Cultural work attempting to make collective action irresistible one art artifact at a time.
Ti-ra-de-ro (“mess” in Spanish) is a collection of movement work, public projects, art, comics, illustrations and community campaigns made or cultivated in the Pacific Northwest.
My name’s Myra (she/they), and I’m an architectural designer, cartoonist, zine maker and community organizer! I make art - online and off - with comics, zines, maps, posters, stickers, illustrations, and architectural drawings for self-expression, catharsis, solidarity, political education, social movements, community campaigns and community building.
I'm a self-taught comic artist who took the intrusive thought of “I can make that!” too seriously one day in 2015 and never looked back. After a few years of learning “the ropes” and reaching milestones like…
… I found that my art & comics were also reflecting my political growth while existing, resisting & learning on the unceded land of the Coast Salish people, better known as Seattle, Washington. So when art making is for fun, it’s weird, cute, ridiculous, transgressive, revealing. But when it’s about making sense of my present context, it’s about the housing crisis, climate change, and wealth inequality and how these relate to capitalism, patriarchy, settler-colonialism & white supremacy.
Other than my incessant online posting, I like keeping things local, experimental, transparent, fluid. I’ve had my comics in print anthologies like La Raza Anthology and Tales From La Vida and local comix newspapers like Thick as Thieves, Hair Flip, and Scarfff. Most recently I’ve completed a gender violence prevention comic for the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center’s ¡Basta! Prevent Sexual Harassment in Agriculture project with the University of Washington. I’m also a core contributor and member to multiple socialist, tenant rights, housing justice, and mutual aid organizations, cooperatives, or collectives in the Seattle area.
At a time of excess and exploitation, it’s difficult to find an online platform that shares your personal vision and values. As a member of several cooperatives, I have seen the empowering reality of direct democracy, collective ownership and mutual aid. I am very excited to be part of a creator-owned subscription service - and I hope you are too!
Art is labor. Making comics is a beautiful but agonizing process that is chronically underpaid despite the recent boom in popularity. Your monthly donations not only directly pay for my labor (and for the continued success of this worker cooperative), but also allow me to continue drawing, designing, or illustrating for community campaigns or movement work pro-bono or at a reduced rate.
I am currently fully employed as an architectural designer in a local architecture firm.
I have a few more commissions to do before diving back into my comic art work, so stay tuned for that! In the meantime, here's a poster I finished for a community-led initiative that just this week passed with flying colors. People didn't think we could do it - and lots of people abandoned us as it formed. Seeing the work done in the background, I can depressingly say that electoral politics stonewalls anyone going against the grain. I witnessed a lot of bravery. A lot of overworked, vulnerable people talking up to powerful figures. None of us accepted "it can't be done", "it's too early", "it's too late", "it's not big enough", "it won't change a thing." Proud of everyone who contributed in any way to this big ask.
Hello everyone! Apologies for the radio silence, but I've been burned out while trying to tidy up my life before picking up more projects. The hiatus was worth it, and I feel inspired after finally getting together with several art friends. Thanks for your patience!
In the meantime, here's a poster I made for a friend! (Instead of money, he's giving me an amp!) I'm trying to dive into character design, and currently I'm obsessed with drawing suns. Expect more of this little guy and gal.
I'm in between art projects right now so I'm focusing on my job, plus cleaning, eating well, playing music and doodling these suns...
I want to make a stencil of them and put them around town - or at least starting on my fence!
Also drawing a lot of bus stops...
I'm on the bus a lot lately. It takes me about an hour to get to work from my place - more time for music listening and badly napping on transit!
Turning in signatures soon! Now it's time to celebrate before getting back to work to get it passed! Join House our Neighbors July 8th at AIDS Memorial Pathway (north of Cal Anderson Park!) from 6pm to 9pm for music, food, speakers and BIPOC vendors. If you want this campaign to succeed or have volunteered for it - please come by so we can ceberate you/with you.
If you're local, come on by and sign the petition to get social housing on the ballot!
Thanks to you, I got paid for this short assignment~ It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to draw. I was thinking and drawing along the lines of what's growing in the Pacific Northwest in the spring. I drew a bit of fern and nettles but decided on a walking daisy with a welcome wagon instead to blast us all with a little cute dopamine instead.
It's spring which means we're doing more and more tabling as the Puget Sound Tenants Union! We like having information not only on local tenant law, but also what other tenant unions are doing and saying across the nation. This link will be a living link, which means I will be updated the pack as I make more.
