Rickey Gard Diamond, Author
My dad used to read me the “funny papers” when I was a kid. He was a marvelous performer, and taught me the voices of literature’s genres: mystery, romance, satire, slapstick comedy. It’s no wonder I had to become a writer with all those voices in my head. Writing cartoons brings me full circle.
My favorite work is fiction. My novel, Second Sight, issued first by Calyx books in 1998, and by HarperCollins in 2000 are linked at my webpage, HERE, along with a recent short story collection: Whole Worlds Could Pass Away. But I also love journalism. I was Vermont Woman’s founding editor back in 1985, and remain one of her contributing editors today. It is there that Peaco and I first launched our Screwnomics cartoons in 2014.
It is also there that I wrote a series of six articles called An Economy of Our Own, which in 2012 won a National Newspaper Award for in-depth investigative reporting. Even earlier at Vermont College, where I taught writing and literature for over 20 years, I had designed a series of seminars on the economy and the theme of money in literature. I was one of the presenters at the March 2008 Summit for Economic Justice in Atlanta sponsored by the National Organization for Women, The Institute for Women's Policy Research and the Council of American Negro Women.
A lot of“creative writing” was getting done on Wall Street and in Washington, D.C., in language scary enough that we women needed to deconstruct it, I said then. Just months later, in Sept. 2008, the biggest bankers were demanding that we taxpayers bail them out of a global "meltdown" they created. Since that event, I’ve asked even more fervently, how real are the boundaries between “fiction” and “non-fiction,” truth and lies, in money stories and money facts?
Screwnomics reveals women’s fuller economic story, but in a way that shows how personal the economy really is. It shares history, memoir, gossip, and family laundry, illuminating a topic even more taboo than sex. Why? Because EconoMan's money IS about sex! The pronoun "I" in the book's text refers only to me, but the cartoons by Peaco and me are intended to make economics more personal for you, too, the better to make some change. Our goal is to get more women together to talk economics and make sense of their personal money story too.
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PEACO TODD, ILLUSTRATOR
I’m a syndicated cartoonist, author and professor. I’ve authored/co-authored and illustrated books and articles ranging from transforming anger to understanding football. My current creative interest, in addition to Screwnomics, lies in the emerging field of ‘graphic medicine’: using graphic novel techniques to tell medical stories. Two projects I’m working include a collaborative graphic memoir about thyroid cancer and a graphic memoir of my own about growing up with a severely depressed mother. You can see samples of my work at www.peacotoons.com.
In addition to my creative endeavors, for nearly 10 years I’ve worked as a faculty member for the Union Institute & University; prior to that, I was an assistant professor of management at Lesley University. In my spare time (ha!) I run one or two half-marathons a year, and participate, as a ‘minor domo,’ in the annual Ig Nobel Award Ceremony. Travel is a love and an obsession: in the last few years I’ve lived in Argentina and visited Hawaii, Canada, England, Europe, Iceland, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Like economics, the subjects of my two memoir projects are complex, emotional and not well understood. I find that creating characters and illustrating storylines can help humanize otherwise theoretical matters and add the invaluable element of humor. When I started working with Rickey on the Screwnomics cartoons, I was pretty much as clueless as Suki (one of our cartoon characters). Working on this project has opened my eyes and taught me how important it is for women to believe in the possibility of true economic equity and learn the ways and means of making that change a reality. We hope this book and our cartoon feature will support and encourage that aspiration.