BFA Solo Exhibition - K - Gallery 3
Exhibition Dates: November 30-Dec 3, 2021
Just Peachy: An Image Sequential Graphic Novel
I was getting tired, tired of watching the people close to me not having a story they could relate to. Not having a story that I could relate to. When I look for relatable content as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, the most relatable women loving women graphic novel for me was Snot Girl.
It was the first novel that I felt wasn't over sexualized and a truly quirky, real love I could relate to. The only issue for me was that it was only co- written by a woman. Although, Brian Lee O’Malley is a wonderful queer and woman ally, I wanted more. So I went searching. When looking for more novels just like Snot Girl also written by a queer woman like me, it was slim to none. So what better to do than solve this issue by taking action? Thus the idea of Just Peachy is born.
This series Just Peachy takes you through a first love story whirlwind of what it is like to be a woman who falls in love with another woman. Like every love story, there is a twist; and in this story, It’s for you to figure out. As a first step, using a survey conducted by over forty women loving women identifying individuals. I wanted to make sure that this novel was something I could relate to as well as something others in my community could also relate to. Using questions such as, “What are essential feelings in a queer identifying relationship?” “What does heartbreak feel like?” “What does love feel like?”
After writing the story, I began the fundamental framework. How are pages set up? What are gutters, panels, etc? Educating myself in the structure of comics. Although Just Peachy is not your typical graphic novel, I wanted to use fundamental comic and graphic novel structure, thus making it my own. I took a lot of influences aesthetically from other novels I related to and or had significant female roles. Three major comic influences from graphic novels “Snot Girl”, “Paper Girls”, and “X-Men Minus one” comic issues. Snot Girl: has the relationship that was all too relatable with an aesthetic image framing in their panel work. Paper Girls: the coloration style influence. X:men Minus 1: This was never before seen to my eyes, the creator of the novel becomes the narrator to deepen the connection and or meaning of the story.
Lastly, I brought this novel to life with real individuals inspired by the photography styles of Maggie West. A photographer whose work brings color photography and lighting to a new level of extremes. Just Peachy takes you out of heterosexual social norms and gives you an accurate queer lens perspective of what it is like to be in a women loving women relationship through a woman’s eyes. Emotionally, physically, and psychologically, all relationships are very real, feelings are valid. Using the feelings of love, lust, and a major focus on heartbreak, my main focus was to create the most relatable story to anyone who picks it up. No matter if you identify as Queer, Non-Binary, Transgender, Heterosexual, etc., you should be able to walk away with something you will be able to relate to.
As quoted in the novel, “This isn’t just their story, it’s the girl next door's truth, the anti-male gaze, the reveal of a story so anti-society, yet close to the hearts of many of us, whatever you may identify as.” Although this is still a work in progress, I hope this novel can serve you as comfort, and maybe even a friend.