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
@mike_daws The Fresh Panthers?
- Monday Dec 9 - 4:34pm
If you didn't make it to the New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium last week, Andrea Tsurumi has all the gory details up on the Rumpus. It was standing room only at the Symposium on Monday night. Maybe it should have been dancing room only. Our man, Brendan Leach, brought the band with him, meaning the actual Newark Wanderers, performing songs inspired by (and appearing in) Brendan's (and our very own) Iron Bound graphic novel. It was a lot of fun. We even got to hear songs that didn't make it into the book or on to the album. Not to be totally outdone, Nick Sousanis talked about his thesis project, Unflattening, which is also a graphic novel on multi-modal learning. Nick can really draw, and the project is fascinating enough that it ought to get him his PhD from Columbia, no less. In any case, this was the most interdisciplinary, most multi of media Symposium night we've ever attended. Get caught up at the link below. And thanks, Andrea and the Rumpus (which could be a good band name, maybe)!
So excited to be going to the Short Run small press fest this coming Saturday in Seattle! I'll be tabling with friend and fellow Secret Acres artist Sean Ford!
PEOPLE OF THE HERE (meaning New York City, because that's where we're at): Tonight at the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium, Brendan Leach's Iron Bound will be up for a semi-scholarly discussion. The Symposium is the brainchild (huh?) of comics deity Ben Katchor. Meeting every Monday night, a bunch of folks get together for two presentations by cartoonists, publishers, academics and the like. Each part of the double bill is up for a Q&A afterward, assuming folks can keep quiet through the actual talk part. Better than the average chalk and talk, the Iron Bound band, the Newark Wanderers, will be performing live! The other half for this meeting is Nick Sousanis, who's getting his PhD from Columbia and chatting about how "images have been typically relegated to aesthetics and spectacle." No, really. Anyway, get yourself down to Parson's Bark Room - and get on the Symposium mailing list. It's free, it's awesome, it's every Monday, and you will get an actual e-mail from Ben Katchor (mr. Picture-story himself) every week. That might be the best part. See you in a few!
Alrighty! In what is likely to be our very last Scuttlebutt blog post of this year of 2013, we give you our thoughts on the bouncing baby Comic Arts Brooklyn show. The short take: we loved it. Our new hometown comics show was a smooth ride. We dropped a ton of books and are forever grateful for the good people of Brooklyn and Gabe Fowler and his Desert Island crew for keeping the flame. Long live CAB! Just for fun, we decided to spill the beans on a whopping five new books coming from us in 2014. Some of them might sound familiar to you (because they shoulda been 2013 books) but we promise you've never seen the new ones before. Speaking of new ones, let's all give Corinne Mucha a warm welcome to Secret Acres. We've been in love with her comics for way too long now, so it feels overdue. We're totally excited to be putting out her new book, Get Over It, in 2014. Yes, Secret Acres won't be such a sausage party next year. If you want even more of the ladies, Mike Dawson's new book, Angie Bongiolatti oughtta be your kind of thing. Oh, yeah, and there's our first ever art book from that guy, Edie Fake. Not bad, huh? Plus, Casey's CAB party report and our thoughts on a certain Kickstarter (so stop asking us) are in here, too. Go on and click the link already.