My favorite thing about this column is that because of it, I’ve made a lot of amazing friends who work in comics. This year, I’ve been more than lucky to make friends with the wonderful Miranda Harmon. Both of us moved to Los Angeles around the same time and decided to meet for brunch one day; I told my friends that I actually had no idea what she looked like because I had only ever seen her drawings of herself. One of my friends replied “Oh, she’s just as adorable as she draws herself,” and she was. We talked and went to the beach and hung out again after that. And she’s great! But if you can’t get to know her in person, you need to check out her comics, which are just as delightful as she is. She’s a brilliant diary comics maker, a great story teller, and she is a master at color and texture and character design.
Miranda has an art and writing skill that comes from her real-life charming personality. She’s able to turn subjects that you might not otherwise care about into stories that you desperately want to see. For example, I think Dan Harmon (no relation) is a bore, but Miranda wrote this amazingly brilliant comic about his podcast Harmontown that made me cry and come this close to listening to his podcast and watching his show (but I didn’t, sorry Miranda). But this comic is a freaking masterpiece, everyone should read it, especially if you ever feel weird or anxious or depressed or you’ve ever listened to a podcast, which means every single one of you.
After we went with a group of friends to go see the latest X-Men movie Logan, she wrote a comic about the X-Men that she remembers, and while her team consists of characters I couldn’t care less about, like Cyclops, Angel, Gambit and Quicksilver, I am so freaking obsessed with the thought of reading an X-Men comic written by her! Her comics are so endearing and charming and fun and earnest! Just like she is! She’s amazingly great at translating herself onto the page, a talent that should be praised.
She’s also been making some truly delightful comics about her time here in Los Angeles (even a few guest starring me, which are obviously the best ones). She talks about going to the Museum of Natural History, going to parties, feeling lost in a new place, seeing a scary movie with friends, getting high, her sense of wonder and a lot more. It’s great for anyone who knows Los Angeles or the human condition. That’s another thing I love about her comics; she’s so earnestly human about the way she makes them! It’s exciting! She’s honest and real, and full of heart and genuine emotion. Sometimes her work approaches sentimentality, but she avoids it.
Miranda should be storyboarding on a cartoon or illustrating picture books or just getting paid to be herself. Her art has a vaguely Richard Scarry-esque quality to it, but with an added sense of texture and style that could have come from someone working on Sesame Street in the 70s. There’s also an aspect of Lynda Barry in her work, like in comics like Magic Brick, about a child playing with legos. I want to spend days watching a cartoon Miranda designs and is in charge of. I want to feel her art with my hands.
You can follow her on twitter (which you definitely should, she’s a peach) and you can check out her website to read more of her amazing comics (I’d check out “Frog in Love,” it’s darling in the best most amazing way) and you can support her on Patreon. Miranda is the best, she’s a wonderful person and a wonderful writer and a wonderful artist and a wonderful creator and cartoonist and worker. She deserves all the best the world and Los Angeles have to offer.
New Releases (March 22)
Welcome to Drawn to Comics! From diary comics to superheroes, from webcomics to graphic novels – this is where we’ll be taking a look at comics by, featuring and for queer ladies. So whether you love to look at detailed personal accounts of other people’s lives, explore new and creative worlds, or you just love to see hot ladies in spandex, we’ve got something for you.
If you have a comic that you’d like to see me review, you can email me at mey [at] autostraddle [dot] com.