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Martin, Amy – The Girls are Mighty Fine


The Girls are Mighty Fine

In case I haven’t made it clear enough in past reviews of Amy’s work, her stuff is perfect for the women fans of comics who don’t like fantasy or other genres that women creators are currently involved in.  It’s also pretty damned good for the rest of us who enjoy funny, insightful and occasionally moving stories.  This is a hefty collection of odds and ends.  There’s an excellent reaction to a catcall, the ubiquity of “he’s never going to change” in advice given out, a fantastically unintentional game of “telephone,” the morning after, spring fever, bloody hell, magnolias, and a few short strips.  Then we get to the bits with Amy as a child, and it caused an odd feeling in me: I think that it’s heartwarming.  My heart is not warmed by many things, as it too often bubbles over into cheesy, but this stuff hit just the right tone.  There’s Amy playing, Amy waiting for a doctor and observing a much sicker baby come in, and the differences in reactions to Easter between young and old Amy.  Finally there are some true life tales of Amy’s job as a children’s librarian, which also manage to be adorable without overdoing it.  Sure, there’s a piece or two in here that I could have done without, but who cares? This is a solid collection of stories, and if you’re not already a fan of her work, this will probably convince you.  If you are already a fan you probably already have this, and I’m sorry to have wasted your time.  $7

Martin, Amy – Florride #3


Florride #3

This is apparently the comic from the Amy Martin pile that I was waiting for, as I loved it with no reservations.  No, i couldn’t tell you exactly why that is, which is why they pay me the big bucks.  Probably something to do with the fact that as a single guy in his 30’s, I don’t necessarily identify with single women on the prowl or complaining about the menfolk.  Granted, there’s some of that this time around too, but also more genuinely moving stories. One highlight of the book is an imaginary conversation Amy has in heaven, in which she gets her baby disallowed due to the dissolution of a relationship and tries to cut through all the bureaucracy to find out if she’s ever going to get pregnant again. It was a hilarious portrayal of red tape on the one hand and the nonsense that is “heaven” on the other.  The other highlight was Amy remembering some awful events from her past in a beautiful landscape, wishing for a way through it but not knowing how it’ll end up.  Then you have the shorter pieces, dealing with the guilt of corn chips, a serious conversation behind a rabbit, and a few shorties about boys or being a happy woman after seeing boys.  It’s a complete comic, full of heart, sincerity and humor, and kills whatever lingering doubts I may have had about Amy.  Hey, I’m a critic, like it or not (never thought I’d be one, but that is at least a part of what I do here), so I’m allowed some healthy skepticism.  My favorite part of the “job” was when somebody wins me over completely, so here’s to Amy making my day!  Yeah, it’s a little steep at $6, but there’s plenty of content and it’s all good.

Martin, Amy – Bachelor Girl’s Mother Goose


Bachelor Girl’s Mother Goose

If you read an intro for a comic that states that it was conceived while the author was miles away from home, alone and suffering from swine flu, you would probably be right to assume that it would be a little… odd.  There may be exceptions, but it seems like a pretty safe bet.  This one definitely falls under that category, as Amy takes her Bachelor Girl characters and puts them in situations involving a series of nursery rhymes.  I think at least a few of these were original works, but I’m not familiar enough with nursery rhymes to say that for sure; maybe she just plucked a few really obscure rhymes from the void.  Anyway, the end result is that pretty much every nursery rhyme you can think of (go ahead, let your mind wander and allow a few to pop into your brain) show up on these pages.  Wee Willie Winkle, Georgie Porgie, Humpty Dumpty, Little Miss Muffet, Little Bo Peep, Peter Piper, Jack Sprat, they’re all here.  It’s funnier than you may think if you’re as cynical as I am, and Amy shows remarkable self-restraint at not turning even one of these vaguely pornographic sounding rhymes into anything all that risque.  Suggestive, sure, but that just adds to the funny.  As a single man somewhere in his 30’s, this isn’t exactly targeted at me, but whoever can’t enjoy a book like this has lost all their sense of fun.  Check it out, why don’t you, or get a copy for your single friend or relative.  Not your girlfriend/wife/mistress though, as it makes the single life look like way too much fun and they’ll probably dump your ass…  $5

Martin, Amy – The Single Girls


The Single Girls

Ah, the random comics I get in the mail.  Every time I think maybe I should sell all my minis to Poopsheet or anybody else that would take them and move to Iceland to live life as a hermit, I get another pile of comics like this that makes me realize I don’t have things so bad.  This is a collection of strips of varying lengths dealing with the life of single girls.  As should have been blisteringly obvious from the title, but hey, I’m trying to write a review/recap here.  This appears to be the oldest of the books Amy sent to me, but I like to think that 2008 isn’t yet completely outdated.  It starts off with Amy telling the audience exactly what’s coming, as she lists a number of things women are no longer willing to accept (wifeliness, sex in front of the tv, domesticity) and what they’re going to have instead (dancing alone, some fancy drinks).  Conservative types who have managed to make it to 2010 still somehow believing that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, please seek your entertainment elsewhere.  Strips in here deal with such subjects as hilariously off-color jokes, rapid mood swings (with cause), the happiness of getting a delayed period, cheerfully demolishing the self-esteem of men, poking a giant strap-on into the myth that you need men to do the heavy lifting, the thought of a year of celibacy, hoping the ringing phone is yours, the fear of commitment in men, and waking up to disappointment.  There’s more, as this is a fairly hefty collection, but why ruin all the surprises?  This is a pile of funny, and that’s even with the obvious realization that I am not the target audience for this comic.  Single ladies, this one is clearly for you.  This almost feels like a series of New Yorker strips at times (and I mean that in the best possible way), except for the fact that I believe the New Yorker still believes all sex talk in comics should be vague to stay in that strange realm of “high-brow”, and Amy is anything but vague.  I’m really looking forward to reading her other books, especially considering the fact that she probably got better as she went along.  Check it out already!  $6