Minis Monday: Geraniums and Bacon, Spots, and 25 Cents

Posted by on January 25th, 2010 at 1:00 PM

More Monday morning, hand-crafted comics from last year’s Maine Comics Arts Festival in Portland doing what the short form of funnies do best: surprise and deee-light.

Geraniums and Bacon

Cathy Leamy


You don’t want to make too much of title alone, but Geraniums and Bacon serves as a terrific headline for the comics of Cathy Leamy. First there’s that titular mix of the attractive and substantive, the beautiful and tasty made all the more exotic for their yoking. Then there are the more subtle implications of cultivation, enticement, nourishment and organic flourish to say nothing of characteristic smell. With issue #5, Leamy courts all those qualities except that last.

She packs a lot into her short autobiographical stories and field notes. Best is her descent into Filene’s basement for the famous “Running of the Brides” dress sale. Leamy has animation in her line and a genial casualness that nicely flatters a sharpness of perception (that is weaker in the fiction here). This is witty, ripened, observant commentary from an involved and engaging eyewitness.

©2010 Cathy Leamy

Spots and 25 Cents

Katherine Roy

These two comics by Katherine Roy share a number of exemplary traits. The most obvious is that although likely to be regarded as “kids” comics, they have just as much to offer adults and maybe still more to parents. Child readers usually get stuck with “safe” comics that smack of canned wisdom from old grown ups; these tales court the drama of natural tensions resolved with finesse. Roy’s work boasts a real economy, both in visual style and in smooth storytelling. It feels natural and unlabored. That economy suggests prescriptive forethought and a fairly precise mapping of the stories even while presentation on the page appears spontaneous and full of vitality.

The titles share a protagonist, a young caterpillar anthropomorphically busy with the upheavals of his biological years. Spots has the room to flesh out the commotion of early adolescence. Weighty matters, in this case pubescent changes and life-cycle destiny, are presented deftly; even mating and death are broached with no-nonsense aplomb. Here Roy’s line-work and composition is airy, buoyant and expressive. The short 25 Cents is just as effective emotionally and graphically. It features a heavier and entirely called-for use of blacks abetted by skill in juxtapozing and shading. Plus its finale reincorporates some printed cover information for a socko conclusion. Both comics show an affinity for capturing the animated dynamic of water. There’s also the matter of a repeated visual motif within and between these efforts, still further evidence of guiding cartooning intelligence.

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3 Responses to “Minis Monday: Geraniums and Bacon, Spots, and 25 Cents

  1. Cathy Leamy says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for the kind words, Rich – I’m glad you enjoyed *G&B* #5!

    Something’s breaking on your link to my website – the URL is

    The Maine Comics Arts Festival last year was an absolute blast, and this year’s fest looks even bigger!

  2. Kristy Valenti says:

    That link has been fixed.