Nice Art: Jillian Tamaki’s print for Gosh! Comic’s 30th Anniversary

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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.

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Boundless, about the wildlife in a suburban setting.

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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.

Comments

  1. Matt Jeske says

    Great to see you passionate writing here, Heidi. i’very read some of tamaki’s comics, but I don’ t think I fully appreciated them. She’s always been an amazing draftsman and a great captured of atmospheric moments and locations, but her fluid ability to change her style/technique revealed here is evidence of a whole other level of skill.

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