Your New Favorite: Rachel Friere

Since I've been writing comics, I've had occasion to search through a lot of sketchblogs and portfolio sites and DeviantArt pages and whatnot looking for collaborators, and I've discovered tons of excellent cartoonists that I otherwise might never have known. So I thought it might be nice to introduce the rest of world to a few of my favorites.

This week: Rachel "Ronnie" Friere!

You may have seen her collaboration with writer Vito Delsante, FCHS at the now-defunct webcomics Chemistry Set collective. (FCHS was also slated for print publication at AdHouse at one point but now seems to have been a casualty of the Great Recession.) Or maybe you picked up a copy of her fantastic minicomic His/Hers at King Con last year. Or if you're a New Yorker, you may have met Rachel behind the counter at my personal favorite of Manhattan's comic shops, Jim Hanley's Universe. And pretty soon you'll be seeing her work grace the pages of Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon, as part of the just-announced Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies series.

Rachel has a style that can't help but put a smile on your face. Obviously indebted to the greats of the Archie tradition (up to and including Jaime Hernandez), Rachel's style is still immediately recognizable as hers. Plus, her sense of pure cartooning is just outstanding... for an example of what I mean, check out that red page below: not only is the line just beautiful to look at, just the structure of the gag is amazing... I mean, think about it for a second, what's really going on there... the wife is mad because her husband painted a room the same color as her dress? That doesn't make much sense in real physical terms, but on the page it works perfectly--it's the kind of gag that only works in comics, and you've got to love it for that.*

I was lucky enough to collaborate with Rachel on a short, silent comic called Dental Hygiene and Secret Identities. It's my first all-silent comic as well as my first attempt at straight-up humor (not to mention veiled autobiography!), but Rachel made it all look like the work of an old master. The first two pages are at the bottom of this post, or click over to my site to read the full 8-page story. And if you're planning on attending this year's MoCCA show in NYC, look me up to get your hands on the minicomic version in glorious color!

Enough from me, on to the real star of the show... the art!


For more Dental Hygiene and Secret Identities, click here. And check back next week (or thereabouts) for another New Favorite!

Previously: Ming Doyle, Connor Willumsen, Chris Brunner, Evan Bryce, Ed Tadem, George Gousis.

*Now that I think about it, there's a kind of similar gag in Garden State, (Zack Braff has a shirt made out of wallpaper or something), but with a very different effect. I think the point still stands.
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