Breakout Cartoonists: Miss Lasko-Gross

Posted by Guest Author on Dec 24, 2007 in Comic Books |

Escape from Special- Breakout Cartoonists: Miss Lasko-Gross

Our Top Indie Cartoonists to Watch For in 2008: Keeping true to our “Anti-Superheroes in Tights” mood at fanboy, we took a look back at the comic books and graphic novels that caught our eye:

Escape from “Special”, by Miss Lasko-Gross

Autobio is a tricky thing. It’s easy to become bland or self-important. And even an interesting life can suffer these fates in the hands of an inept storyteller. Or a once-entertaining autobio comic can degenerate into nothing but panel after panel of masterbation, both figuratively and literally. But take heart autobio readers, because there are also books like “Escape From Special” to take us out of the doldrums.

Miss’s protagonist “Melissa”, has an atypical childhood of counselors, special classes, and self-provoked angst as she questions her reality and the presumptions of all those around her,. She’s a sharp kid, and parents, teachers, and peers alike are not sure what to make of her. And neither will anyone looking for a trite, sentimental portrayal of childhood—this stuff is a real story about a real kid. I could relate to the somewhat progressive-yet in other ways conventional parents and the latter half of the book especially, where Melissa in her preteen years begins to question more her place with her peers, the needs to fit in and the burning question of whether she even wants to fit in with the typically lame suburban girls that plague her adolescence..And it’s all rendered in Miss’s unique and stunning grey marker style. This girl gets a range of depth out of a set of Pantones that few can match.

“Escape From Special” is available through Fantagraphics and a sequel is slated for sometime in 2008, possibly 2009. And if I haven’t convinced you to give it a try, check out the samples on her Comicspace page.

Jenny Gonzalez is a New York City cartoonist and punk rock singer. You can see her stuff at

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