic series. One such series, which Georges still continues to work on, is called Anonymous Fuzzball and depicts animals in group therapy settings, "delivering their own experience, strength, and hope."
In January 2013, Georges' graphic memoir, Calling Dr. Laura, was released by Mariner Books. The novel depicts the events following the author's visit to a palm reader at age twenty-three, where she is told by the psychic there that her father is not actually dead like her family claimed years ago. In light of this news, the author is "sent into a tailspin about her identity," and endeavors to find out the truth, recounting the occurrences of her childhood and grappling with feelings of uncertainty. Eventually, Georges' sister reveals that her real father is still alive, but has been kept secret by other members of her family. At the same time, the author is navigating the waters of a new romance, and finds her only companion is a chicken named Mabel, so she decides to call a radio show host (Dr. Laura Schlessinger) for guidance. Calling Dr. Laura explores the themes of truth, secrecy, and family dynamics and is described as a "part coming-of-age story," "part coming-out story."
In July 2017, Georges released Fetch, a graphic memoir that focuses on the relationship between the author and her dog. Originally purchased by a sixteen-year-old Georges as a gift for her then-boyfriend Tom, Beija is a "dysfunctional shar-pei/corgi mix," that proves to be the "one constant" in the author's life for the next sixteen years. The work follows the lives and adventures of the steadfast companions as they age, encounter new experiences and individuals, and face numerous challenges alongside one another.
Georges' illustrations have been found in The Rock n Roll Camp for Girls (Chronicle Books), Food & Booze (Tin House Press), Baby Remember My Name (Carroll & Graf), It's So You (Seal Press), and Bitch magazine.
Additional creative projects
Georges also creates illustrations, portraits, calendars, and prints of animals. Primarily featuring cats and dogs, these works are both displayed and sold on her website and others.
Additionally, Georges has created and produced over 130 episodes of her podcast, Sagittarian Matters. The podcast is hosted by Georges and frequently welcomes guest interviews and co-hosts. The episodes are themed according to a wide variety of topics, with veganism, queer identity, feminism, pets, and cartooning remaining some of the most prevalent.
Influences and impact
In multiple interviews, Georges has stated that zines associated with the Riot Grrrl movement, which she started reading during her teenage years, served as some of her earliest sources of inspiration. More specifically, she has remarked that she finds the "honest" and "vulnerable" qualities of these works to be effective at connecting authors and their audiences by making "people feel less alone."
Additionally, in Invincible Summer, Georges cites Lynda Barry and Lisa Carver as some of her favorite artists and authors. Some of her other notable influencers include Sue Coe, Eyvind Earle, Hayao Miyazaki, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Eileen Myles, Ian MacKaye, and Kathleen Hanna.
Regarding her focus on illustrating animals, Georges has elaborated on the significant roles they have played as steadfast companions throughout her life. Consequently, much of her work seeks to reflect "the emotional life of animals," and one of her primary goals is to "help animals" through her art.
Georges, who has been described as "quintessentially Portland," has also voiced her views on being an artist, as well as provided advice on the topic. Among other things, the creator emphasizes the importance of persistence and creating art "because you love it."
Teaching and extracurricular work
Georges has been instructing others on creating zines, making comics, and self-publishing for more than a decade. She began teaching comic creation to homeless youth, but has since provided guidance to a variety of groups of individuals, from elementary schoolers to senior citizens. She has stated that through teaching, she aims to enable others to "tell stories through pictures"  as well as "find empowerment through representation and self-expression."
Georges is currently on faculty at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, California, where she has been teaching since 2014. Previously, the creator served as an adjunct professor at Portland State University, and was a Fellow at Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont from 2013 to 2014. She was also the 2016/2017 Donaldson Writer in Residency at the College of William & Mary in Virginia.
Moreover, Georges is a co-founder of the Portland Zine Symposium, and an organizer of the Midwest Underground Media Symposium.
Furthermore, she has been involved with Portland's Independent Resource Center (PIRC), Writers In The Schools, The Right Brain Initiative, and Young Audiences of Oregon. She has also been volunteering with the Portland Rock and Roll Camp for Girls since its inception in 2001, and taught Homorobics, a punk exercise class, from 2008 to 2009.
