Minty Lewis was born in Falls Church, Virginia on December 11, 1978, but has since moved to California. She is currently living the dream, voicing the character of Eileen the mole on Cartoon Network’s Regular Show (for which she also wrote and storyboarded four episodes in 2010). Sometimes she makes comics and writes scripts. She has two older sisters, one older brother, one dog, three cats, one husband, and one daughter. She’s doing the best she can with the tools she has.
Life’s misbegotten outsiders - people like you, me and the moron in the in the next cubicle – are thinly disguised as fruit, household pets, and salt and sugar shakers in Minty Lewis‘ wryly nihilistic cartoons. Frankly, I don’t believe anyone has pegged the undermining tendencies of Yorkshire Terriers as deftly as Lewis does in “Yorky Roomies,” “Yorky Schoolmates,” and “Yorky Matrimony.” (Warning: never play drunken Scrabble with a drunken Yorky at your bridal shower). My favorite frame in PS Comics is an aerial view of an apple waiting for his luggage during a brief Orlando vacation that ends in hilarious existential agony.
- The Village Voice
Why I liked it: Not long ago I read one of Minty Lewis‘ “Fruit Pals” comics, and I was instantly smitten. The hilarious stories are sort of like Office Space if all of the characters were fruit — you have Apple sitting in his cubicle, Banana making crude jokes, Strawberry hoping for a raise, etc. They’re pretty much my favorite things ever. PS Comics compiles several “Fruit Pals” strips, along with stories about talking dogs and more. (One of my favorites is a love story between a salt shaker and a sugar shaker. Says salt: “Sometimes I feel like people just think of me as this one thing, when I‘m so much more complex than that.”)
Why you’ll like it: Because you‘re a fan of offbeat humor and can’t wait until Gentleman Broncos comes out. Because your favorite part of Pee-wee‘s Playhouse was when he opened the refrigerator. Because you really do imagine your dog talking all the time.
- USA Today
With the recent publication of a Secret Acres anthology of the same name, Lewis seems primed for recognition on a wider scale for stories that balance the unreality of anthropomorphic animals and produce with simple tales of daily human existence.
- The Daily Crosshatch
Midway through Minty Lewis’ newly realeased PS Comics, I got to thinking about Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts. Had Schulz introduced stories of Snoopy and Charlie Brown in the current era, his most productive years would have coincided with declining newspaper circulation and shrunken comic strips. Only graphic novel insiders would know the entire comic world he created. It may sound presumptuous to link Minty Lewis and Charles Schulz, but like the Peanuts creator she has invented and entirely new world whose characters reveal deep insights about life. In Lewis‘ case, her main characters are fruit, though dogs and salt and pepper shakers also have their say. Lewis’ apple, pear, mango, lemon and others work in offices and have their own distinct personalities; their dialogure is both more realistic and more insightful than anything found in today‘s situation comedies or the routinely sexist romantic comedies that fill our move screens.
Minty Lewis is obviously not only a great observer of human behavior and our various idiosyncrasies, but she’s evenly matched it with an ability to illustrate those observations. And it‘s interesting to me when I find that reading a comic that does that so well that it doesn’t always mean that the actual drawings are the world‘s best renderings. But it almost doesn’t seem necesssary, because the drawings contain the ability to illustrate doubt on a face that didn‘t have it in the panel before, or to show us a character’s intentions and motivations betraying the lie of the dialogue written in the very same frame. It reads like a gift. And yet, even though I don‘t know a thing about cartooning, it isn’t a gift, is it? After all, calling it a gift is just another way of saying that it isn‘t earned, that it isn’t hard–but if it‘s not hard to do, then everybody would do it. They aren’t. Minty is.
- The Factual Opinion
After 20+ years of reading comics from all types of genres, publishers and creators, it was her PS Comics #3, which I picked up at the Alternative Press Expo in 2007, that left me gobsmacked with pure, unadulterated joy and mirth. It was a reminder of everything cool and special that comics could be.
- Osmosis Online
Here we have more tales of fruit, yorkies, and various condiments in distress. The bulk of the comic is taken up by the love of two of the yorkies, Quincy and Cleopatra, and how this evolving relationship hurts Cleo’s current roommate, Lucy. It’s a tale of sniping and personal attacks that’s as old as time, unless of course you tell it from the perspective of dogs. Melanie also deals with the vagaries of high school life when everybody decides not to go to the prom, leading one of the fruits to make other plans for the night… until the rest of them decide to go after all. The highlight of the book though, even though it’s only a short two pages, is the story of the affair between salt and sugar, told in excruciating detail. She goes through the hesitant beginning to the true love in the middle, all the way to the inevitable ending and seeing other, um, “people” when one still hasn’t gotten over the whole thing. Top it all off with a wonderful summary of a tour of the Celestial Seasonings factory and that’s there’s a pretty damned good comic. Also, it’s a handy book to keep around on a coffee table for nosy relatives or friends, who will flip through it, thinking it’s adorable and maybe you’re not as deranged as they might think from your other choices in comics, even though they wouldn’t think that at all if they bothered to read the damned thing and not just look at the pretty pictures.
