Smash Pages Q&A: Carta Monir

The comics creator discusses her latest zine ‘Napkin,’ pornography in the age of COVID-19 and much more.

Carta Monir and I spoke more than a year ago about her work, her career and Diskette Press, which she runs, but late last year she published Napkin, a zine about sex and desire that honestly blew me away. This is a work that is raw and thoughtful and insightful and pornographic – but not really pornography.

Monir writes very specifically about her own life, her own journey and her own sexuality, but besides being a thoughtful and honest document, the book also manages to be something striking. It is a moving documentation of queer thinking and sexuality. More than that, there’s so much in it that queer people, cis people and so many people can relate to. Anyone who has had issues with their bodies, struggled with what they want and what it means, questioned their identity, wanted to let loose or felt unable to let loose will relate to it.

The questions of sex, desire and identity are hard to talk about openly, which made me more impressed by the way that Monir is able to. I admitted before we talked that I am a neurotic New Englander, but we spoke about her book, how she started making porn recently and the connections between these projects. 

Please note this interview includes a frank and mature discussion about sex and pornography that is NSFW or for kids.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Carta Monir

The creator of ‘RIPMOM’ and ‘Secure Connect’ discusses her process, the micropress Diskette Press, her upcoming graphic novel and more.

Carta Monir has been making a series of comics for years. Many people likely know her work in Polygon and Zeal, where she’s made comics about Hitman and Lara Croft. But it’s her more personal stories that have really solidified her place as a major talent.

In work like RIPMOM and Secure Connect, she explores questions of identity and the technology in thoughtful and nuanced ways that are rarely acknowledged in public conversations about the internet.

I first noticed her work when RIPMOM was published in Critical Chips 2 in 2017. The short comic is presented as taking place through a computer interface, in a way that seemed interesting in the way it broke apart our behaviors and feelings in complicated and emotional moments, but becomes this deeply person and emotional journey by the end.

Monir is also one of the people behind Diskette Press, and I reached out to ask her a few questions about her work and what’s she working on right now. You can find her on Twitter and on Patreon.

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Davis, Ostertag and more take home 2018 Ignatz Awards

Annual awards presented at the Small Press Expo honor excellence in independent comics.

Eleanor Davis, Richie Pope, Molly Ostertag and Carta Monir are among the winners of the 2018 Ignatz Awards, as presented last night at a ceremony held in conjunction with the Small Press Expo (SPX) in Bethesda, Maryland.

Ignatz image by 2017 Promising New Talent winner Bianca Xunise.

The Ignatz, named after George Herriman’s brick-wielding mouse from his long running comic strip Krazy Kat, recognizes exceptional work that challenges popular notions of what comics can achieve, both as an art form and as a means of personal expression. The nominees for the ballot were determined by a panel of comic artists: Mita Mahato, Carolyn Nowak, kevin czap, Leila Abdelrazaq and Taneka Stotts. The votes for the awards were cast by the attendees at the show

The complete list of nominees can be found below, with the winner in bold.

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