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Lobster Wedding Portrait!

You know, I realized recently that I’d mentioned Tragic Relief, but I hadn’t really written much about it. It’s a project–and recipient of a recent Xeric Foundation grant–by Colleen Frakes. Her work, according to her bio, has been featured in one newspaper, two literary magazines, seven anthologies, eleven zines, and counting. (But you can see more of her work at, and be sure to check out the gallery. That lobster wedding portrait? Yeah. I own it. Full disclosure: Colleen and I are in at least one anthology together and were very nearly classmates.)

I’m predicting that she’s going to be one of the folks to watch this year.

Evidence, you say? Show your work?

Okay. For starters, there’s the fact that Tragic Relief, on issue #5, landed a Xeric. Her linework’s evocative; it’s one of those works that’ll pull you in with a deceptively spare style. It’s a style you’ll see reflected across her work, whether its paintings, illustration, or her comics work. She’s also one of these painters who parts with her work for cheap: she has originals for sale as well. (As if you could pass up these cute things?)

As if this weren’t enough, she’s currently serializing her reincarnated series, Marya and Death, over here. It’s a project she abandoned some time ago to revive online; it’s developing nicely, and it’s interesting to see an artist return to a work that’s been set aside for a little while with fresh eyes and a newer perspective. Again, you’ll see that same spare style, but look at the cool color work Frakes is doing here. It’s worth starting at the beginning and reading through the chapters as they develop. But be sure to also check out her guest strip on Reina Telgemeier’s SMILE, a charming if tragic tale of teeth, tripping, and trauma.

Lobster Wedding Portrait!

Bookmarked your post over at Blog!

Wow, thanks Anne!

I should note, Joe Lambert ( does the color for “Marya and Death”. People who can color in Photoshop impress the hell outta me.

[…] Anne Thalheimer did a write-up of “Marya and Death,” as well as some of my other projects over on Fleen. […]

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