Comic creator Rachael Smith has joined the ranks of The New Yorker cartoonists, with the publication of her cartoon, “My Cat has this Habit”, published online yesterday, about her feline companion, Rufus.
Getting published by The New Yorker is no mean feat. Hundreds of cartoonists compete for a few slots, and the sale of the original art published has been known to outstrip the original payment by publisher Condé Naste for its use. (In today’s digital age, limited edition prints signed by the creator are also apparently sought after).
Known to many for its publication of what are known as “The Addams Family” cartoons by Charles Addams, current New Yorker cartoonists include Liana Finck, Tom Gauld, veteran cover artist Edward Koren, Anders Nilsen, Noah Van Sciver, and more.
Rachael Smith is an award-winning comic artist and writer who’s created numerous graphic novels including Wired Up Wrong, Artificial Flowers, and The Rabbit, which was nominated for Best Book in the 2015 British Comic Awards, following her nomination for Emerging Talent the previous year
Her recent graphic novel, Quarantine Comix: A Memoir of Life in Lockdown, was written and drawn every day during the 2020 lockdown and shared online, helping people who were socially isolated to feel connected. She is currently drawing her new book, Isabella & Blodwen, to be published by Cast Iron Books.
This story for young adults follows sixteen year-old Isabella who has been granted early admission to the prestigious University of Oxford.
Academically gifted, but severely lacking in social skills, she finds navigating the hallowed halls a trial she can’t study her way out of. Mixing with older students, and struggling to find her place, she sets her heart on the coveted summer internship with her hero, Professor MacLeod.
While wondering how to get the letter of recommendation she needs to be considered, she accidentally drops an exhibit from a museum she’s visiting in her bag… and Blodwen, the Witch from the Bottle enters her life!
Aimed at a young adult audience, and exploring themes of friendship, growing up, and finding your place in the world, Isabella & Blodwen is a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt alone and that the world is against them.
This moving collection, previously shortlisted for the Comedy Women in Print award, takes on the universal yet highly personal topics of loneliness, friendship, depression, love, figuring out who you are and moving on, among many others.