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Grandmother Knows Best

Alix is here to tell you about Due West, a cool project she's doing with her dead grandmother.

Grandmother Knows Best

Hi friends hi! It’s been a while, I know. I’ve missed you! But I am back today to tell you all about what I’ve been working on since I left FYA [checks FYA archives] three and a half years ago?! Has it really been that long? Cetus-lupeedus, what was I even doing with all that time?

Basically all I have to show for the past three years is that I’ve been low-key working on a wee writing and illustration project in the background of my normal life. The upside is that it’s a really cool thing that I’m super excited about! You see, my maternal grandmother was this kickass lady who, after her husband prematurely died, decided, “Fuck it all, I’m off to see the world.” And then she did exactly that!

Over the next twenty years, she traveled extensively, all the while keeping detailed journals. When Gramma died in ’99, my mom took possession of said journals. I discovered them in my early twenties and have been scheming ever since.

This spring, those schemes are finally coming to fruition. Over the past three years, I have been planning to use the aforementioned journals to travel to some of the places Gramma visited. Using her memories with my own, I will write a graphic memoir about our shared experiences.

After all this time planning and writing and drawing and pouring over Gramma’s very bad handwriting from the comfort of my home, the prospect of actually going and traveling by myself is genuinely terrifying. But here we are! Last year, I received a small fellowship for the purposes of executing this project, but it is not enough to cover all of my costs. So I’ve set up an Indiegogo page to help raise the rest of the money. If you’re at all interested in comics and/or kick-ass ladies (or you just like getting postcards), check it out!

It’s hard to believe this is finally happening. Sometimes, I wake up in the night in a cold sweat, remembering that I’m going to be chillin’ alone in Siberia in just a few short months, thinking, Oh God, what have I done? But if my Gramma could do it, I guess it’s already in my genes.

Alix West's photo About the Author: Alix is a writer and illustrator who spends way too much time reading Jane Austen retellings of varying quality.