Happy National Allergy Month! While ‘allergy month’ does bring bad tidings of itchy eyes and runny noses, it also brings volume two of Image’s Snotgirl ‘California Screaming’. Snot everywhere!!!
This volume continues following fashion blogger ‘Snottie’ Lottie Person through her life of fashion, severe allergies, love, and murder. I’ve followed this series since it started coming out in summer 2016 and it has become one of my favorite currently serialized comics. It’s full of everything I could want: fashion, drama, ghosts, cute queer girls, and mystery, to name just a few.
I had the wonderful opportunity to read volume two a little ahead of schedule and series artist and professional cool person, Leslie Hung, was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about the series.
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Thank you to @bigbudpress for making all my dreams come true with the new Snotgirl merch 💚 if you’re in LA, come to the party at the BBP store! 7-10PM! Tees and pin will be on sale online 11/29 at 9AM PST on the Big Bud Press site ONLY, so if you want to buy online check there! Good luck lol #snotgirl
As a comic revolving around someone whose job is more or less being looked at, what goes into staging panels and covers?
My process for covers is relatively simple — I start off with several thumbnails and sketches and go with the one that I think fits the theme of the issue the best, and also looks the most appealing. The comic itself is very much about how technology and social media have become embedded in our everyday lives, so the process for layouts and panels involving phones, Instagram posts, and the like are often decided in the scripting stage, to fit the narrative.
How has the collaborative process with Bryan Lee O’Malley grown and/or changed as the story has progressed?
It’s been a learning experience for both of us, and there’s a fair amount of trust and open communication that goes into collaborating in the way that we do. We go back and forth about almost everything, from the script, to the layouts, to the final details when the issue goes to print. Our process has, hopefully, become more streamlined. We’ve had a lot of fun exploring the secret lives of all the characters, including Caroline’s endlessly mysterious life and even more mystifying brother, Virgil, to Misty’s detachment from her past and family, and last, but not least, Meg’s inner demons and insecurities.
Misty’s outfit at the meet-and-greet with Lottie is so cute and reminded me immediately of flipping through Gothic and Lolita Bible magazines as a kid. What are some of your favorite places for fashion inspiration?
There’s no direct inspiration for her outfit in this scene, but it’s definitely a mix between traditional gothic lolita style, with a color palette that is more in line with sweet lolita.
The color palette for the series is beautiful and, in my opinion, very distinctive, how do you decide on what palette to use when?
Snotgirl is a story about a fashion blogger and her equally fashionable friends, and color plays a huge role in every issue because of that. Lottie’s struggle revolves around her need to be seen as the best, most curated version of herself all the time, when in reality, she’s far from perfect, and the colors really amplify the gross and unappealing parts of her day to day life. The color story for each scene is usually something that I’m thinking about while reading the script and working on the roughs. Often, it starts out with my wanting to use contrast and value for maximum dramatic effect, and then choosing the colors based on the emotions in each scene, which come out most prominently when the drawings are done. The color adds so much to the story, and it’s something I take seriously.
Do you find it difficult to keep up with fashion trends while working on Snotgirl and going to cons?
I don’t find the two interfere with each other very much. They’re very different frames of mind for me.
On Twitter and instagram you seem like quite the foodie, all your food pics look so good! Where are some of your favorite places for food? Is there anywhere that’s inspired food in Snotgirl?
Quite a few of the food shots in Snotgirl are based off of places that I’ve been do around Los Angeles and other cities I’ve visited. There’s just an abundance of good food in southern California, so it’s really difficult to narrow it down based on category or price range, much less a handful of places. That same level of variety can be seen in glimpses throughout Snotgirl, as well.
I absolutely love the Big Bud Press Snotgirl line, it goes so well with the series. How has it been to work with them? Should we be expecting any new designs soon?
Lacey is a very good friend of mine from before either Snotgirl or Big Bud Press, so it’s been an honor and privilege to work with Big Bud Press for the collaboration merchandise. A lot of the difficulties that go on behind the scenes are invisible to fans, but it’s yielded some very satisfying results. And there will definitely be more merchandise!
From what I understand, this is your first time doing long form comics. Do you find it very different from short form comics? How has the learning curve/process been since the series started?
I’ve learned so much about my own process and the best way for me to work. Adjusting to a regular work flow where I’ll be working for several weeks on and off throughout the year has been something that took a little bit of getting used to, and I’ve been learning so much while working, and even more so because it’s such a collaborative effort. It has gotten very streamlined, compared to when it first started, which is something I think can only happen after several hundred pages have been drawn!
Snotgirl Volume 2: California Screaming collects issues six to 10 and is available now! Additionally, there will be some signing dates for the book:
Huntington Beach, CA
Barnes & Noble Discussion & Signing
7881 Edinger Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Sunday, June 10th
San Diego/ Mira Mesa, CA
Barnes & Noble Discussion & Signing
10775 Westview Pkwy, San Diego, CA 92126
Friday, June 22
Los Angeles, CA
7:30 PM Event
Skylight Books Discussion & Signing
1818 N Vermont Ave