The following piece was commissioned as part of the Illustrated PEN‘s State of Emergency feature, intended to bring forward the voices and stories of communities whose concerns and lives may be most at risk under the new administration. Our hope is that the stories created for this series will help empower and inspire people to stand up and speak out and to begin to repair what’s been so thoroughly broken.


Rachel Masilamani is a Pittsburgh-based cartoonist who has been amassing a unique and significant body of work since the dawn of the century.  She started off strong, being awarded a Xeric Grant for the first issue of her series, RPM Comics, and has continued to craft her finely nuanced, personal comics in small-run self-published comics and anthologies like the Indiana Review, Graphic Classics and Aster(ix).  She is currently working on a new graphic novel, Nonpartum, which is being published in installments on Mutha Magazine.