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
While Mike "Gags" Dawson continues his ongoing assault on his family's collective joy with another new diet, only eating gift cake out of diapers, Alex "the Reliable Panther" has been on a crusade of a different kind, freeing dogs from cars everywhere, and attending a wedding with his wife in the small town of Iowa. Alex learns the city council has banned dancing and rock music. He is challenged to a game of chicken involving tractors, and despite having never driven one before, he wins. Alex and his wife want to do away with the no dancing law. Alex goes before the city council and reads several Bible verses to cite scriptural support for the worth of dancing to rejoice, exercise, or celebrate. Although Rev. Moore is moved and tries to get them to abolish the law, the council votes against him. Moore's wife, Vi, is supportive of the movement, and explains to Moore he cannot be everyone's father, and that he is hardly being a father to Ariel. She also says that dancing and music are not the problem. Moore soon has a change of heart after seeing some of the townsfolk burning books that they think are dangerous to the youth. On Sunday, Rev. Moore asks his congregation to pray for the high school students putting on the prom, which is set up at a grain mill outside of the town limits. Moore and Vi are seen outside, dancing for the first time in years. It just goes to show you, there's somebody for everybody, huh?
It's the return of Scuttlebutt, which is our blog, and we are blogging about our return to CAKE, which is the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo. It really should be Komics, especially now that the Iron Curtain is back in fashion. You can read all about our new comic debut for the show, Sequential Vacation 2. Sequential Vacation 1 has been in the Secret Acres Emporium and on Secret Acres tables at shows all over the North American continent for a while now, so you may be familiar with it. You can go ahead and order both from us, goodness guaranteed. Sar Shahar, the travel agent behind Sequential Vacation is on our CAKE ticket, making the trip from Lalaland. He will be joined by the artist formerly known as Ken Dahl, currently known as Gabby Schulz, marking Gabby's big return to our show scene and the first time he's been behind a table since last year's CAKE. We've even got some (kind of) news about his new book, SICK. The rest of the gang, including Edie Fake, CAKE maker that he is, has been up to all sorts of stuff - and you can get new new stuff from Edie and Theo in the Emporium, mini-comics style. That'll all be at CAKE, too. Either get yourself to to Chicago this weekend or get shopping. We gotta go pack now.
You want more Edie Fake? Everyone wants more Edie Fake! He's back on Pitchfork's life stylee site, being interviewed by Matt Putrino of Nothing Major. Everybody pretty much knows everything about Edie because he Edie is everywhere. However, there is a bit on here about what a lousy researcher Edie is - and his sleeping habits. Or lack thereof. This Edie never sleeps. You know what they don't talk about? CAKE! Meaning the Chicago Alternative (K)omics Expo, which is weird, because Edie's a founder and they talk about Chicago a lot (though we're not entirely sure about the connection they make between Chicago and Gaylord Phoenix, but okay). We'll have more on our CAKE plans and debut in a bit. Anyhow, enjoy this one and the pretty pictures, but get yourself to Chicago for CAKE and see Edie in person. He's worth the trip.
Old pal Sean T. Collins, here writing for Vorpalizer, takes a look at Edie Fake's series Memory Palaces. Yes, this is the Edie Fake behind the graphic novel, Gaylord Phoenix, but this isn't comics, exactly. This is a series of pen and ink paintings about Edie's hometown Chicago's queer history, both real and imagined. As Sean points out, one would at first assume that this was all done on a computer, but Edie's skills really are that tight. There's a kind of power to seeing these pieces in person that's difficult to describe, but the images here have enough size that you can get a sense of their texture and depth. Anyhow, it's a short review, but you can get some good, long stares in. Maybe, just maybe, you'll see them in print one of these days...
Phantasmaphile's Pam Grossman has some very nice words indeed for our man Eamon Espey's latest Secret Acres collection, Songs of the Abyss. Pam, a fellow Brooklyn resident and founder of Observatory, is a real live artist in her own right and it shows up here. Grouping Eamon in with other visionary comic artists, including Secret Acres' Theo Ellsworth, she experienced Songs of the Abyss in "a state of shocked reverie" rather than scrambling to assemble the narrative on the page. We're hardcore story addicts, so it isn't really in our nature to do this, but perhaps we'll give it a shot. This ought to be a nice homecoming present for Eamon, who is now back from his nationwide tour of Ishi's Brain, the live show based on the story of the same name in Songs of the Abyss. The show may be over, but you can still read the thing. Also, Pam calls Secret Acres "always exceptional" in this review. So we're blushing. Thanks, Pam!