Smash Pages Q&A | Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith

The creators of the critical hit ‘Wash Day’ discuss expanding the story into ‘Wash Day Diaries,’ which is out this week from Chronicle Books.

Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith teamed up for the comic Wash Day, which was funded through Kickstarter and was released in 2018. It was a critical success, but while the two thought that the story was over when they finished the comic, the story has grown and expanded into the new book Wash Day Diaries, which is out this week from Chronicle Books.

Smith was a recent graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies when she first drew Wash Day, and today is best known for working on Nubia: Real One for DC Comics. Rowser, besides writing, has been expanding Black Josei Press and is publishing new work. I spoke with the two recently about how Wash Day Diaries happened, working through the pandemic and collaborating again.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Jamila Rowser

The co-founder of Geek Girl Brunch and former Girl Gone Geek blogger discusses two comic projects, ‘Wash Day’ and ‘Wobbledy 3000.’

Jamila Rowser is familiar to a lot of people in the comics community because she created Straight Outta Gotham, co-founded Geek Girl Brunch and launched the blog Girl Gone Geek. This fall though she’s doing something different, turning her attention to writing comics.

Wash Day is a comic drawn by Robyn Smith which was kickstarted earlier this year and is out now. In addition to an English language edition, there’s a Spanish language edition of the comic, Dia de Lavado, which is also available. Rowser is following that up with her second comic, Wobbledy 3000, which is drawn by Sabii Borno and is out this month as a digital comic from Black Josei Press.

The comics are very different, made with different artists and approaches, but both of them demonstrate Rowser’s skill at dialogue, her subtle talent of characterization and, through this, a very nuanced and lovely consideration of friendship. One book may be realistic and set in the here and now, and the other is science fantasy, but they are both an effort to tell slice of life narratives, and explore the lives of characters who are rarely explored in comics. Taken together, the comics show Rowser is very interested in finding ways to use the medium to convey and explore personal experience, to both break new ground and be a part of the medium and its traditions. I caught Rowser in between shows, and she was kind enough to answer a few questions.

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