– Optical Sloth
Melanie Lewis’ PS Comics is the work of Melanie “Minty” Lewis. Generally, the characters in the comics are either fruit or terriers (muse), but sometimes they are other things like salt or lobsters or humans. The comics deal with very important universal issues that will break your spirit and make you sweat.
– Pink Raygun
Sooo funny! I hadn’t read Minty’s comics before she gave me this issue, and now I’m in love! “Fruit Pals” is just full of little mannered details that read perfectly.
– Francois Vigneault
Melanie Lewis’ PS Comics #1 and #2 are both really great, funny and smart.
– Kevin Huizenga
IN THE EMPORIUM
What happens when Bigfoot meets the Breeders? Why, our Scuttlebutt TCAF wrap-up, of course! You'd think we were kidding, but we're not. If it weren't for Bigfoot, we'd never had gotten to meet the Breeders and see them play Last Splash front to back way up in Toronto. This has nothing to do with comics, but then most of what happens at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival has nothing to do with comics. It's really about the dancing. And the singing. And the topless singing. Worry not, we did get Capacity 8 unboxed and there were no border issues for anyone (except for Casey). We even made it to our panel, first thing Saturday morning. That may have been perfect timing, because it was something like Between Two Ferns meets group therapy. We're lucky bastards, for sure, but we missed the Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon, singing Bette Midler's the Rose (and, no, he was not topless). If any of you have video of this, or pictures of Drawn and Quarterly's jean vests, please, oh, please get back to us. Read on...
Finally, we are hitting the asphalt for our first road trip of the year. It's a long drive to the Toronto Comics Arts Festival and we are carrying some precious cargo as usual. Theo Ellsworth is being delivered via airmail, with fellow Acres Brendan Leach, Joe Lambert and Edie Fake meeting us there. Sean Ford has called shotgun, and Capacity 8 is in the boot. Capacity 8 is one of those surprise births with which we are regularly blessed here at Secret Acres. It's also the first time anyone in our gang has dropped a new story for a series that we've collected. Capacity, Theo's big, fat book, is a complete thing, for sure. The eighth issue is all new territory, but it's still all true. In a way. In that Capacity way. Oh, and we'll be kicking off first thing Saturday with a small press panel featuring pals and heroes, Koyama Press, Rebus Books and Grimalkin Press, too. This year's Acresmobile comic mule is the legendary Dash Shaw. Alas, last year's hitcher, MK Reed, is too lazy to make it to TCAF. Everyone else better be heading up - or catching Eamon Espey's Ishi's Brain show in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Yeah, we're looking at you. We're standing right behind you. No, the other way. Anyhow, there's explicit instructions up on Scuttlebutt.
PEOPLE OF THE SEATTLE: Tonight's the night! Go watch Eamon Espey and Lisa Krause as they bring their show, Ishi's Brain, to Hugo House. Which is in Seattle. Ishi's Brain is based on Eamon's story of the same name from his Secret Acres collection, Songs of the Abyss. Lisa Krause is an artist and puppeteer of Bread and Puppet fame, among other things. It's quite a unique experience and pretty much beats the hell of out any old, regular reading. They are on tour all over the country, but there's something fitting about performing Ishi in Seattle. You know, because Seattle is strange and dark and there are scary woodlands and coffee. The Richard Hugo House is also something to see in itself. They have a writers' residence for zinesters (currently held by ZAPP), classes on seemingly everything, a focus on a local writing community and, of course, performances. Go. Have fun. Report back to us. Even the Stranger says to check it out. See...
Stranger things have certainly happened, but it would appear our man, Theo Ellsworth, will have not one, but two debuts at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival. Yes, we will have the eighth issue of his ongoing Capacity (the first since our enormous collection of that title), but we'll tell you more about that later. Meanwhile, we knew Theo was working on a comic for an anthology, but we didn't realize it was the fourth Alternative Comics anthology. You may or may not be aware, but Alternative Comics published some truly amazing things, like Jeff Lewis' True Swamp and Steven Weissman's Yikes (yes, this was before Fantagraphics took over). Then they took some time off. Now they're back. Also included in this anthology are Alternative Comics graduate James Kochalka, this guy named Craig Thompson, the adorable Noah Van Sciver and #cybergang leader, Alex Schubert, to name a few. Get up to TCAF because it's amazing, and Theo and most of the Alternative Comics crew will be there to sign the thing. Collect them all!
On a more important note than usual: 282 Broadway is where the party has been for, well, seems like forever now. What the hell is that, you ask? It's the home address for Domino Books and Revival House and Rebus. It's known sometimes as Bill K's Place, as in Bill Kartalopoulos. Just about everyone who has ever attended or exhibited at a comics event in New York City or, hell, ever drawn a comic while in city limits, has been exhausted, high, drunk or lost in that apartment while rubbing elbows with their heroes. We've written plenty on our blog, about their comics and their parties, too. Now they're moving out. We're telling you this because these guys need a new home. Go buy some comics from them. Forget the good cause, their books are amazing and we've been seethingly jealous of their good work, so if you like us, help them and get some great stuff for yourself. Everybody wins!