Tuesday, January 3

olivia plender.

Good news for the world of comics -  one of the first mainstream all-female illustrated graphic novel anthologies, Bayou Arcana, is set to launch in the not too distant future.

And while such "all-female" touted projects do so often ring out a touch patronizing, in an industry often known for marginalizing work done by lady-scribes it feels momentous when efforts are made to correct imbalances. So, unpleasant images of head-patting aside, it's certainly worth celebrating such steps in the right direction.

And in light of this news I felt it right to highlight the work of my most favorite new graphic storyteller, the macabre Ms. Olivia Plender. Her inclusion in last years Newspeak: British Art Now  was, for me, the true highlight of the show. Her featured work, The Masterpiece (with its title taken from an Emile Zola novel) was a feverish vignette, of full of pulp glamour and psychedelic excess rendered in moody pencil strokes. Oh and yes, it's all hand drawn.

Such captivating noir harkens back to an era when comics were self-consciously gratuitous and unabashedly sexy. So let les femmes reign supreme! They obviously seem to know what they're doing.

view The Masterpiece in full here.

all images © Olivia Plender 

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