Tag Archive for monica gallagher

Review: Part-Time Princesses by Monica Gallagher

Part-Time PrincessesSenior year isn’t going as well as they’d hoped.

Best friends Amber, Tiffany, Michelle and Courtney perform as princesses at their local theme park, The Enchanted Park (which has seen better days) and are looking forward to their futures. However, as obstacles keep them from their perceived dreams, our heroines in Monica Gallagher‘s Part-Time Princesses (Oni Press, 2015), realize they can use their strengths and abilities to save their park from those who want to destroy it.

It’s refreshing to read a comic about teenage girls that’s not focused on them being misfits. Although our heroines are popular, they’re more Clueless than Mean Girls — they can be a bit self-involved but they’re well-meaning and each has her own motivations and interests, from the ambitious, smart Michelle to the dramatic Tiffany

Gallagher has a wonderful eye for fashion and the way teen girls actually interact. Each girl looks unique — down to her body type and style (Courtney is athletic and sporty, wannabe model Amber is tall and graceful). While Gallagher’s backgrounds are sparse, they focus the attention on her strong ability to convey personality and emotions through body language and facial expressions. The girls not only feel like friends to each other — they feel like girls you know.

While the story mostly proceeds with the expected beats as each girl finds her true abilities, there are a few curves — an unexpected romance, a hidden conspiracy — that keep the plot from feeling too obvious. Gallagher’s gift for the playful rhythms of life keep her storytelling strong and fresh.

As much as I love comics about girls and women in extraordinary circumstances (whether it’s real life or fantastic), it’s refreshing to read a graphic novel that’s about normal girls doing mostly normal things. I would love to see more comics like Part-Time Princesses in the world.

Digital review copy provided by Oni Press.

The D.C. Area Comics Scene for Feb. 26

Monica Gallager, Nicole J. Georges and Sally Madden sign books at Atomic Books in Baltimore, Md., Feb. 21.

Monica Gallagher, Nicole J. Georges and Sally Madden sign books at Atomic Books in Baltimore, Md., Feb. 21.

News/interviews/reviews:

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Two outside the area (but close enough!) shows worth noting:

Note: I’ll be at MSU Comics Forum this weekend, and I think this is a good time to remind everyone that if you’re from the area and going to an event somewhere else, let me know! Also, if you’re not from the area but will be for something, let me know that too! Necessary information is all below!

Have comic news or events related to the D.C. area to share? Email me! Submit no later than Monday at 9 p.m. for inclusion each Tuesday, but the earlier, the better! More information is here.

Review: Calling Dr. Laura

calling-dr-lauraMost families do have some kind of secret, but they’re mostly little ones. Most don’t involve a long-believed dead father still being alive.

Portland-based zinester and artist Nicole J. Georges was told just that during a visit to a psychic. Her graphic memoir, Calling Dr. Laura (Mariner Books, 2013), deals with the aftermath as she journeys through her family history and her own place in the world. And yes, her story does involve her calling into the Dr. Laura Program.

Georges is pretty frank about herself and her honesty makes her incredibly likeable and fun to follow. She’s sweet and sensitive — a vegan who’s happy to take in abandoned chickens and care for her beloved dogs — but she does show that her caring nature lets people take advantage of her, including a couple of girlfriends. The intimacy works for the story — it feels less like reading a comic and more like listening to a story being told you by a friend.

Georges structures the book beautifully. Scenes that take place in the present feel cinematic with close-ups of faces and complicated ink-washed backgrounds. She renders flashbacks to her childhood in a much more open style. Everything is a bit looser and less detailed, as memories often are. While Georges hops around between present and past, the differing styles make the transitions clear. All the details and memories feel relevant.

As much as Georges’ search for her father drives much of the book, it’s actually her mother that is at the book’s core. Their complicated relationship — from Georges’ chaotic, stressful childhood to the present — seems to inform most of her relationships with other women, from sisters to friends to girlfriends. It’s even important she felt the need to call Dr. Laura for advice rather than a man.

In the end, Georges does find the answers she’s looking for, but she gets a lot more than that. She gets understanding — not only of the other people in her life but also of herself.

It’s almost impossible to finish Calling Dr. Laura and not want Nicole J. Georges to be your new best friend. It’s a beautiful, powerful book by an awesome woman.

Nicole J. Georges, Cassie Sneider, Monica Gallagher and Sally Madden will be at Atomic Books in Baltimore, Md., from 7to 9 p.m. Feb. 21 (tomorrow!).

The D.C. Area Comics Scene for Feb. 19

Very slow week, but I know things will start to pick up again soon! If you have events, publications or news to share, please send it! I don’t want to miss anything.

Contests:

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Have comic news or events related to the D.C. area to share? Email me! Submit no later than Monday at 9 p.m. for inclusion each Tuesday, but the earlier, the better! More information is here.

The D.C. Area Comics Scene for Feb. 12

News/reviews/interviews:

Announcements:

Publications:

Events:

Have comic news or events related to the D.C. area to share? Email me! Submit no later than Monday at 9 p.m. for inclusion each Tuesday, but the earlier, the better! More information is here.