If you have an account on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, it’s likely you know someone like Snotgirl, the self-obsessed title character in writer Bryan Lee O’Malley and artist Leslie Hung’s new Image Comics series. You know the type – every one of their posts seems so carefully staged you just know they’re overcompensating for something.
Now, if you despise these social media fiends, Snotgirl may not be the series for you. But while the real-life selfie-obsessed probably won’t amount to anything, this debut issue shows enough potential to ensure another engaging read from the cartoonist who brought us Scott Pilgrim.
Hm, still not convinced? I guess before you decide whether to give this comic a “Like” or an angry emoji face, I need to answer that age-old question – is it good?
Snotgirl #1 (Image Comics)
No, this isn’t another superhero comic. 25-year-old Lottie Person can’t blast super-charged mucous out of her nostrils. She’s just a Los Angeles-based fashion blogger with allergies. For the average person, the occasional runny nose wouldn’t mean the end of the world. But Lottie isn’t the average person – based on her online persona, she’s above average with effortlessly chic style.
TL;DR? She’s perfect.
What Lottie considers “perfect” may actually be pathetic for those who don’t live life through a smartphone. After all, our main character spends her debut issue obsessing over her estranged boyfriend’s social media activity, judging an allergist and stressing over becoming besties with a girl who’s both hot and cool!
You read correctly – both hot AND cool!!!
Have I lost you yet? Yes, she’s quite repulsive, and if she knew you read comics, she’d probably rechristen you Nerdboy or Losergirl. And yet, I found myself quite compelled following the exploits of someone who wouldn’t have ended up this way in a world without social media.
Lottie has more angst than Peter Parker, and no uncles had to die to bring out these emotions. It’s just how things are for today’s young social media users. In fact, for many young readers, the struggle to get enough “Likes” to validate their existence is probably more dramatic than the millionth confrontation between Captain America and the Red Skull (#HailHydra).
Without spoiling too much, I will say this comic takes quite the dramatic turn on its final page. If you find it hard to stomach Lottie, at least wait until the last page to decide whether to return for the next issue.
The art by Leslie Hung might just be enough to make you stick around. While the characters aren’t as cartoony as those in Scott Pilgrim, their wide-eyed expressions should draw comparisons to anime. Hung does a nice job rendering Lottie’s two sides – the glamorous (even with her green, snot-colored hair) and the hot mess she truly is.
Personally, I find social media and its impact on society (both positive and negative) fascinating. So if Snotgirl provides its creators a chance to put this whole culture under the microscope, I’ll definitely be along for the ride.
Snotgirl #1 will be released July 20.