Gosh! Comics is one of London’s premiere comics shops, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. And to mark the occasion they’re selling a print by Jillian Tamaki entitled “Nancy and Tonya,” which I think you’ll agree is stunning. The title seemingly refers to the great Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding figure skating scandal of the early 90s, a subject Tamaki has pondered before. It’s £20 for a regular print and £50 for the giclee.
(For those who weren’t around, the short version: trailer-raised firebrand Harding was the first American woman to do a triple axel and was set against the more willowy and refined Kerrigan at the 1994 Olympics, but in the training before the event Kerrigan was whacked on the knee by a mystery assailant…later proved to be hired by Harding. Trust me, this is where reality TV came from.)
While the title seemingly refers to the ice skating dust-up the imagery seems to be more symbolic, with Tonya’s eager, needy expression and Nancy’s face obscured. Tonya is carrying a baby (IRL she has one son) and Nancy a basket of bread. The rivals united against a greater game of survival perhaps?
I know I write about Tamaki a lot here, but I’m such a fan. As if her art style from the award winning This One Summer and Eisner-nominated Super Mutant Magic Academy wasn’t enough, she’s developing new styles and storytelling techniques, as seen on her recent comics from Hazlitt.
Boundless, about the wildlife in a suburban setting.
And Bed Bug, a story about the most urban of horrors that is really about the marriage at its center.
Short comics stories like this by writer/artists with a literary vision are what is really driving the comics medium forward, at least from where I sit.