Writer and artist Vanessa Davis has been a fixture online with her site Spaniel Rage and her book of the same name has recently released a collection of short stories and diary works called Make Me A Woman. Published through Drawn and Quarterly, the book reflects the last five years of her work and life since the publication of her first solo book back in 2005.
In that five years, Davis has moved cross country, explored relationships and her Jewish faith, and of course been a productive artist with regular contributions to Tablet magazine.
The pages of her work are often crammed with images and text, as likely to break out of the confines of the normal grid as to ignore it entirely. In line with this, her characters are often exaggerated and rough-hewn, joined by Davis’ curlicue text in crowding the borders of each page and panel.
Of course, this could easily be ascribed to the artist’s own gradual discovery of her style as well as the busy progression of her life in the last half decade. “It not only shows the progression in my life, but my progression stylistically,” Davis explains on this last point.
The transition from messy, stream-of-consciousness work to more traditional panels and borders reflects her gradual application of editorial techniques to her comics. As the layouts become more traditional, the narrative and ideas of the work, in turn, become more focused. She credits this with not only self-examination of her work, but also taking the chance to explore the work of other comic creators and learn from them.
You can see more of Davis’ work in Make Me A Woman, which is on shelves now.
Check out more of MTV Geek’s interview with Vanessa Davis on our video page.