Synopses & Reviews
Ever wondered who makes your clothes? Who sells them? How much they get paid? How the fashion and sex industries are intertwined?
Threadbare draws the connections between the international sex and garment trades and human trafficking in a beautifully illustrated comics series. Anne Elizabeth Moore, in reports illustrated by top-notch comics creators, pulls at the threads of gender, labor, and cultural production to paint a concerning picture of a human rights in a globalized world. Moore's reporting, illustrated by members of the Ladydrawers Comics Collective, takes the reader from the sweatshops of Cambodia to the traditional ateliers of Vienna, from the life of a globetrotting supermodel to the warehouses of large clothing retailers, from the secondhand clothing industry to the politics of the sex trade. With thoughtful illustrations of women's stories across the sex and garment supply chain, this book offers a practical guide to a growing problem few truly understand.
Featuring the work of Leela Corman, Julia Gfrörer, Simon Häussle, Delia Jean, Ellen Lindner, and Melissa Mendes.
"Here 22 graphic vignettes delve into exploitative conditions in the United States, Austria, and Cambodia, and then summarize impacts spanning countries. Narratives relate to fashion models, factory workers, salespeople, international trade agreements, foreign-trade zones, antisex trafficking efforts, and the vicious-cycle interplay between working in the garment business vs. the sex industry. The six artists … intersperse content from interviews with background information in a variety of styles, all enhanced by single-tone highlights in the rose-orange spectrum. [T]hese pieces tellingly demonstrate what harmful effects may be associated with this type of overproduction and overconsumption. VERDICT: Useful and engrossing for fashion watchers and women’s issues activists, teens, and adults." Library Journal
"A compelling and comprehensive portrait of the human cost behind what we wear. The sharp, gorgeous, and distressing Threadbare will leave you questioning both your wardrobe and the state of the world as a whole." Tim Hanley, author of Investigating Lois Lane and Wonder Woman Unbound
"Despite the belief of some people, anti-trafficking efforts make life harder for sex workers. Instead, Moore outlines at the end a few different things that people can do to help improve the situation for women around the world. After the bleak reality of her research, this makes for a somewhat hopeful outcome and empowers the reader with something to do." Portland Book Review
"Threadbare is not light reading. But the comics format makes an opaque topic artfully illuminating. We may never visit the inside of a sweatshop. But the drawings take us right inside, amid the dusty piles of fabric and the whir of sewing machines." LA Times
About the Author
Award-winning journalist and bestselling comics anthologist Anne Elizabeth Moore was born in Winner, SD and grew up in St. Paul, MN. Currently in Chicago, she is the author of Unmarketable from the New Press (Best Book, Mother Jones) and a series of memoirs from Cantankerous Titles including New Girl Law and Cambodian Grrrl (Best Book, Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award). She is the former editor of Punk Planet, The Comics Journal, and the Best American Comics series from Houghton Mifflin. Her cultural criticism has appeared in the Baffler, The New Inquiry, Jacobin, Tin House, Salon, TPM, Truthout, and Al Jazeera. Her work has been featured in The Guardian, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, the ChicagoReader, and many others, and she has appeared on CNN, WTTW, WBEZ, WNUR, Radio Australia, and Voice of America. She is a Fulbright scholar and the recipient of a USC Annenberg Getty Arts Journalism Fellowship and an Arthur and Lila Weinberg Fellowship at the Newberry Library. She has two cats and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.