claire folkman

I wrote, penciled, inked, and finished over 124 pages of comics in 2015.

I published 6 books, including the final three-quarters of my first long-form comic series.

I got to publish 50 women’s comics in my biggest anthology to date, and I got to pay them.

I crowd funded over $17,000 to do so.

I sold more books than I’ve ever sold before, by a long shot.

I won my first comics award.

I got to do so many of these achievements with my main conspirator and one of my best and oldest friends, @clairefolkman.

I was on a panel at New York Comic Con with a packed house.

I moderated two panels at comics shows about my deep passions - one at @spx, one at Locust Moon Comics Festival - with a laundry list of amazing creators (Craig Thompson, @anniestoll, Dean Haspiel, @andreatsurumi, to name a few).

I published a comic about being sexually assaulted by a fellow comics creator and former friend.

I got engaged.

I posed on a table at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, surrounded by comics luminaries, as they drank wine and drew me in my elaborate Halloween costume.

I made a point to read as many comics as I possibly could in my free time.

I had my work published multiple times in the newspaper.

I was featured in and interviewed for articles.

I was scouted by a long-running publication and given a wonderfully generous offer.

I spoke at universities and to classrooms.

I got to plan another SPX party.

I got to help plan a comics festival.

I got a promotion.

I was able to spend countless hours with a beer in one hand and a pen in the other, surrounded by an insatiable number of people that I’m so lucky to have met, gotten to know better, and continue to spend inordinate amounts of time with.

I had a great year.

And I get to relish it just a little bit longer! 

Like I’m saying in the photo: Girls make fucking amazing comics, and ALL of you have been fucking amazing, supportive people - for me, for the people I work with, and for this really remarkable community we’ve built. Here’s to continuing to be great, to constant conspiring, and to 2016!

Thanks, guys. <3 

2014 Comics Superlatives

As I started rounding up the comics I liked this year, I saw a pattern, so I made a joke:

Do men make comics?

— Eden (@comicsgirl) December 17, 2014

And then I just decided to go with it. This is not a definitive list but these are all comics, creators, events and projects from 2014 I want to recognize. I think we can all agree that 2014 was a pretty remarkable year for comics.

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LMCF2015 Creators: Dirty Diamonds

Dirty Diamonds

Dirty Diamonds is an all-girl comic anthology edited and published by Kelly Phillips and Claire Folkman. Holding down the fort on opposite ends of Philadelphia, they have been the loving parents of the all-girl comic anthology since 2011. The goal of Dirty Diamonds has been to give the women of comics a dedicated outlet for telling their stories, and artists from around the world have contributed their (semi-)autobiographical works, highlighting both the talents and experiences of women in comics today. Each issue of Dirty Diamonds is archived in the permanent comics collection at the Library of Congress. The sixth and latest issue is the largest published to date, featuring comics from 52 artists around the theme of Beauty.
tumblr: @dirtydiamondscomic

Kelly Phillips

Kelly Phillips is a cartoonist living in West Philly. She is the co-editor and publisher of the all-girl comic anthology Dirty Diamonds, with the sixth, most recent issue showcasing dozens of comics from an international array of women around the theme of Beauty. She has been featured in Secret Prison, Philadelphia City Paper, Quarter Moon, and MAD Magazine. Her most recent work details the the story of her teenage years as the moderately successful webmaster of a “Weird Al” Yankovic fan site in the comic series Weird Me.
tumblr: @kellypcomics

Claire Folkman

Claire Folkman is an artist living and working in Philadelphia, PA.  She creates out of Mercer Street Studios where she makes comics, collages, videos, and costumes.  She is also editor and contributor to Dirty Diamonds: an all-girl comic anthology, which has been archived in the Library of Congress.

tumblr: @clairefolkman

See them at the
Saturday, October 31 – Halloween!
11 am – 6 pm
@ The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
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By Juliet Kahn

The Dirty Diamonds booth at this year’s Small Press Expo was impossible to miss, both because of its bright signage and because of its eye-catching display of tote bags, zines about Weird Al Yankovic, and, of course, the Dirty Diamonds all-woman anthology.

