I was lucky enough to get Monica Gallagher in my portfolio review at Stumptown this year. It was an easy session, full of good talk and good art. I liked what I was starting to see in her style. It's rough and fluid at the same time, feminine but edgy, kind of like old-school Christine Norrie. The dichotomy seems to make sense for a skinny blonde girl in red lipstick who skates in roller derby. There's a reason Monica uses Betty Draper with a shotgun for her LiveJournal avatar.
Today on her journal, she updated about her vacation and her vacation reading, and she happened to say nice things about mine and Joëlle's little book even though I am a douche and haven't read the comics she sent me. I swear to God, I actually put them in my bag this morning when I left the house, long before this post...and still didn't read them. Dammit!
Anyway, Monica's own words:
"Sorry I've been absent for a while, peeps. There was vacationing to get to! I love that no matter how old I get, I can still retreat to a little cottage in Michigan during the butt-hot summer. I can laze on the hammock, soak in the lake, read as much as I want, and endlessly drink and catch up with relatives. Ahhhhh ... vacation.
While I was there I went through Jamie S. Rich & Joelle Jones's You Have Killed Me all too quickly. At first I was too mesmerized by the art to pay attention to the story, and I spent several minutes on each page admiring how much work Joelle put into it. When I did get around to paying attention to the story, I found it similar to the film noir dramas my friend Lauren used to make me watch -- all race tracks and high pants and drinks with ice cubes in cheap apartments. But whereas with some of the movies I'd get a bit impatient or confused (to be fair, Lauren's floor in her old apartment was really uncomfortable), Jamie's storyline kept me intrigued. I wasn't pressured to guess whodunit! the entire time, and the end still surprised me. Sometimes crime stories from the 40's and 50's are so stylized I have trouble identifying with any of their characters, so I was pleasantly surprised that I got a little choked up by the end. Plus, I never tire of a main character who gets beat up every day yet still looks cool. Even Jack Nicholson had a little trouble pulling that off in Chinatown..."
So, go to her site, Eat Your Lipstick, and check out her online comics, "Bonnie & Collide" and "Gods & Undergrads." Also, buy her minicomics from her store. Lipstick & Malice is a must. I love the tall, skinny format, like that wicked comic Vertical by Steven T. Seagle, Mike Allred, and Philip Bond.
UPDATE: I realized after I first posted this that I wasn't doing anything, so I sat down and read the minis Monica sent me. In addition to Lipstick & Malice, which continues to be fun and action-packed each issue, as well as putting the vertical format to use in cool ways on just about every page, you should pick up her autobio comic Boobage. The story of one girl and her relationship with her breasts manages to be both funny and sensitive. Ms Gallagher is shaping up to be a rather talented writer in addition to her vivacious art.
Current Soundtrack: some Antony & the Johnsons, some of the new edition of the Housemartins debut, London 0 Hull 4
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All text (c) 2009 Jamie S. Rich