Review by Kevin Bramer on Optical Sloth, 8/10/10
The Single Girls
Ah, the random comics I get in the mail. Every time I think maybe I should sell all my minis to Poopsheet or anybody else that would take them and move to Iceland to live life as a hermit, I get another pile of comics like this that makes me realize I don’t have things so bad. This is a collection of strips of varying lengths dealing with the life of single girls. As should have been blisteringly obvious from the title, but hey, I’m trying to write a review/recap here. This appears to be the oldest of the books Amy sent to me, but I like to think that 2008 isn’t yet completely outdated. It starts off with Amy telling the audience exactly what’s coming, as she lists a number of things women are no longer willing to accept (wifeliness, sex in front of the tv, domesticity) and what they’re going to have instead (dancing alone, some fancy drinks). Conservative types who have managed to make it to 2010 still somehow believing that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, please seek your entertainment elsewhere. Strips in here deal with such subjects as hilariously off-color jokes, rapid mood swings (with cause), the happiness of getting a delayed period, cheerfully demolishing the self-esteem of men, poking a giant strap-on into the myth that you need men to do the heavy lifting, the thought of a year of celibacy, hoping the ringing phone is yours, the fear of commitment in men, and waking up to disappointment. There’s more, as this is a fairly hefty collection, but why ruin all the surprises? This is a pile of funny, and that’s even with the obvious realization that I am not the target audience for this comic. Single ladies, this one is clearly for you. This almost feels like a series of New Yorker strips at times (and I mean that in the best possible way), except for the fact that I believe the New Yorker still believes all sex talk in comics should be vague to stay in that strange realm of “high-brow”, and Amy is anything but vague. I’m really looking forward to reading her other books, especially considering the fact that she probably got better as she went along. Check it out already! $6
Review by Whitney Matheson on Pop Candy, 8/5/2010
Amy’s passion-filled, candy-colored books “deal in large part with women and the ways we treat each other — how we are friends, rivals, cheerleaders, counselors, and contenders.” The San Francisco-based artist displays a retro style with an edge; once I began reading, I realized just how few books really address female friendships and (honest) discussions about sex. Amy’s work is bawdy, funny and sort of a print version of a girls’ night out. Make mine a double.
Because you like:Whip It, Sex and the City
See a preview: Lots of pages are posted on Amy’s website. (You can also purchase the titles there.)
Review by James Sime on the Isotope Comics blog, 8/3/2010
I couldn’t be happier to get to be the recipient today of two brand new books hand delivered by Amy Martin, one of my favorite local cartoonists. If you haven’t already picked up copies of The Single Girls or her Bachelor Girl series of minis, I definitely suggest you make you way up to the Isotope’s mini-comics lounge and check them out. They’re pretty awesome.
I’m of the opinion that Playboy should hire Ms. Martin on to be their resident cartoonist, her comics style fits right in with the likes of Gahan Wilson, Erich Sokol, Phil Interlandi and other great cartoonists of years past who have worked for the magazine. Mark Frauenfelder at BoingBoing thinks Amy’s comics are like what you’d get “if Jules Feiffer were a woman and had a comic book based on Sex and the City”… which is a pretty great description of her work!
Stop on in and check out her latest handmade collection of strips, entitled The Girls Are Mighty Fine, on sale at this very minute here at the Isotope or online at Amy’s Etsy shop.
And don’t be shy, check out lots of her comic samples, sketches, and modern gal wisdom here:
Review by Mark Frauenfelder at boingboing.net, 8/26/09
Carla and I had a nice time at the 2009 San Francisco Zine Fest on Sunday. This week and next, I’m sharing some of the photos I took of the zinesters who came to sell their comics and zines. I’ll post a new photo each day.