Brighter still are its co-editors, Claire Folkman and Kelly Phillips, who were among the most ardent lovers of comics in the room — and with good reason. The Dirty Diamonds anthology series is their passion project, collecting semi-autobiographical comics by women since 2011, and it’s enjoyed particular success of late. Their recent Kickstarter was a hit; the Library of Congress singled Dirty Diamonds out for inclusion in its permanent collection; and the contributor list for the latest volume reads like an Ignatz Award nominations list from 2020.

Eager to learn more, ComicsAlliance hunkered down behind their bustling booth to talk the future of crowdfunding, apartments full of books, and just how rad the women of comics really are.

ComicsAlliance: So, here we are at SPX 2014! Tell me a little about yourselves.

Kelly Phillips: My name’s Kelly Phillips. I’m a cartoonist based out of Philadelphia and I’m one of the editors of Dirty Diamonds. At this SPX, I’m debuting a new comic I’m putting out called Weird Me, which is about how, when I was 13-years-old, I was the webmaster of a Weird Al Yankovic fansite. So, this is exploring a lot of very strange and embarrassing territory for me. I’ve republished the website on my [current] website, so you can see exactly what atrocity I put on the internet that brought me a lot of strange online interactions.

Claire Folkman: My name is Claire Folkman. I’m one of the co-editors of Dirty Diamonds. I’m an artist, and I have a studio in Fishtown, Philadelphia.

CA: Where did the idea for Dirty Diamonds come from?

CF: We attended Drink & Draw Like a Lady about four years ago and loved it. We were loving the scene, we were loving the connections, we were loving the people there. The vibe was so great. At the same time, there were a lot of anthologies coming out of Philadelphia that were really good, but weren’t really giving full representation of the diversity of Philadelphia. They’d be like 75% dudes, maybe one or two girls in the anthology. And personally, I was sick of it. I was over it and wanted to see girls being published. I wanted to see the comics I wanted to see. I think I was literally sitting on a couch post-MoCCA, and I was like, “Kelly, we have to do this anthology.”

KP: If the dumb boys that we know can do this, we can certainly put out a book! And we just wanted to see ourselves get published in a book with our friends. It was four of us initially, and we decided, hey, we’re going to put this book out, it’s going to be great, and after the first issue we opened it up to submissions, and now we get crazy work from all over the world.


Dec. 6-7 is the 24 Hour Comic Challenge here in Philly at Atomic City Comics on South Street! I’ll be hosting the challenge for the second year and participating for the FOURTH time (yikes)

We have a FANTASTIC lineup of artists this year, including my dirtydiamondscomic life partner clairefolkman, and veteran contributor cynwhy. Ladies <3

Also participating are local comic creators Raphael Tiberino, Steve Peters, (both 24 HCD mainstays) and Andrew Davis.

And we’re happy to welcome Philadelphia native son tomscioli into the fray, who will be completing an entire issue of Transformers vs. G.I. Joe right before your anxious eyes.

Swing on by anytime between NOON on Saturday and NOON on Sunday to see all seven cartoonists in action - either full of frenetic vigor or harrowing delusion - and if you come by at the very end, you’ll get a chance to see the finished comics!

Be sure to give Kelly & Claire of Dirty Diamonds at table E13 a nice warm welcome at SPX, along with Carey Pietsch at table E12B, in just a few short weeks!! Get your hands on DIRTY DIAMONDS #5: Comics as it makes its official US debut!

We’ll also have plenty of our own new books for sale, AND you may hear some highly anticipated news about the next open call for submissions… keep those eyes peeled :)

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SPX, it seems generally agreed, is the most fun weekend of convention season. So much more than a small press marketplace, it’s a celebration of comics with a quirky character all its own. Our time in Bethesda was filled with booze and belly laughs, as we caught up with old friends, sold a veritable buttload of comics, and even busted out some serious dance moves.

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[Andrew Carl, Rafer Roberts, Dave Proch]

Oh, and also, we debuted LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM.

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[Sean getting his Nemo signed by Andrea Tsurumi (right page)]

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