Kazoo magazine debuted in 2016 as the most successful journalism campaign in Kickstarter history, satisfying a cultural need for a magazine that shows young girls they can take up space and have their voices heard by sharing stories of female pioneers in all fields. Comics are a regular feature in Kazoo, with the magazine hiring noteworthy cartoonists to create short biographies of women who have altered the course of history. Knopf Books For Young Readers collects these comics next month in a new graphic novel anthology, Noisemakers: 25 Women Who Raised Their Voices And Changed The World, which functions as both an engrossing history lesson and a showcase for the incredible creative voices pushing the comic-book medium forward.
This exclusive preview of Noisemakers, on sale February 5, tells the story of Hallie Daggett, the first woman to serve as a fire lookout for the United States Forest Service. Rosemary Valero-O’Connell had a huge 2019 as the artist of Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, and these six pages highlight the deep expression and lush detail of her work, immersing readers in the serene environment that Hallie calls home. The emotional core of this story is Hallie’s relationship with the forest and all its different kinds of life, from towering trees to clusters of mushrooms to critters that gather in front of her cabin. There’s a strong appreciation for the beauty of nature in Valero-O’Connell’s work, and that affection in the artwork enriches Hallie Daggett’s inner life.
These pages reinforce a lot of the themes that are at the core of Kazoo’s philosophy: the thrill of exploration, the comfort of self-reliance, the joy of being confident in pursuing what you want despite the world’s objections. Other biographies include My Favorite Thing Is Monsters’ Emil Ferris on Mary Shelley, Relish’s Lucy Knisley on Julia Child, Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur’s Alitha E. Martinez on Josephine Baker, and many more, making Noisemakers vital reading for comic fans who want to see the full range of what the medium can offer.
Update: The article was edited from its original state to provide clarity regarding the team behind the project, which included non-binary creators. We sincerely apologize for the oversight. -Ed.