If you haven’t read Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung’s Snotgirl…well, why are you starting here with a review of issue 10? What made you think, “TEN, that’s a great number, let’s start there!” That’s weird. You’re weird.
You’ll be forgiven j u s t t h i s o n c e because so is Snotgirl.
The series thus far (that I hope you’ve now caught up on in some fashion, Let’s Start At Issue Number Ten Dude) has been a weird, colorful, pop-noir murder mystery—if David Lynch was obsessed with the dopamine drip of social media likes and maybe did mushrooms with Miley Cyrus at a party, this is likely what they may have created together.
Speaking of mushrooms, issue ten.
This newest installment of the story of Snotgirl opens with Thankstravaganza being #canceled on the account of a Lottie fan (Zoe/Deadgirl) meeting a grisly death, an incident similar to that of an attempt on Charlene’s life in a previous issue.
On top of this, Lottie forgot her allergy meds and is hallucinating Ghost Girl (Yolanda Sinclair, but she’s not feeling that name), a millennial spirit from the afterlife (or is she alive and missing?), less focused on her own death and more focused on, well…
During a sociopathic brunch with the Haters (it is a testament to the creators of this book to make these characters so vapid, morally dubious, and so damn readable), Cutegirl and Normgirl inform Lottie that perhaps Caroline isn’t exactly being honest with them; she may have known Deadgirl/Zoe, since there’s a hot tub flashback showing Zoe angrily approaching Caroline about something.
After overhearing Lottie, erm, “stick up” for her, Caroline embraces Lottie, rounding up the girls for a psilocybin-fueled photoshoot in the desert, a beautiful sequence that should be seen to be believed by the reader, not explained by some guy’s kinda bad, kinda silly review of said wonderful comic book.
In addition to Lottie and the gang’s increasingly complicated friendships, many mysteries deepen within the issue: Suny and Charlene are both perhaps getting too close to something; Creepy Cop John is still being really weird and horned up, dangerously close to getting thrown off his case due to lack of evidence; Virgil…maybe has something to do with some not cool shit? Is Caroline involved? Hold on, who just came out? Wait REDACTED is back and proposing WHAT?! And seriously though, is that cop guy ever gonna stop being so damn HORNY??
This issue is everything you could love in a comic– it’s beautiful to look at (see: literally everything Leslie Hung has drawn) witty, laugh out loud funny, dramatic, mysterious, an interesting work influenced by current culture. Maybe some won’t like Fenty references or allusions to our almighty #influencer overlords, but to me, it adds a relevancy, more wrinkles and depth to these outwardly surface-level characters.
O’Malley and Hung are operating on another level with Snotgirl, balancing as many tone changes as they are characters, expanding this world and its mysteries to…well, I don’t know where. In an era of endless reboots and predictable finishes, everyone involved with this book should be lauded for an original work that’s going who knows where.
Writing: Bryan Lee O’Malley & Leslie Hung
Art: Leslie Hung
Color: Rachel Cohen
Lettering: Maré Odomo