Esther McManus is a graphic artist whose self-published works weave together the comic and book forms. She favours self-publishing as it fosters strong networks of comics makers and promotes “narratives that fall outside the mainstream”.
In her work McManus explores how the form and content of book objects shape the experience of the reader, and how materials play a central role in the way stories are read and understood. She views her identity as a practitioner as characterised by the use of practices in combination, such as drawing, printing, binding, distribution, and engaging with other work.
McManus sees comics as uniquely placed to communicate her research into feminist publishing and collective practice, due to their ability to represent time in unusual, non-linear ways. This allows her to highlight the connections between past and future in the rendering of historical narratives, such as Between Friends (2019), which examines feminist publishing over the past 50 years.