Published on September 1st, 2015 | by Mariah Beckman


Meet the artist and author Colleen Frakes at Destiny City Comics September 5

prison island book coverBiographies can be an acquired taste, but South Sound native Colleen Frakes has drawn on her own experience—quite literally—to recount her own origin story in a fun and whimsical way in her new graphic novel, Prison Island.

Frakes, a mild-mannered Seattle-based librarian by day and cartoonist at large has shared her experiences as one of a handful of Washingtonians ever to live on the infamous McNeil Island.

Never been to McNeil? Well, you probably wouldn’t have; not unless you were incarcerated between 1875 and 2011. The island, roughly 6.5 miles of land south of the islands Fox and Anderson, is west of the mainland and accessible only by boat or by plane.

America’s last and largest island prison closed in 2011, but until that time, it was home not only to inmates and wildlife (McNeil is also an active nature preserve) but also to a small, close-knit community.

Residents of McNeil consisted almost entirely of prison personnel and their families, roughly fifty in all. Colleen Frakes was counted among their number.

PrisonIsland-sample-1This Ignatz Award recipient details her peculiar—and yet familiar—experiences growing up in this company town in her September release Prison Island.

An expansion on her already successful mini-comic Island BratPrison Island takes a wistful and genuine look at a piece of history as a matter of course. Colleen attended school, went out with friends and explored like every other teen, but her story has a small town twist with a dash of zany detail.

This book is a must-read for lovers of Northwest history, those who appreciate coming-of-age tales and anyone who has a penchant for artfully composed comics. With panels that recall the polished, minimalist sketches of The New Yorker, this relatively short read is charming, witty, and hard to put down.

Don’t just read about Prison Island—hear about it straight from the source.

Tacoma’s Destiny City Comics will be hosting Colleen Frakes September 5, 2 – 4 PM. This award-winning author/illustrator and Xeric Grant recipient will be available to sign books and dish about her life on Prison Island.

Meet artist and author Colleen Frakes
September 5, 2015, 2 pm
Destiny City Comics
18 St. Helens Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402

Reposted with permission from xxpaperbeatsrockxx.

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About the Author

Mariah Beckman is a writer and editor in the Pacific Northwest. A transplant from the cloudless skies and arid heat of the Arizona desert, Mariah spends most of her time in South Hill trying not to get too soggy.

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