When Sydney-based comic book artist Nicky Minus was a little lass, she wanted to be a marine biologist. In time her obsession with dolphins would subside and be replaced by a more reasonable obsession: sex and comics.
“I started making comics two years ago when I had a class in uni where we made them,” she said.
“I generally immerse myself in art that is more extreme, sexual, violent, or unsettling in some way, and this influences the work I make.
“I spend a lot of brain time obsessing over that work and questioning why I like it so much.”
Nicky, is the creator of comic Jerks. You may recognise her unique, grotesque style from the pages of the 26th issue of The Lifted Brow, as well as from the cover itself. Nicky’s work is a colourful combination of the funny and the foul. It is a stiff drink; one part honesty and two parts humour, all shaken up and garnished with hints of the serious. Her comics are disturbing, sure, but the stories are compelling. Even relatable. And like the healthy part of a green juice, sunk to the bottom of your glass, the lifeblood sneaks up on you and it tastes like trouble.
Last year, Nicky finished her Honours in Visual Communication at the University of Technology Sydney. But she has no plans to stop studying yet.
“I have finished uni now,” she said. “I’m trying to figure out a plan for a PhD.”
Her honours project, Shame: Self Portrait, is a series of comics each focusing on a source of personal shame.
“It’s based on research I did into representations of shame, especially about the body, in the comics of female cartoonists,” Nicky said.
“As a result of that research, I created my own comics in which I listed everything about my body that filled me with shame in some way, either in terms of things that have happened to me in the past, things people have said to me, or things I feel about myself.”
The project, though not yet finished, will be curated and released as a book. The completed comics, dreadfully funny, are currently displayed at www.shameselfportrait.com.
“Currently, I’m working on a few projects, trying to get them all finished and not lose my momentum after studying for the last few months.”
Nicky had always wanted to make films but hated working with most people.
“So comics are a perfect way to bridge that gap,” she said.
That’s not to say that filmmaking is completely out of the question. In fact, as far as projects for the new year are concerned, Nicky’s endeavours are varied and numerous.
“My friend and I are making a movie,” she said. “I’m doing a window display for a bar with my housemate, working on my honours project still and making other comics.”
Watch this space.