In this week’s Illustrated PEN, Guest Editor Whit Taylor presents an original piece by artist Katie Fricas.

Taylor writes: I selected cartoonist Katie Fricas to create an original comic for Illustrated PEN because of her unique approach to the medium. Fricas’s autobiographical work regularly addresses the complexities of gender, sexuality, culture, and agency with a smart, quirky, and often humorous storytelling style. Motivated by her desire to further process her family history, Fricas interviewed her mother about her experience of giving up a child for adoption before she was born. Fricas found the making of Postpartum to be a cathartic experience for both she and her mother and a meditation on how societal expectations can dictate and determine our reproductive choices.

Katie Fricas is a cartoonist from New York City. Her nonfiction essay comics have run in The Guardian, Hyperallergic, and The New Yorker. She is the creator of Checked Out, a comic about nearly a decade spent working at New York City’s oldest library, that regularly runs on Spiralbound. Keep up with her on Instagram @cartoonfricassee.