This is Amy Martin; she’s autographing a copy of her comic book, The Single Girls, for Carla. Amy’s business card says she’s “obscenely feminist.” She’s not obscene, though. The characters in her comics mainly discuss their hang-ups, lets-downs, and infrequent moments of joy regarding dating and sex. Her drawing styles is loose and lively. If Jules Feiffer were a woman and had a comic book based on Sex and the City, it might be something like The Single Girls. I liked it!
The Single Girls cost $6 and you can order it from her website, Amy Martin Comics.
Review by David Brothers on 4thletter.net, 8/26/09
I really like how Amy Martin draws comics. Not owning any kind of makes me a jerk, but I stay on her website!. I met her once, at a mutual friend’s poker party (I was there with my friend Jose Cuervo), and she was pretty nice to a total stranger, so there’s that.
She’s got a new book on sale, called Yo Ho Hos It’s Bachelor Girl. It’s two bucks, forty pages, and the excerpt makes it look pretty good. Her art is very cool and very cartoony. It’s funny to look at, which is pretty much number one on my preferred ingredients for funny funny books. The poses, the faces, all of it is something you can smile at before reading word one. She’s got a few comics up on her site, too, with this one being a personal favorite. Poke around on her site, she’s got more.
Go and check it out. It’s two bucks for the new Bachelor Girl, three dollars shipped. She’s got 20 copies on her Etsy store right now. Clean those on out. Do it… for the Gipper. Or because it’s funny. Do it for both, really.
Review by Sarah Morean on the Daily Crosshatch, 2/5/09
Amy Martin’s comic The Single Girls begs for comparison with TV’s “Sex and the City.”
The collection of short comics follows three oversexed ladies who have the best time being fabulous together and critical of everybody else. Sound vaguely familiar? If you haven’t seen it on TV, then you’ve probably lived it, gals, which is what makes reading this no-excuses feminist comic so much fun.
The Single Girls is an insider’s mental high-five to the times when girls are catty and slutty and funny. It also unwittingly draws attention to how this type of woman really isn’t represented in comics without the medium of the male gaze. There’s no outsider’s response to how these women behave, and without someone’s finger-wagging or critique or amorousness or whatever, the girls just are what they are, which translates to pure fun.
It’s interesting that for as much as the book says about the girls’ friendship and common interests (drinks, vivacity and men), you really learn little else about them. There’s no plot to expose their jobs, their family, their dreams, or their interactions with people in a “real world” context. Each moment or perception is told as an anecdotal snapshot that further projects how fun they all are. So at first the girls seem silly and likable, but in the absence of depth, they might come off as shallow to the reader. Still, I think Martin did her job well in drawing the reader through the book, so the conclusion that the characters are shallow would be an after-though. While reading the book, they’re fun, and the rest doesn’t matter.
Martin’s expressive, shapely lines convey the life in these women, who always seem affected by something on the page or in their mind. The form of the whole book is very free, in layout and style. No borders or panels here, which is the perfect platform for the passionate, care-free characters Martin writes about. However, the lettering is often clunky or weighted with thick brush strokes that disagree with the rest of the page. The words are legible, but the letter forms are not elegant, and they ought to be.
The Single Girls is available online in Martin’s etsy shop for $5.
– Sarah Morean
Review by Johana Draper Carlson, in the 11/11/08 edition of “Comics Worth Reading:”
Florride by Amy Martin — A lovely, strongly female-identified anthology that includes sketches, short strips, and comic stories. The lead is a real gut-punch, about a woman facing the loss of the child that she and her now ex-boyfriend might have had by arguing with a bureaucratic angel secretary. It’s funny, imaginative, and heart-breaking. The one-pager taking a modern, passive-aggressive approach to the Little Red Hen is also memorable. This one is the best of this bunch, but it didn’t make my top listing because the second long story veered from sledgehammer to unfocused. (It reminded me of wannabe Molly Kiely, seeking escape in the desert.) Which is the risk with a collection like this, that some of the material will strike the bullseye and other will go far afield in the reader’s eye. Worth checking out, anyway, to see if you react differently.