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BIO

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.

IN THE EMPORIUM

Minty’s comics can be found in the Secret Acres Emporium here.


IN PRAISE OF MINTY LEWIS

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

In the seven or so years since she leapt headfirst into the world of alternative sequential art, by way of an SPX anthology, Melanie “Minty” Lewis has become and instantly recognizable name in amongst the San Francisco indie comics community. Four issues of PS Comics later, the artist’s fruit and terrier pals have become a staple of ‘zine racks throughout the Bay Area.

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.

- BeyondChron

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

BACKTALK

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OFF THE WALL

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Secret Acres
October 10, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Secret Acres commented on their own link.

Secret Acres
Facebook IconOctober 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm

It's that time of year again! The Best American Comics 2014 edition is out there and there are plenty of folks, like the Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon and the Stranger's Paul Constant calling this book the best of the series so far. It's the first time out for new series editor, Bill Kartalopoulos, and it has a new format of sorts, devised by edition editor, Scott McCloud, of Understanding Comics and Zot fame. McCloud groups the main selections, making a map of the current comics landscape. Broader than previous installments, it includes specific instructions to read the entire book, rather than browse through it - and you should do just that. Our very own Theo Ellsworth's the Understanding Monster Book One is included in the section titled EVEN STRANGER ADVENTURES (of course), and there are FOUR Secret Acres artists in the BAC Notable Comics section: Eamon Espey's Songs of the Abyss, Edie Fake's story from Monster Vol. 1, Robert Sergel's Eschew 3 and Sar Shahar's Sequential Vacation 2. Not bad, huh? We've got Bill K's blog post below, but you'll want to sit and read this one cover to cover. Thanks, Bill and Scott for all your hard work and congratulations on putting a great anthology together!

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Bill Kartalopoulos | on-panel.com

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Contents and Notable Comics from The Best American Comics 2014, posted by Series Editor Bill Kartalopoulos

Secret Acres
Facebook IconSeptember 24, 2014 at 2:58 pm

And Theo Ellsworth's the Understanding Monster Book Two has its very first ever review, from RE:Views Media's Max Szyc! It's a rare thing that a review makes us laugh out loud, or LOL, as the kids say. If you've read the first book of the Understanding Monster, you'll understand that reading doesn't begin to describe the experience of this story. The logic of this world, like most psychedelics, takes a minute to kick in. Like Max says, "A few more pages and then I think my mind may have reached some sort of subconscious arrangement with the material, meaning I think I 'got it'. Perhaps the book is so futuristic that it actually has the psychic power to make me think I’m understanding it." Cue us giggling. It is a long, strange trip indeed for toy mouse-bodied Izadore and his consciousness, but the sheer force of Theo's art will move you along with him. You may even start to identify with him. You can thank Max for capturing these feelings so well by reading his review. Thanks, Max!

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The Understanding Monster – Book Two

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A review of Theo Ellsworth's "The Understanding Monster: Book Two."

Secret Acres
Facebook IconSeptember 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

We survived yet another Small Press Expo. This is no mean feat. Between the thousand deep gang of exhibitors and the crush of so many attendees, it's a wonder we're still standing. Credit Corrinne Mucha for pulling us through. In the absence of Theo Ellsworth (DNP - Fatherhood), Mike Dawson (DNP - Bachelor Party) and Brendan Leach (DNP - Get well soon!), Corinne sketched out everybody's books. We mean everybody's. Even Sean Ford's books. And Sean was there. Secret Acres made bank, yes, but we hardly got to see anybody, or so it felt. This might explain how we escaped the con crud which is laying so many folks out after SPX. This year's show was really all about the Breeders, meaning the band, not folks making babies. Corinne, you see, had not heard of the Breeders. We can see not having heard of, say, U2. But the BREEDERS? COME ON. Also, fair warning, we don't dare dish on our SPX 2014 Celebrity Comics Mule, Tucker Stone. In fact, we're terrified of what he must be saying about us right now. Check out the blog, and you can also get some details on this Sunday's event, the Brooklyn Book Festival! It's going to be a star-studded affair at the Secret Acres-Koyama Press megatable...

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THE MOUTH of Tucker Stone damn near swallowed us whole on the ride down to this year’s Small Press Expo. We are hereby awarding him an Ignatz Brick for Outstanding Shit-Talking Comics Mule. Who knew Nobrow was so gangsta? We appreciate it, Tucker; you were the best consolation for us being down a ma…

Secret Acres
Facebook IconSeptember 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm

OKAY. Summer's over and we're heading back to school, or at least back to our Scuttlebutt blog. It's been a while and a half, but we've been busy, sitting by the pool, giggling, eating watermelon. Included in this post is a rundown of our trip to RIPE, our first ever internet kerfuffle, SPX news and switcheroos, and one rather ridiculous Secret Acres baby boom. Boy, oh, boy are we looking forward to SPX. We know we promised you the second volume of Theo Ellsworth's the Understanding Monster. The good news is that the book WILL be at the show and it will be beautifully sketched and signed. The bad news is that Theo is skipping out - but he'll be coming out to Comics Art Brooklyn to officially debut his new book. He has a a good reason (note the mention of a baby boom above). We do, however, have Sean Ford, Eamon Espey and Corinne Mucha coming to comics camp with us and they will armed with new minis, prints and even little paintings. Our guest comics mule for the road trip will be Tucker Stone, so we'lll have plenty of gossip to dish when we get back. You get yourself to SPX! See you this weekend...

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FIRST THINGS FIRST: Secret Acres had a grand old time at RIPE, the Rhode Island Independent Publishing Expo, which really should be RIIPE, but who’s counting? Dave Nuss, smooth operator of Revival House Press was our celebrity comics mule and neighbor at the show. We would like him to be our neighbo…

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