Booty 22

Written by Anne Thalheimer
Illustrated by Anne Thalheimer

Anne's journal comic is in its 22nd iteration, even if this is the first one I'm reading. A loose journal comic (she doesn't keep a day-to-day track record), Booty uses words and pictures to tell whatever stories she feels like including that relate to the time period covered.

In this case, it's quite a bit of time, going from July of 2008 to September 2009, just a little bit before SPX, which is where I got to meet her (and pick up some of the mini-comics she's referencing in this issue). There are entries about her personal feelings, taking her mom to Ireland, writing mini-comics, and of course the inner thought processes of cats. In other words, it's an almost random collection of parts of Anne's life that she felt like sharing at the time, with hints to her outside interests (Halloween, roller derbies) cropping up in the margins. (I really like her Halloween drawings on the front and back covers.)

There is no holding back, either. Anne is not afraid to talk about her most personal issues, such as wanting to reassemble her life to make herself better or allowing herself to go down roads she shouldn't. Just because these slices of life are selective doesn't mean they are designed to make her look good. Like any writer involved in zine culture, Anne knows that any reader of her content is going to be ready to interact with the author on an extremely personal level.

My personal favorite entry was about the trip to Ireland with her mother, something she promised her if she made it through cancer treatment. The fun and awkwardness of being on an adult trip with a parent you don't have a solid relationship with comes through clearly in only a few pages.

Of interest to other creators will be Anne's thoughts on making mini-comics. She likes the idea of having a complete whole, which I can understand, but also talks about how it leads to incomplete projects.

The last major entry is Anne's hourly comic, primarily revolving around a sex toy party she threw that night and how boring chronicling your life by the hour can be. I was pretty impressed that the quality of her art holds up through the entire hourly experiment.

Overall, this is a different approach to the idea of a journal comic, holding closer to the roots of a zine in the idea of a loose series of articles rather than strict daily entries. Anne's art mostly consists of head shots, but she uses them to good effect to keep the eye moving across the page and add to the text being presented. If you want to see what a visual zine can do, Booty would be a good place to start.

If you'd like a copy of Booty 22, you can pick one up at Black Light Diner Distro. [A copy of this comic was provided by the distributor for review. It was pretty easy, because I live with her.]