The Single Girls
by Amy Martin
Amy Martin‘s comic The Single Girls begs for comparison with TV’s “Sex and the City.”
The collection of short comics follows three oversexed ladies who have the best time being fabulous together and critical of everybody else. Sound vaguely familiar? If you haven’t seen it on TV, then you’ve probably lived it, gals, which is what makes reading this no-excuses feminist comic so much fun.
The Single Girls is an insider’s mental high-five to the times when girls are catty and slutty and funny. It also unwittingly draws attention to how this type of woman really isn’t represented in comics without the medium of the male gaze. There’s no outsider’s response to how these women behave, and without someone’s finger-wagging or critique or amorousness or whatever, the girls just are what they are, which translates to pure fun.
It’s interesting that for as much as the book says about the girls’ friendship and common interests (drinks, vivacity and men), you really learn little else about them. There’s no plot to expose their jobs, their family, their dreams, or their interactions with people in a “real world” context. Each moment or perception is told as an anecdotal snapshot that further projects how fun they all are. So at first the girls seem silly and likable, but in the absence of depth, they might come off as shallow to the reader. Still, I think Martin did her job well in drawing the reader through the book, so the conclusion that the characters are shallow would be an after-though. While reading the book, they’re fun, and the rest doesn’t matter.
Martin’s expressive, shapely lines convey the life in these women, who always seem affected by something on the page or in their mind. The form of the whole book is very free, in layout and style. No borders or panels here, which is the perfect platform for the passionate, care-free characters Martin writes about. However, the lettering is often clunky or weighted with thick brush strokes that disagree with the rest of the page. The words are legible, but the letter forms are not elegant, and they ought to be.
The Single Girls is available online in Martin’s etsy shop for $5.
– Sarah Morean