You ever sit in your English class or peruse lists of classics, wondering where all the women writers are? There are a great deal many of them which male-written history has forgotten, but the Strange Wit team wants to reintroduce the world to Jane Bowles.
The campaign draws its name from a quote of Truman Capote’s:
“My only complaint against Mrs. Bowles is that she publishes so infrequently. One would prefer larger quantities of her strange wit, thorny insight. Certainly she is one of the really original pure stylists.”
Also referred to by Tennessee Williams as one of the most underrated writers in 20th century literature, Jane Bowles had an adventurous life. She was not famous among the public as much as she was famous among the famous, even once residing in the February House, where creatives shared a communal space. At one time a celebrity of the Parisian lesbian bar scene and a prolific partier, she had a body of published work consisting of one play, one novel, and 6 short stories. Her writing often visits themes such as feminism, queerness, and identity.
The Strange Wit team plans to adapt all of her works into a non-fiction graphic novel, with the opportunity for readers to fund the first chapter as a 24-page issue through Kickstarter. This issue, written by Katy Rex with art from Tyler Jenkins, Katie Lacour, and June Vigants, and letters from Taylor Esposito, will follow Bowles through her life up until her stay in Switzerland. It will also include an adaption of the short story “A Stick of Green Candy.” 9 other adaptations included in the collection will contain art from Zero’s Adam Gorham, DMZ’s Ryan Kelly, Beatrice Pencho Sechi, Sean Von Gorman, Betsy Peterschmidt (who I cannot stop gushing about to anyone who will listen), Anne Maxson, Dom Sole, Inés Estrada, and Joshua Hixson.
It’s going to be fabulous as Bowles herself, y’all.
Rex promises in the press release, “a whole mess of exciting backer rewards,” but here’re some highlights for you to feast your eyes upon:
- A limited postcard set featuring all 10 artists adapting Jane’s short stories
- Limited and numbered prints of Marguerite Sauvage’s portrait of Jane
- A Strange Wit logo flask
- A handwritten thank-you letter from Katy Rex
- A handwritten thank-you letter from Katy Rex while drunk
- A physical copy of the chapter with a signed book plate from the main creative team
- A mini-comic written & (poorly) drawn by Katy: Cocktails of the Literati
- 3 color commissions from Sean Von Gorman (Pawn Shop, Toe Tag Riot)
- 8 original pages from A Guatemalan Idyll (art by Ines Estrada)
The Kickstarter begins today, so get your patriarchal literary canon smashing on and give the Strange Wit crew some love here.