Downloadable here: https://tiradero.itch.io/tenant-rights-free-zine-pack
For about three hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon, Pipsqueak Gallery hosted the first Make/Swap Zine Meet, a free and all ages space for zinemaking and its related ideations. Zines are a low-barrier and artful way to gather your thoughts around a beloved subject. I've seen a lot of zines get turned into books, so don't sweat starting small when you feel overwhelmed!
I signed up for a microgrant a few months ago with a small write up and this event poster and received $750 for the event series. I used it to buy a common pool of art supplies and the ability to just provide free copies. I simply had a sheet where attendees would self-report how many copies they made.
Long gone are the days of a nickle a page; black and white copies go for 11 to 15 cents each and color copies can go up to a full dollar! Corporate survellience also means your friend can't sneak some copies over to you. Thus community copiers and risographs keep zine culture alive and well - and this event is an extention of that energy.
Since this was the first event I was running right after the pandemic, I decided to be very intentional with my advertizing. I posted about the event in my personal social medias (<3k followers), as well as a few leftist spaces and collectives. Instagram had surprising reach, despite my low use of it (Finsta, anyone?) It's always a good sign when people ask if it will happen again - some even asked monthly! The instant feedback was very gratifying but quarterly might be the right frequency for my current capacity. We'll see when the next one happens!
173 16th Ave
Rescheduled this zine meet at Pipsqueak Gallery due to COVID-19. More than willing to cancel if it gets worse, but here's to hoping we can have a small gathering! I'll be using this comradery money for this month as a suppliment to acquiring materials for this event - like snacks and copies. Thanks!
💊 Finishing up a 6 page 36 panel mini-comic for Really Easy Press! I'm at the "unhappy" stage of completing artwork: everything looks wrong! There's a few panels I want to fix, so that's where I'm stuck. I love horror as a genre, so getting to do a tiny horror comic makes my heart sing.
💊 Weakly Comix #3 is done - just need to buy some paper for the cover. Unsure where I will sell it - next mini-tabling event I'm at probably. Weakly Comix is how I collect my stray art and comics for the year into one little yearbook!
💊 My entry to CMYKings is almost done! I was assigned Magenta - which to me is bubbly bubbly dopamine rush! It's due in 2 weeks!
💊 I want to send in an entry to a geography magazine who is looking for content around Queer Ecologies. I want to write about our co-op - and started collecting images, screenshots, pictures and text to start that process. It may be a weekend activity - mainly sifting and really thinking about what to say that doesn't take me too long to make. It's due in 2 weeks!
💊 Just started talking to an academic I've worked with before about a possible workshop for landscape architecture students. I loved working with her before so hoping this is expressive, fun, insightful, and tender.
💊 Comradery is moving towards tiers soon. My guess is that I will have three tiers in addition to the Donation Tier, which you're all in right now. Tier 1 will be a "supporter" tier, which will have behind-the-scenes drafts, doodles and ideations. Tier 2 will be more of a "peer" tier, focused on the art & comics community, open to discussion. Messier, in way. Lastly, Tier 3 will be a "sticker and zine club" - I'm thinking every half year something will be mailed to you if you select that tier. I'm going to continue having a "public" tier, where I will post finished items, general updates, or anything that I want to give out for free.
Thanks! Enjoy the ride~
I haven't made a Weakly Comix since the end of 2019! I actually have quite a lot of art to put out, so I started settingt he files. Here's a few spreads to entice you!
A lot of it was art or zines I made over the pandemic and uprising when our focus was on survival, collective care and abolition.
The zine will be 20 pages with a color cardstock cover.
This comics is pretty much why this comradery exists. This is what you're funding in a way. I'm making art for a local tenant union - and this comic was made to reflect back the real interactions a group of tenants had with their rude and neglectful landlord. It's going in a newsletter where tenants share information, experiences and organizing skills. Where we coordinate offense, following the lead of the affected first.
The tenants we've been canvassing and organizing with are mainly working class, immigrants, ESL, sometimes undocumented, and people of color. With their many marginalizations and financial precarity, the landlord knows they have the upper hand. So instead of fixing up things they are legally required to do so, they intimidate and ignore tenants and deflect any responsibility away from themselves or their management company. They blame roaches on the tenants. They withhold services out of spite or greed, like picking up the trash and getting rid of vermin. Did you know that mold makes you cough out blood? Or that roaches can get stuck in your ear?
The department responsible for tenant law and building code enforcement is frequently unresponsive. Even with coordinated form and phone "zaps" from tenants directly infested with roaches, mold, and broken plumbing or heating, they still don't listen. No one can hold landlords accountable. The strength of the laws that favor capitalists is just too great. The landlord's business is making the most out of rent and spending the least on maintanence; the tenant union's business is to build people power against this basic capitalistic mechanic. Safe, stable and healthy housing is a human right - and profit should never cut into that.
