5 comics to read this summer, by Olaya Axolote

Text and illustrations by Olaya Axolote

Tired of the fact that comics “for girls” are only about bloguers in a tight spot and jerks or about red-lipsticked women with deep looks saying transcendental things, I’ve made a list with five comics about girls—or made by girls—that I love which I recommend everyone to read this summer or during the year. These are beautiful comics about how to make a band, how to follow your dreams, about fights with knifes in high school and about binge-drinking as if you had a son in jail.

 

chavala yeah chavala piti

Yeah!, by Peter Bagge and Gilbert Hernandez
This is the kind of comic that makes you want to gather your girlfriends and form a band. A light comic about the adventures of Woo Woo, Honey and Krazy and their band Yeah, successful in the entire galaxy except in their own planet, the Earth. If you’re expecting something in the vein of Hate, you’d better try something else.

Whisky and Nueva York, by Julia Wertz
Moving to a new city, having a drug-addicted brother or not having sex at all are things that are better dealt with by drinking alcohol and watching all the The Gilmore Girl’s seasons on DVD. Self-criticism and no drama in one of my favorite autobiographic comics.

chavala rizos  chavala gatu

Havarti Party, by Roberta Vazquez
I’ve chosen this one but I must say everything Roberta Vazquez does is cool, so pick anyone you like. In her fanzines you may find a pretzel setting an administrative office on fire, a pepper that wreaks havoc at work or a gang of very nice duck that can be as boorish and pathetic as you and your friends when you get together to drink.

Comics (1986-1993), by Julie Doucet
Tons of short stories about Julie’s life and deliriums, her cats, her period… In think this comic will encourage anyone reading it to draw because she tells stories about herself and her most personal thoughts, without needing the reader to empathize. This is why you will probably want to draw everything going on in your mind regardless of whether it makes sense or is connected to something else and express it on a fanzine even though you may never have drawn with a pencil before.

chica super gals

Gals!, by Mihona Fujii
This is absolutely great, not only because it is a testimony of the 2000s and the gyaru phenomenon in Japan, but because The Ribon appeared in the late 1990s, when girl’s manga was teeming with excruciatingly hesitating and silly characters, worried exclusively about conquering the boy of their dreams. The main character is Ran Kotobuqui, a very cool girl full of self-confidence. Ran doesn’t waste her time on drooling boys or on studying to become a police woman (everyone in her family are in the police or wants to be). She just wants to be with her friends, eat, buy cool clothes and help people whenever they need it. I really like it because, despite being a humorous manga for teenagers, it deals with issues such as school abuse, prostitution or the pressure to join a good university (and these are pretty serious issues among the Japanese youth).

Follow Olaya at @olayaaxolote, where she posts her drawings, talks about the comics she likes and more. Olaya also sings in the band Axolotes Mexicanos.