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Trade Comics makes light of a woman’s experiences in male-run society

Trade Comics

comic, Kahla Lichti RSE, secretlifeofanapprenticeellectrician.wordpress.com, $12.95

Sometimes I think I should have gone into the trades, done some kind of work where my hands become calloused and I can point to an actual physical thing and say, “I made that.” Lichti’s comic reminded me that I made the correct choice to become a white-collar office worker, because I am never presented with bikini posters in the break room, pants-less clients, or a journeyman who wants to show me the true meaning of “stripping,” but I still get to be in a union.

The pages that try to convey technical information went right over my head, likely because I took neither physics nor shop in high school, but I did find it interesting to learn that neon sign-making used to be a red seal trade, but is now considered a dying art. I’m writing this review on the day it was publicly announced Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor are both trash, and it continues to be depressing/comforting to know there are awful men in every industry; from entertainment to skilled trades and government bureaucracies. Lichti’s single-panel stick-figure comics represent an effort to journal and “make light of” — as she puts it — her experiences of being a female apprentice electrician in all its ordinary glory. I commend her efforts, not only in keeping a regular journal, but actively helping herself stay sane in the face of so much nonsense.

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