To be printed in Scarfff #9 in January 2023.
If there's anything I miss the most of pre-pandemic times, it's collective making or drawing with perfect strangers turned perfect friends. There are many flavors of them too - either with cartoonist and zine makers, or animators and video game artists, or fine artists and figure drawing. Having just visited Texas, a state with no pandemic restrictions, I realized many events are back. In Seattle, they are slowly coming back, one foot at a time. The pandemic did one unexpected thing: the return of intimate and intentional events. Perhaps that is the problem of gentrified cities - everything must be either highly subsidized or highly profitable. There is no in between.
Along with a friend, I'm hosting a work party where zine makers or zine curious people can come by and create together at Pipsqueak Gallery a sober, all ages, anti-capitalist and anti-authoriatarian space in the Central District. Here are the basic supplies we'll have for your use:
If you're local - see you there!
I had the centerfold this time around and went the "poster" route (which I'll show in another post), but I had a tiny strip idea for the funnies. I jotted down the text in my notebook and found the time to draw it yesterday.
I first start with sizing the canvas (in Procreate) the final size they're looking for, which was 14.5" x 5.5". Because there are no bleeds, I don't have to account for them. I use the "drawing assist" to divide it roughly into 4 panels. Since there's very little movement in the panels, I just use the windows and characters as frame - no need for additional lines!
I had a lot of nervous productive energy last night so I just kept going. I imagined a city scape behind the drone, but opted to keep it simple. The heavy black grounds it, and your eye immidiately knows you're reading 4 panels.
I don't know which is my closest sentient copier, but I'm hoping they like to trade zines.
Unsure how to describe the last few weeks other than a "slow whirlwind" - a sluggish but strong inevitability. I have at least two anthology submissions and a handful of tiny zine projects to complete this upcoming month, then I will be lost in the world of SMT V for a hot second before returning back to pencil marks on trace paper.
A few months ago I did a page for Scarfff's "Martial Arts" issue. I ended up drawing a soldier cat longsword-fighting a bunny with a chest piece (old english script "DREAD"). I had a lot less time that I thought, so I went a cartoonish route. Yes, I get that sounds funny considering that's what "cartoonist" means - but I wanted to try another style. Luckily I get to try that again - but this time for the centerfold!
A whole lifetime ago (back in 2018), I made some graphics for a socialist candidate running for city council. My favorite, which I also found to be the most strikingly Seattle, was a monochrome scritchy-scratchy render of the typical view of houses and trees on a hill, but overlayed on a two-axis line graph of rents vs. time.
I don't think the campaign ended up using the image, which you can see in the "collage" above on the bottom right. I had once again, less time than I thought I did* and wasn't as nimble as I wanted to be. I naively didn't think political campaigns were as ass-to-the-wall as they actually are. Life in the Scarcity Model - who knew that if you aren't rich, you gotta hustle EVERYWHERE you go, even for righteous representation.
This concept of landscape-as-infographic is tied to the base of my centerfold. What you see above is the raw image without detailing. I quickly drew it this past weekend with fat acrylic markers on a 24" x 18" bristol paper on a too-small light box. Instead of the land exponentially rising over time, it's now water - a city drowing in accelerating cost of living brought upon by the triple threat of wealth inequality, systemic racism and climate change.
This issue's theme is "Internet of Things" in black and teal (blue-green) on newsprint and although such theme has a literal meaning (internet-connected devices), I'm taking a very abstract read on it - how land ownership is tied to capitalism and imperialism wrought by English settler-colonialism. Although the raw image is black and white, the final will not. Once I take it into Ph#tosh#p, the water and trees will be processed teal, while the built environment and text black. Manifest Destiny, the figure on the right**, will be both. I should be finished next week!
The other submission I've been incredibly slow at. I'm slowly releasing the pages here, the first you can see below or here. It's for Really Easy Press's 666, a new horror anthology. I'm combining two concepts for this short 36 panel horror project: slime videos and kill(er)(ing) cops. Have to learn to draw some gore... stay tuned.
* - It happens to be I have clinical depression - and the time I continuously count on to have is never there because of it.
** - I am taking her visage from the painting "American Progress" by John Gast where she is a giant symbolic figure, following settlers, laying down electrical wires on utility poles.
The last pre-pandemic festival I attended was the anarchist bookfair at the Vera in early December 2019. I recall being annoyed with myself I didn't attend any of the workshops. I picked up quite a lot of books though - and since it's been 2 years since then, I'm hoping I've read them all.
