This entry is slightly (and adorably) not safe for work.
I’m not sure how I originally came across DAR, Erika Moen’s delightful, if sporadic, diary comic, but it’s been brightening my RSS reader for well over a year now. Moen is a graphic designer, life model, and cartoonist who shares the adventures and minutiae of her daily life in Portland.
Moen employs a cartoony style that has apparently evolving since her earliest DIY comics. It infuses her works an infectious energy while personalizing them; we get an insight into her zany perception of reality. This perception is echoed in Moen’s key talent: her ability to lend even the most mundane acts a sense of playfulness and fun. Choosing a tea flavor becomes a game of Russian roulette. Life modeling sessions put her face-to-face with a string of lecherous aspiring artists. Segway-mounted policemen become fodder for a lighthearted heroic action comic.
The individualized style also lends itself well to Moen’s more personal comics. Moen’s comics are never mopey or melodramatic, but she does show intimate moments between herself and her now-husband, talks about how falling in love with a man has impacted her personal identity as a lesbian, and alludes to her depression and anxiety. Her light and casual tone gives the impression that you’re having a visual conversation with an impish and terribly fun friend.
But DAR may not be for everyone. Aside from becoming a famous cartoonist, Moen’s central preoccupation seems to be sex. In fact, Moen can (quite hilariously) associate just about anything with sex:
Moen is highly sex-positive and doesn’t shy away from the boobies and wieners in her art. But the actions are never graphic and shouldn’t offend anyone comfortable with images of naked girl-guy or girl-girl affection, references to intimate acts and junk waxing, or the occasional frightening sex toy.
DAR updates Tuesdays (more regularly now than in the past). For those interested in her process, Moen posts videos of herself drawing comics on Ustream.
[DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Diary Comic]