Literary Event of the Week: Baby Boomer at the Factory

Marie Hausauer is one of Seattle’s mightiest cartoonists. Check out any of her strips and you’ll immediately recognize her confident lines and bold color choices. She can be funny or serious or flip back and forth between the two in a single eight-panel strip.

And Hausauer is transcending the gag strip in exciting ways. Her 2016 comic Raccoon focused on the dead and rotting body of a raccoon in the Northwest wilderness with a literary sensibility that evokes minimalists like Raymond Carver. At the time, I remarked that “Raccoon’s realism falls comfortably within the continuum of Northwest fiction. It feels like a story that could only spring from our part of the world.”

Hausauer also works in the field of visual art — by which I just mean she sometimes draws without words or panels. Last year, she brought a show called SLIDESHOW to art space The Factory. In it, she illustrated a family’s photo slides from the 1960s. On Thursday, February 8th, she returns with Baby Boomer, a new set of illustrated found slides featuring dirt bikes, families, and weird gender politics.

Make no mistake: Baby Boomer is a comic. It tells a story about the past, which also reflects on our present. The way Hausauer imagines the elements of these photographs comments on the past and remixes it for our uncertain present. One can imagine all these works collected in a book that documents the American Century as the American Century documented itself. I’d read the hell out of that book.

The Factory, 1216 10th Ave, 6 pm, free.