I also remember Detritus Books were selling a red sticker with white text that reads "TALKING TO COPS". I don't remember if I bought it, traded for it, or if someone gave it to me, but I put it up somewhere in the neighborhood where it took at least 3 months to be taken down. I applied that same concept to two words: Sweeps and Evictions.
I ordered 500 of each which I am selling at cost here.
I've been in the logo and graphic design "business" recently. The most recent have been House Our Neighbor's logo (watch this space!), my own logo for Ti-ra-de-ro (you're in this space!), as well as for various mutual aid circles and community campaigns that want their own image to represent themselves with.
I'm finishing up our mutual aid circle's zine, which the back will be an 11x17 spread of what items we like to give and share to neighbors living outdoors. Preview of the first pass below!
I'm also doing some drawings for a tenant union I volunteer with. Inspired by Don't Evict PDX, some comrades from Puget Sound Tenants Union started their own court watch for King County. If you're local, and interested in lending your ears and mind weekday mornings, sign up here. We're watching you, landlords!!
Lastly, Comradery will be rolling out tiered subcriptions soon. All of you are currently donating montly to me - which I'm hella thankful for. Ideally posts like this would be behind a paywall since I'm showing unfinished art work - as well as notes on the process. I do love sharing these, as that's how I learned to do art: sharing with my peers. Sometimes however, shit's still tender, and I'd like to hide in the shadows. As well as show you extras that don't get used.
No action needed from you now, but wanted to flag it so you know what to do next time!
WIP for a local anthology! More later....
Sit tight, this one’s a long one!
These months has been filled with a lot of planning on multiple fronts. Projects are either just starting, incomplete, or are sensitive in nature. I’ve been very excited and proud of all my comrades in these growing abolitionist spaces!
We’ve continued to develop Greenwood Mutual Aid in North Seattle. Since last October, we’ve provided survival supplies and warm home-cooked meals to three encampments in the neighborhood, enjoyed a summer cookout, brought out a weekly portable shower, improved our decision-making and organizing skills, and taught ourselves new things in communal discussion.
Our cache of harm reduction supplies have now extended to include bubbles, hammers, fentanyl test strips & snorting kits thanks to another affinity group. They know who they are! I also received this more ~official-looking~ harm reduction kit list from a dear friend - beefing up our more spartan cleans pack.
Harm reduction is necessary in a country with a high-barrier healthcare system that doesn’t respond compassionately to trauma and self-medication. People don’t just start doing heroin out of nowhere.
My first brush with the concept of harm reduction was in Vancouver, B.C. from a nurse I was staying with through Couchsurfing. I got to talk to her one morning about her work at the free clinic by the needle exchange in Chinatown. I remember that tiny portable washing machines connected to her tiny bathroom sink. Covered in human fluids everyday, she prioritized coming home, taking it all off, and washing her scrubs. Despite the chaos, she knew her work was critical for public health. She had a very minimalist style and made me coffee in such a delightful manner. I learned a lot from her generosity, and since then always offer my couch for anyone that needs to crash.
We also now have a few medics for mobile healthcare. It’s very hard to get anyone living outside to go to the hospital. Not only do they get treated like shit, hold medical trauma, and don’t have any money, ID, or insurance to pay for it, but it also means they have to leave all their belongings vulnerable to theft or destruction.
Over a hundred people in the leftist community attended Dean Spade’s mutual aid reading and discussion at Left Bank Books a few weeks ago. Since my vaccination, I’ve increased my contact with other people only under three circumstances: within my household, my work, and “church” - which is what I personally started calling "distro" or "outreach" days after a neighbor tried to jokingly dissuade their friends from attending. (We quickly let them know that no, we’re not with a religious institution, and we’re more of a rag-tag team of angry anarchists!) It was nice to be around a broader community safely in front of the bookstore and market in late summer twilight.
We’re working on improving our “living” handbook and our onboarding & decision-making processes next! I’m also working on a small study guide for those interested in reading Dean’s book, but are unable to purchase it or lack the time to read it.
Thankful for everyone that contributes labor, ideas, rides, money and donations to this project! You can find us at @GWMutualAid on twitter, or email us at [email protected] ✨
Recently, one of our neighbors started running a monthly public art market out of their backyard! We signed up for some tabling this Saturday afternoon at the Rhubarb Garden Market - which means I got to think of new zines, buttons & stickers to sell! Re-energized creatively by this exciting proximity, I stayed up all night thinking about branding. When I opened this account on Comradery, I got strangely uncomfortable about using my name - I realized it’s mainly because I create so many different things that I wanted some feeling of separation.
