Ilana Zeffren’s Urban Tails hits Kickstarter
Collected for the first time in English, the autobiographical comics are a charming, insightful look at LGBT+ life in Tel Aviv
From April 6, Soaring Penguin Press will be running a Kickstarter campaign for the publication of Urban Tails.
Beginning in 2006, Ilana Zeffren has chronicled her life as a weekly newspaper comic strip. Urban Tails brings these strips together in English for the first time, presenting a 200+ page collection which is down to earth, honest, and provides a gentle look into the lives of
Ilana, her girlfriend, and their two cats.
Addressing subjects as diverse as mental health and the proliferation of crocs (shoes), Zeffren brings a fresh perspective and humanity to her comics. The cats, Spaghetti and Rafi, serve as a Greek Chorus, providing a running commentary even as war zones and life-changing worries take center stage. Talking about what she hoped would be gained from publishing the collection in English, Zeffren said that she wanted to bring her stories to new, wider audiences and that:
My hopes for this collection in English is to introduce my work to a vast and diverse audience and to give a taste of daily life in Tel Aviv. I think cat lovers, comics readers, LGBTQ people, Gender studies academics and many more can find themselves in it.
As a company always looking for exciting, unique projects, from alternative voices, Urban Tails was a perfect fit for Soaring Penguin. Soaring Penguin co-Publisher John Anderson commented:
Urban Tails a glimpse of life in another country and another culture. But what I really like about Urban Tails is that it’s gently subversive. It has a family dynamic that just happens to be about two lesbians. And their cats. It doesn’t bring it up as a thing, it’s simply part of the fabric of the cloth.
The Kickstarter aims to raise £3000 to publish the collection. This money will go toward back costs and is an important part of Soaring Penguin’s plans to increase their creator wages.
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Praise for Urban Tails:
Brilliant, self-deprecating humour and wisdom from Israel’s answer to Alison Bechdel. Ilana Zeffren gives us an insider’s perspective to life as a lesbian cartoonist in Tel Aviv, using her deft visuals to invite us in to a world where passion, politics and the perils of domesticity are seamlessly interwoven. Covering fifteen years of work, this visual feast brings to life the story of a country and a culture through the voices of Zeffren, her partner, and their cats. The cats, Spaghetti and Tuna, act as Greek chorus, opening up the complex layers of life and love in the Middle East with wit and warmth.
I’m not much of a cat person, but I truly love Rafi and Spaghetti, the elegantly drawn, scene-stealing protagonists of Ilana Zeffren’s comics. Politically aware, preoccupied with tunafish, and unrepentantly self-centered, these celebrity felines lounge and commentate their way through contemporary cosmopolitan Tel Aviv life.