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: Emma Jayne

The creator of ‘Dreameater’ discusses her process, her minicomics, the importance of music to her work and more.

Emma Jayne made a splash with her graphic novel Dreameater, a queer horror musical thriller that is fun and inventive, but she’s had the biggest impact with a series of slice of life comics like In an Empty City, Pseudo Slut Transmission, and the 2019 Ignatz Award winning minicomic Trans Girls Hit the Town.

Each of these stories can be described in simple ways, with little happening plotwise, but Jayne’s gift as a storyteller is the ability to tell these small stories that manage to encompass and involve so much. In each story, though short, the reader is able to learn and intuit so much about the characters and their lives. It’s done in such a subtle way that some readers might miss just how profound and complex the stories are, and just how perfectly Jayne nails it. The first time I read Trans Girls Hit the Town, I had to immediately reread the comic so that I could see just how she pulled it off.

Jayne is a gifted, insightful storyteller, and I have no doubt that we’ve only begun to see what she’s capable of as an artist. She was kind enough recently to answer a few questions about her work.

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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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