Life of the Party
The complete autobiographical collection
One of the best collections of autobiographical comics -- or "autobiographix," as she calls them -- Life of the Party presents cartoonist Mary Fleener's crazy life of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll is all grist for the mill in this series of "autobiographix," as she calls them—strips based on her own life that have appeared in such anthologies as Wimmen's, Weirdo, Rip Off Review, and Snarf, and, especially, her own title, Slutburger. Growing up in the alcohol-soaked, tiki-decorated world of her parents' suburban Los Angeles, and then living on her own through a progression of loud-mouthed boyfriends, gay and straight pals of both genders, and untenable roommates, Fleener takes last-minute band gigs in dyke bars, is visited by ghosts, picks up after other people's sexual misadventures, and brews her own kitty stew to feed her cat. Her high-contrast drawing is augmented by her unique "cubismo" style: whenever characters are in agitated mental states, or their spiritual selves are interacting on some astral plane, Fleener expresses the effects in emotive geometric abstractions that would've tickled Picasso's funny bone. This is a one of a kind collection.