In 2007, Georges traveled the country with Sister Spit: The Next Generation alongside Michelle Tea, Eileen Myles and Cristy Road, and toured with them again in 2010. She has also toured with Cassie J. Sneider, Microcosm Publishing, Fact or Fiction, and the Rock and Roll Camp for Girls (with Katy Davidson). Georges continues to tour today.
Georges was listed one of "Five Writers To Watch Out For" by the Lambda Literary Foundation, one of ten "Cartoonists Who Could Be the Next Dan Clowes" by Flavorwire, and one of eight "Worthy Successors to Alison Bechdel" by Flavorwire. Georges was named "Miss Specs Appeal 2006" by the zine Hey Four Eyes. In 2012, she also won the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Arts Education.
Georges' graphic novel Calling Dr. Laura won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Graphic Novel at the 26th Lambda Literary Awards in 2014. The work was also featured in Vanity Fair, USA Today, and named one of the "Best Books of Summer 2013" by Jezebel.com.
One of the author's other notable works, Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and the winner of two Oregon Book Awards for Best Graphic Novel and Reader's Choice.
According to the artist, some of her hobbies include singing, karaoke, cooking and sewing.
Notably, Georges also maintains that feminist causes are important to her. Not only has she stated that she is a proponent of "feminist voices and women supporting each other," but she also asserts that it is necessary to encourage people "to amplify their voices through self publishing, art, and music."
The artist has also been vegan since 1997, after making a New Year's Resolution to practice the lifestyle. As Georges has made known, she has always had an affinity for animals and desired to help them whenever possible. For her, veganism provides a "small, everyday way" to do so.
- Kevin Sampsell (January 17, 2008). "Invincible Summer". Portland Mercury. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- Georges, Nicole J. and Marc Parker, Tell it Like it Tiz! (2013).
- "Nicole J Georges". nicolejgeorges.com. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
- Wallace, Kelly (18 February 2016). "Nicole Georges". Oregon Public Broadcasting.
- Georges, Nicole (2007). Invincible Summer. Bloomington, Indiana: Microcosm Publishing.
- Cuti, Jaymee (November 4, 2005). "Art in Your Hands: Portland Zinesters Bring Underground Publishing to the Surface". Just Out.
- Annalee Schafranek (March 11, 2009). "Nicole J. Georges: Does the J stand for "just lovely?"". Bitchmedia Magazine. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- Coffeeshop Crushes: Tales of Love and Lust in Coffee Establishments page, Microcosm Publishing website. Accessed Apr. 22, 2014.
- Hu, Ev. "Day care elders give volunteers lots of material for zines," The Oregonian (June 04, 2009).
- Georges, Nicole. "Nicole J. Georges is Creating Diary Comics and Sagittarian Matters". Patreon.
- Georges, Nicole (2013). Calling Dr. Laura. New York, NY: Mariner Books.
- Georges, Nicole (2017). Fetch. New York, NY: Mariner Books.
- Development, PodBean. "Sagittarian Matters". Retrieved 2018-11-13.
- Prescott, Gina (6 January 2016). "Women and Comics: An Interview with Nicole J. Georges". Threadless.
- Brown, Hillary (2 August 2017). "Fetch Cartoonist Nicole Georges on the Thriving State of Queer, Female Comics & Teaching Sequential Art". Paste Magazine.
- Alison Hallett (January 16, 2013). "Invincible Nicole: A Portland Artist Gets Personal with Calling Dr. Laura". Portland Mercury. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "Nicole Georges". California College of the Arts. 2018.
- "Nicole Georges: CCS Fellow 2013-2014," Center for Cartoon Studies website. (April 10, 2013).
- Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls. Girlsrockcamp.org. Accessed March 31, 2012.
- Homorobics website. Accessed Apr. 21, 2014.
- Gillette, Courtney. "Five New Queer Voices To Watch Out For," Lamda Literary (June 2010).
- "Looking for summer reading? Lambda Literary Awards rain down a host of choices". Times-Picayune, June 3, 2014.