Small Pressings: The Gut-Busting Comics of Sarah Andersen

Recently, social media has exposed me to an influx of web comics and new and wonderful artists I wouldn't previously have found on my own.  Twitter in particular houses a gold mine of good comics, and I decided I needed a space where I could highlight some of the independent work I’ve come across and enjoyed, both in web and print form—so arrives this column I’m calling “Small Pressings.”  This first installment is dedicated to Sarah Andersen, creator of Sarah’s Scribbles.

I stumbled upon Sarah’s Scribbles by beautiful accident.  While scrolling through my Twitter feed one day, I saw someone had tweeted a comic that made me literally laugh out loud.  This was bad, because I was doing said scrolling while at my day job, and my cackling attracted some unwanted attention.  Tears were streaming down my face as I tried to muffle the belly laughs coming out of my cubicle.  I assumed the artist of the strip had more where that came from, and I needed to find it.  Unfortunately, the comic that was posted had no credit attached to it, no creator name or website link.  After much googling, frustration, and detective work, I managed to find the original post on the creator’s site.

The comic that had me in such a fit is this one on the right by Sarah Andersen, and I’m laughing again looking at it now.

Eliciting unbridled laughter seems to be Andersen’s specialty, as the rest of her comics have much the same effect.  Her semi-autobiographical strips often utilize self-deprecating humor to great effect—the kind of self-scrutiny placed in the context of day-to-day life that makes your insecurities relatable and, yes, very much laughable.  Those thoughts you have that you think only you feel?  Sarah Andersen has them too, and there’s an underlying relief in that type of comedy.

A particular strength of Andersen’s is her “cartoony” art style, emphasized in her facial expressions; you’re likely to find yourself laughing at the emotion depicted in her wild, exaggerated eyes even moreso than the actual subject of the strip.  Trying to pick out a handful to highlight here was challenging, because there are so many fantastic, hysterical ones.  If you like Allie Brosh, you’ll absolutely love Sarah.  And for those wondering if she can tackle more “serious” art, you need only look at her page of illustrative work.

I doubt I would have ever discovered Sarah’s Scribbles on my own, had that comic not been shared—yet, it brings up the underlying issue of crediting creators when posting their work.  It was clear that the image had been tweeted hundreds of times, but cropped to remove the “© Sarah Andersen” at the bottom, and that’s an absolute shame.  Comics, art, stories—these things should by their very essence connect us.  Let's let them.

Sarah’s Scribbles updates on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Sarah's first book comes out March 8th.  Check her out if you wanna laugh.


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