Erika Moen: DAR, A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary (Volumes 1 and 2)

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Moen, Erika. DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary, Volume One (Portland, OR: Periscope Studio, 2009)

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Moen, Erika. DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary, Volume Two (Portland, OR: Periscope Studio, 2010)

"Charming" is one of those adjectives--like "endearing" and "delightful"--that I tend to overuse when discussing cartoonists whose work I absolutely adore (Alison Bechdel, Amanda Conner, Scott McCloud, Craig Russell, Jill Thompson, Bill Watterson), but it's well-deserved in the case of Erika Moen. Instead of already having a lengthy career under her belt, Moen has been creating comics for only a few years--but her work is hardly novice-quality.

With several mini-comics and these two books, Moen has already built a great foundation for her cartooning career. Volume One features DAR! strips from 2006-2008, with Volume Two continuing through the final strip in 2009 and then returning to 2003 for the strip's beginning. Here's an episode from late 2009, which may help explain the cover of Volume 2:

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DAR! is intended for adults, with plenty of NSFW bits that deal with love, sex, the creative impulse, and defining one's own identity. As the artist herself describes her creation:

DAR! chronicles the six year long autobiographical story of Erika Moen, who starts out as a lost 20-year-old lesbian artist-wannabe in college who falls in love with a boy in England and the evolution that her sexual identity undergoes before winding up marrying him as a queer 26-year-old full-time cartoonist. Along the way there are many vignettes about sex, farts, the queer community, the Brits, vibrators and figuring out sexual identity.

It ran from 2003-2009.

The swift maturation of Moen's art over that brief time is a portent of even greater things to come. I can't wait to see the next project born on her drawing board--whether it's a single-panel comic strip or a graphic novel, a work of autobiography or fiction, a solo effort or a collaborative one, adult-themed or kid-friendly, you can bet that it will be worth reading and savoring.


links:

Erika Moen has an online portfolio, a section at Periscope Studio, a DeviantArt page, and an Etsy store (original art!)

Visit her (sorely missed) DAR! website and buy some of her comics, already! (She offers a customized version of each DAR! book--just a few dollars more for a signature and a sketch, which I highly recommend!)


update (10/7):
Greg Burgas writes an excellent review of the two DAR! books at CBR.

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1 Comment

Oh cool, someone lent me that book this weekend and I couldn't put it down. Glad to see you promoting it.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on May 11, 2010 9:11 PM.

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