Phoebe Gloeckner

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Phoebe Gloeckner
Phoebe Gloeckner in Gijon, Spain, 2009
Born Phoebe Louise Adams Gloeckner
(1960-12-22) December 22, 1960 (age 54)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Area(s) Cartoonist
Notable works
A Child's Life and Other Stories
The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures
Awards Inkpot Award, 2000
Guggenheim fellowship, 2008
Children Persephone Gloeckner and Audrey Gloeckner

Phoebe Gloeckner (born December 22, 1960,[citation needed] in Philadelphia) is an American cartoonist, illustrator, painter, and novelist.


Early life and education[edit]

Gloeckner spent most of her later childhood and young adult life in San Francisco, where her family moved in the early 1970s. She attended several Bay Area schools, including The Hamlin School for Girls, Castilleja (in Palo Alto), Urban High School, Lick-Wilmerding High School, The Independent Learning School, and San Francisco State University,[citation needed] where she studied art and biology.

She was interested in cartooning from an early age; her father was a commercial illustrator, and through her mother she met several of the San Francisco underground comics figures who were to have a profound influence upon her, including Robert Crumb, Bob Armstrong, Aline Kominsky, Bill Griffith, and Diane Noomin. However, rather than pursue a career in cartooning, she choose to study medical illustration at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.


Gloeckner has worked prolifically as a medical illustrator since 1988, and her training is evident in her paintings and comics art, which are highly detailed and often prominently feature the human body. Her first prominent work in fiction publishing, a series of illustrations for the RE/Search edition of J. G. Ballard's novel The Atrocity Exhibition, used clinical images of internal anatomy, sex, and physical trauma in ambiguous and evocative combinations.

Her comics work, in the form of short stories published in a variety of underground anthologies including Wimmen's Comix, Weirdo, Young Lust, and Twisted Sisters, was sporadic and rarely seen until the 1998 release of the collection A Child's Life and Other Stories. This was followed by her 2002 novel The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures, which revisited the troubled life of the young character (usually referred to as "Minnie Goetze") previously featured in some of her comics, this time in an unusual combination of prose, illustration, and short comics scenes. Her novel and many of her short stories are semi-autobiographical, a frequent cause of comment due to their depiction of sex, drug use, and childhood traumas; however, Gloeckner has stated that she regards them as fiction. Sexual content led to A Child's Life and Other Stories being banned from the public library in Stockton, California after it was checked out by an 11-year-old reader; the mayor of Stockton called the book "a how-to book for pedophiles."[1]

Less controversial, and actually intended for children, is the book Weird Things You Can Grow, published by Random House, and books in the series beginning with Tales too Funny to be True published by HarperCollins, for which she did the illustrations.

A film ("The Diary of a Teenage Girl") based on "The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures" premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The film was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics at the festival.[2] It was adapted and directed by Marielle Heller, who produced a theatrical version in 2010. The film stars Alexander Skarsgard (as "Monroe"), Kristen Wiig (as "Charlotte), and Bel Powley (as "Minnie Goetze").


Gloeckner is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.

Personal life[edit]

Gloeckner has lived in San Francisco, Dallas, Aix-en-Provence, Paris, Prague, Setauket (NY) and Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she now teaches at in the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan.

Gloeckner was married to Czech artist Jakub Kalousek. She has two daughters, Audrey and Persephone.


Gloeckner was the recipient of an Inkpot Award in 2000.

She was the recipient of a 2008 Guggenheim fellowship.[3]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Solo works[edit]

As illustrator[edit]

Sources consulted[edit]


  1. ^ Kinsella, Bridget (2001-11-19). "Libraries Developing Guidelines For Graphic Novels". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  2. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (27 January 2015). "Sony Pictures Classics Confirms ‘Diary Of A Teenage Girl’ Deal – Sundance". Deadline. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Guggenheim Foundation 2008 Fellows". John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]