Episode 118: Leah Hayes
The indie comics booths present a perfect sort of eye in the middle of the Comic Con storm. Top Shelf, Drawn & Quarterly and Fantagraphics form a perfect sort of triangle where the costumed self-madness of the show takes a momentary reprieve. This is where Not Funny Ha-Ha has its unofficial debuts. A few week later, Leah Hayes will present the book more formally, reading from the abortion-themed graphic novel in front of a crowd at Los Angeles independent bookstore. For now, however, she discusses the story with curious parties who pass through the Fantagraphics booth. The stories have already begun flooding in, she explains as we sit down in a shady spot behind the San Diego Convention Center. The subject matter is nothing if not a conversation starter. Thus far, she’s already have several strangers describe their own abortion experience or the the experience of someone close to them. Others have discussed different difficult moments — heck, over the course of our conversation, I find myself relating a story about recently losing a pet. It’s just that sort of book. Hayes and I discuss the impact of debuting such an intimate book in boisterous environment on a small patch of grass as cosplayers ride in the backs of rickshaws on either side of our little green island.