Books

Comics Tales of a Perpetually Horny and Lonely Millennial Girl

Gina Wynbrant’s comics are pleasantly uncomfortable and brash.

“Someone Please Have Sex With Me” by Gina Wynbrandt

Gina Wynbrant’s comics are pleasantly uncomfortable and brash. Her serial protagonist, an extreme version of herself who’s perpetually horny and lonely, regularly finds herself in awkward sexual and social situations. Someone Please Have Sex With Me, Wynbrant’s debut collection, gathers a diverse set of whirlwind narratives, uniting unconventional beauty tropes, celebrity stalking, internet culture, and even bestiality. Wynbrant owes much to the history of alternative female-centric graphic narratives that forefront sexuality, such as the writings of Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Phoebe Gloeckner. But Someone Please Have Sex with Me breathes new life into these coming-of-age stories, updating the genre for a new generation of image-inundated, screen-savvy young women.

She takes us through entering our first online chat room, creating a dating profile, and perfecting Kim Kardashian’s makeup style in the stories’ narrative content as well as the ways she frames individual panels and uses visual evolution across the page. Moving between panels looking up at Gina from the angle of her phone to a close-up of her eye as she applies makeup, these image perspectives are influenced by digital viewing, ripped from Snapchat tutorials and Instagram angles. Many panels display phone screens, internet windows, GIFs, and memes, highlighting the ways in which internet and celebrity culture are fully integrated into the lives of the millennial generation.

The opening story, “One Less Lonely Girl” expands the genre of the fanzine, in homage to Wynbrandt’s real love for Justin Bieber. It follows the character Gina’s obsession with Bieber and her hopes of meeting and sleeping with him. Gina decides to sign up for a dating site — which is illustrated by a series of panels showing a cropped view of her hands on a keyboard, a partial view of her profile page, the “New Message” icon, a hovering mouse over the letter icon, and then Gina flailing around as an onslaught of lewd messages float around her. While movies may still struggle with how to display characters texting and browsing the web, Wynbandt has mastered it on the page. The climax of this Bieber obsession comes not when Gina finally meets the pop star, but when he finally replies to her tweet. Tiger Beat Exclusive continues Gina’s Bieber quest, now with the help of her fairy godmother, Kim Kardashian, who takes her through a makeover routine. Hilarious as celebrity obsession can be, Wynbrandt accurately depicts how social media and reality television regularly bring celebrities into our daily lives, causing them to seep into our fantasies and impact our self-image.

But social media also involves performance. For average people and celebrities alike, there is an allure in the online avatar, something of what Wynbrandt has created for herself in the fictional Gina who stars in her stories. Gina is perhaps off-putting and somewhat extreme, but she never fails to express and attempt to follow her desires, something explicitly forbidden IRL but made possible through social media in the form of Twitter rants, multiplayer online games, tailored dating profiles, and curated Facebook accounts. Gina embarks on an online roll-playing game in “Manhunt,” which examines the avatar in the form of a sex-detective game she plays while she waits for her real-life uninterested sexual partner to text her back. Unlike the reality, in which she is vaguely aware that Jordan is only using her for quick sex (one panel shows his phone screen, where he has her number saved as “Nina? Tina?”), in the game “Bounty Huntress,” where she is hired by a detective agency to track down criminals using her wilily, womanly charms, Gina is the one who is sought after, strong, and aloof.

Embracing the graphic power of avatars, screen culture, and media mania, Wynbrant writes a character who is both real and imaginary, both IRL and avatar. Her narratives waver at the edge of satire, mocking internet-saturated culture while also demonstrating a genuine appreciation for it. Illustrating the relevance and prevalence of digital media to growing up these days, Wynbrant has created a relatable bildungsroman from some very unconventional scenarios.

Someone Please Have Sex with Me is now available from 2dcloud.

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