Review: Someone Please Have Sex With Me by Gina Wynbrandt

 Part of 2dcloud’s Spring Collection, Someone Please Have Sex With Me is Gina Wynbrandt’s debut graphic novel, a collection of satirical, semi-autobiographic short stories. There’s been plenty of talk about Wynbrandt’s work. One of the selections, “Big Pussy,” got Wynbrandt nominated for a Promising New Talent Ignatz in 2015. That comic, riso printed in fluorescent pink, was a favorite of mine among a lot of great comics
last year, and was sampled in Best American Comics 2015. I watched Gina read from “Big Pussy” at TCAF in 2015, and it was a highlight of the festival.

The comics in Someone Please Have Sex With Me feel completely unfettered. Each of the stories in Someone Please Have Sex With Me have a carnality to them, whether expressed in Gina’s quest for sex in the title story or in her dominance of throwaway men in “Manhunt.” I feel like there’s a connection between the women’s autobio comics of the past that pulls forward in Wynbrandt’s work, especially with regards to the ways she shows herself on the page. It’s not like that classic image from Julie Doucet’s “Dirty Plotte”where the physicality of being a woman is emphasized via menstruation, but it sort of is? Wynbrandt constructs panels and pages so that it’s hard to ignore her physicality. We see her lunging, eyes wide, teeth bared, nostrils flared. Wynbrandt’s comics, by being so absurd and also so forthright about the expression of her desire, confront the internalized misogyny of Western society that finds female desire or lust ugly/unattractive.

I also think, buried in the depths of these comics, is a critique of late capitalism, and in particular the idea of linking yourself to celebrity or other fandom. Wynbrandt makes herself look the worst when she’s pining over another boy band or teen actor. The fantasy of “Tiger Beat Exclusive” is sopping wet with popular culture. It seems like Wynbrandt is asking the question through self-immolation: how much of a person can exist when they fill themselves up with the lives of other people? The linkage between a prolonged adolescence and celebrity worship is clear throughout Wynbrandt’s comics.

There’s a duality in Someone Please Have Sex With Me; on one hand, it’s easy to see Wynbrant is presenting herself, or a version of herself, in the least positive light. Wynbrandt comes off as immature, vain, lustful, and unconcerned with the feelings of others. The color palette, a selection of baby doll pinks and blues, emphasizes that immaturity. The comics are meant to make you laugh, and they’re really good at that. But on the other hand, Wynbrandt’s comics seem to be her working through her own self-doubts and confronting them with two big middle fingers. That’s a potent mix. 

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