Bookriot on Von Spatz and On Loving Women

“The Appeal of Graphic Novels About Anthropomorphized Animals” / Bookriot / Christine Ro / April 23, 2018

Graphic novelists also use human-like characters to find humor in the disconnect between animal bodies and human behaviors. Diane Obomsawin’s On Loving Women, which collects anecdotes about queer women’s experiences both big and small, mines this incongruity. For instance, “there was a girl in my sister’s class who had a horse face,” says a deerlike creature of a horselike creature. The protagonist realizes this attraction stems from her love of Wonder Woman, whose body and face are horselike (in a good way).

The humor is more absurdist in the work of Jason, whose tall, mournful-looking characters typically sport paws or rabbit ears. Anna Haifisch’s Von Spatz has a similar kind of bleak off-kilter humor. Animal-ish characters populate this eccentric story of creative anxiety. This is appropriate enough for a tale about Walt Disney, whose creative life focused on iconic, very stylized animals.  One Von Spatz character complains about a fellow airplane passenger eating like a crocodile. That man is in fact a crocodile.

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