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.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.