The word came to me pretty naturally. It’s one of those words often said in my household. Not only is it fun to say, but it was what my mother would call my bedroom. Un tiradero. A mess!
I’m contributing to the start of a community campaign that will directly address the lack of municipal & state resources for the poorest & sickest people in the city. I have joined a few working groups including research, mutual aid and comms. I’m excited! I will talk more about it once it’s ready to be “open to the public”!
For the past few years, I’ve been learning political theory and strategy from my peers rather than “expert” figureheads with titles obtained through association or a poli-sci degree. They often teach you to accept “working the system”. What city hall looked like, how an ordinance gets formed and passed, what lobbying groups and nonprofits sound like, and how to give a compelling testimony - all useful knowledge that ultimately felt like muffled pleas in action. I needed to learn how to organize. I needed to learn that decentralized but overlapping organizing spaces are a necessary redundancy in our collective struggle towards liberation. Like a web, like water, like fungal root networks.
It’s true that every campaign needs to make available tiny tasks to introduce a new person into the fold. Most people you will talk to about an issue will often agree that something is wrong, but have no idea what to do about it. We’re never taught to advocate for ourselves, or in my case, how our government actually works. But there’s only so many email blasts you can send until your well of support dries up. Watching interest wax and wane kills hope, but it’s only human. We grow tired, especially when our efforts are unsupported and we have to dedicate so much time to work for basic survival needs.
I hope to continue this radical tradition of collective learning, of honoring everyone's lived experiences, relationships & skills, as every single one is needed in our path towards collective liberation.
I don't remember what got me started with comics. I was definitely reading them, but at some point I decided to just start, like, doing them
... but that's a story for another day; there's no "draft" or "edit" button on this platform yet and it's 11pm and I want to play video games with my friends! It's been a week. And it's exciting that you're here! I've been preoccupied with pushing a flock of projects an inch at a time. Finish line or milestone, I'll tell you more about them soon. They need a bit more tending.
I took my first "official" comics class a few months ago as a means to detach myself from everyday (pandemic) life and to hone a beloved skill through instruction. It just felt soothing to simply do what a more experieced other tells me is good. I took David Lasky (a friend) and Greg Stump's Graphic Memoir Class at Hugo House at a time when the school itself was going through it's own spiritual purge. I missed a class and couldn't do the homework. It turns out when you're living one day at a time you can't predict your future time and energy.
I did get to draw one comic that's been in my mind for a while.
My dad is from a little pueblo in the state of Tamaulipas. A few years ago, I wanted to find it on the map - but since I mostly visited my family as a minor, I didn't really need to know addresses, routes, how to take out a permit, or what you're allowed to take across the border. I'm still not even sure if there's an address. I did know, however, markers, vistas, rest stops and milanesas.
Imaging myself renting a car and driving down, I found the route on Google maps. My father's hometown faintly labeled. Street grids shaded with no names. A named minisuper with no address. A solitary coordinate, starred. I immediately recognize the plot.
See you again soon!
Completed this past summer for House our Neighbors!, a coalition of unhoused individuals, social workers, housing advocates and supporting organizations. Learn about the brutal reality of corporate-backed Charter Ammendment 29 otherwise known as "Compassion Seattle" here and here.
digital & risograph 2021
¡Ya Basta! is a bilingual, 20-page educational comic written for agricultural growers, supervisors, workers and their families to prevent sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. In Washington State, migrant women of color are especially vulnerable. In late 2020, a team from the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center's Prevent Sexual Harrassment in Agriculture program sought to work with a comic artist to create additional training material. Comics are narrative-based, fun, easier to digest, and portable - an important consideration since many workers expressed a desire to bring the educational materials home. I worked alongside public health and labor academics, organizations against domestic violence and impacted migrant communities, who were consulted at every step of the way - including looking over my art! Muchas gracias a todas!
The final product was locally printed on a risograph printer at Paper Press Punch. The cover is a soft Orchid & Bright Red, with the inside pages a stark Black & Bright Red like PNASHC's banana-inspired logo.
I talk about the process of making this comic over at the Short Run Slideshow Series. Thanks to Kelly Froh and Mita Mahato for including me in this digital show, as well as Lauren, Megan and Meredith for being endless inspirations!
Download the full comic, in English or Spanish, at the Prevent Sexual Harassment in Agriculture website here.
When you run out of time, so battle of bunnymen and cattos fighting it out HEMA style.
(add more later)