On my last trip to the local comic bookstore I picked up my normal random stack of zines among the anthologies and graphic novels I had saved up to buy. In this most recent collection of tiny comics was MariNaomi’s Not-so-butch. In the store I had considered buying her larger work Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22, but had never heard of her before and was hesitant to spend the big dollars without doing some research.
When I finally got around to reading Not-so-butch, my roommate and I were walking to our local bar for a drink. I read it aloud to her, stopping only to show her the couple of tiny illustrations that accompany the story. They are simple, framed representations of the women MariNaomi describes, as well as pictures of specific phrases she uses, such as an erect penis. The best illustrations are those she has used as the cover design, four increasingly-detailed anatomical hearts. The tale is only a few pages long, but it resonated very deeply with me. After the first two pages my roommate told me that she could see why I had picked it up, it sounded just like my own story.
MariNaomi writes about the first few women she dates after having her heart broken by a man and the struggles to be seen as “butch enough” in lesbian society. It’s great: well-written, funny, and straight to the point. It has convinced me to go back and buy Kiss & Tell, as well as look forward to Dragon’s Breathe and Other True Stories which will be released this month by 2D Cloud and Uncivilized Books. You can read more about MariNaomi and the incredible amount of work she has published on her website.