Poster Girls/Cheating Fate
In Bushwick in Brooklyn there’s a lot of free books. High density of hipsters, short leases, and an attitude of impermanence all contribute. My favourite place to cruise for free books is a cheerfully painted old newspaper dispenser, which shelters the books. I’ve a shelf of books and only one of them purchased. It’s neat.
One day last month I found what felt like a brand new little mini comic. A two-in-one book by two comic artists. It had made it all the way from Adelaide in South Australia, no less.
The comic itself is charming. Cheating Fate by Owen Heitmann is about dreams and death and schoolyard crushes. I’m no comic expert, but the style feels pleasantly rigid in places, yet expressive and full of motion at the same time.
The other comic in the book is Poster Girls by Georgina Chadderton, known as George Rex. It’s about when your friend moves away and you have to learn to be friends despite the distance. It was really sweet and I liked it a lot. There’s also a magic portal.
I was really taken in with the comic as an artefact, something that had been thought up on the other side of the world and made it here. I’m not sure why this is. I guess I do most of my comic reading online, but this felt so different. Like the tactile quality of zines that draws me in so much, but instead of the warm fuzzies of knowing your zine was made by someone from your area, this comic has the warm fuzzies of knowing it was made thousands of miles away and somehow still landed in my clumsy hands.
You can buy the comic at Georgina’s Etsy store and it’s mad cheap and super cute and I really recommend it
I reached out to Owen and Georgina to see if they’d be cool with me writing about their comic, and they’re the sweetest pair going. I asked Owen about making comics and making this dual comic
“Story ideas are unpredictable. I never know where they’ll come from. Some days I have more ideas than I can write down, and other times I think I’ll never come up with a story again. ‘Cheating Fate’ actually came out of a dream I had (although I changed the ending, because “and then I woke up” is a cop-out). It was great to do a two-in-one comic with Gina, because although we both love comics (and each other!), this is the first minicomic we’ve produced together. It was created for the 2014 season of the Minicomic of the Month Club, a cool subscription service for Australian minicomics. Each month, subscribers receive a minicomic by a different creator or creative team. Gina and I were honoured to be included among the contributors and to be part of such a nifty idea. Who doesn’t love getting comics in the post?”
Gina had this to say about her comicking (is that a word? it is now. Like panicking but much nicer)
I mostly draw autobio comics because that’s usually all I know what to write about. But I love reading/watching/breathing sci-fi and fantasy and have been trying to use more of those elements in my comics. It’s such a great place for them to be (in comics), the reader is already pulled into the weird 2-D world where you can see the words people speak float above them and their hands may have only 4 fingers or 5 fingers but no determinable joints, so why not push a little further magical poster portals? I mean, it just makes sense.
Normally, you might here someone say “At the surface of this story, you might think this about a discovering a magical portal, but deep down in it’s heart this is a comic about friendship”.
But seriously, it’s about the magic.
They were such sweethearts, and checking out their sites is like a window into this thriving creative circle in Australia and abroad, which I feel like I accidentally stumbled onto, like they were having a cool conversation in a coffee shop and I slightly eavesdropped while waiting for the barista to find some more almond milk (did I mention I live in Bushwick ::moustache flip::). It made me long to be a comic artist, to have their whimsy paired with their talent. I want to move in their circles, and read everything they make and live vicariously through their mutually supportive creative community.
I suppose I’m veering from the point, but I really do like these mini comics a lot on their own merits, and I’m really glad I found it. You can find it here as a listing on Gina’s Etsy store, and check out her work on her Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr. Owen can be found on his site 24 Hour Cynic.