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March 31, 2011 / margikimball

♥ Nicole J. Georges

Zinester, illustrator and super fly pet portraitist Nicole J. Georges lives and thinks and makes in Portland, Oregon. Her work is bold, funny, touching, masterfully rendered and frequently sequential. I love too the textures of her compositions and the subtlety of text, its understated nature. There’s a sweet, an intimate nature to the work that sort of makes my heart pound.

I’m drawn to the black and white palette of many of the illustrations. There’s something about balance and composition that is, I’d say, strengthened in setting this limitation. (Of course, using only black and white is practical in printing terms, cheaper and all, but it’s a different challenge, too.) I think the tools change in the use of this palette: textures, contrasts, words, expression, marks. In other words, the focus shifts to these techniques whereas in colorful pieces, the color becomes part of the message, part of what is received. If that makes sense.

There’s a sense too of the classic/vintage/hipster something…which is endearing. The shape of the glasses, the patterns of the tablecloths and wallpapers, some of the hairdos and outfits. I’m simultaneously reminded of my great grandmother and hipsters in Brooklyn. Either way, I am charmed.

Maybe we should note too the expressions of the characters. They’re kind of hilarious in the way the humans seem sort of unimpressed. Smiles are kind of subverted by the questioning eyes. At times they seem aware of us aware of them. Sometimes we or they are uncomfortable, like (above) why is that lady behind that guy and who does that hand belong to?! If this is tension (or if I’ve imagined it) it’s the kind of tension that draws us into the story behind the picture.

I found Nicole in a search for graphic nonfiction. She’s the author of two autobiographical, anthologized volumes called Invincible Summer. And at the moment, I’m happy to report that she’s working on a book to be released this year, called untitled. Check out her blog for some comics/zine excerpts. Nicole is one prolific illustrator and I can’t wait to read her new book. Check out more of her work here or, better yet, go to her Etsy Shop and buy a zine or a print!


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