Graphic Novel Reviews

So maybe this is pretentious of me, but I feel like hey, if you wanna know about these graphic novels, then here’s my two cents! I read a ton of graphic novels this summer! They were the perfect remedy for long subway rides, not that I really mind those anyway. But it is one of my favorite experiences to be swept up in these visual stories that usually have such depth as well as beauty. Of course living a few blocks away from Desert Island could make anyone become a graphic novel junkie!


As a preface to this list, I wanted to note some of the motivations behind my choices. I read Tina Robbins’ book, ‘From Girls to Grrrlz: A History of Female Comics from Teens to Zines’ for a paper that I wrote on Feminism and comics. Trina gives a beautiful look at women’s roles as characters in comics and as comic creators in the 20th century. She wrote the book in 1999 and she closed with a call to action of sorts by stating, “As we come to the close of the twentieth century, the comic industry, such a vital art and communication form for over sixty years, is in real trouble”. She continues about how the industry wasn’t making enough content for women and definitely not enough comics created by women. I have been really excited to read many novels that are complex, heavy, sincere and absolutely gorgeous stories by women and though I think the audience is broader than being only for women, I certainly have enjoyed them.

Heads or Tails
I was so taken with Lilli Carre’s novel, ‘Heads or Tails’. Her elements of design are flawless and they have a folk aesthetic to them, which I am always drawn to, but the way that her images mix with her stories is absolutely stunning. Her narratives are so unique and inventive. I love how graphic novels can capture such deep emotions but in a completely approachable way, although some novels are much more nitty gritty, but Carre’s novel is complex but subtle. Just read it.

This One Summer
Jillian Tamaki was my entrance into the graphic novel genre. Her first big graphic novel, ‘Skim’ was kind of a tough one for me at first, but as I settled in I enjoyed embracing some of the tougher issues that she explores. In ‘This One Summer’ Tamaki shows the nostalgia of summer vacation but she also tells a story that contains heartbreak on really deep levels. Both of her novels also explores complex themes in the lives of adults as examined through the eyes of children, which is like, only Jillian freaking Tamaki can do that. She’s just brilliant.


How to Be Happy
I feel like every time I went to hang out with a different friend in Brooklyn, they would have this novel, which is totally understandable because it is beautiful. This novel is similar to Lilli Carre’s, in the sense that it’s so beautifully designed and the illustrations are similar and the stories are also unique, but at the same time her book is distinctly hers. Many of her themes also revolve around apocalyptic worlds and seeking a simpler and more organic time in life. My favorite story involves some fantastic space suit fashion!

Fun Home
Oh man, Allison Bechdel. Her novel tore me up, and I don’t feel like that’s a dramatic response. Her novel was by far the most dense and the most heart wrenching. Her story is of tortured souls and brooding characters, but her story is real and I’m so glad that she shared her story because it is the story of thousands and hundreds of thousands of people who have really complicated lives with difficult questions. I definitely recommend giving this book a good reading, but it’s dang heavy, as a head’s up.


Truth is Fragmentary
I really really love this novel. Gabrielle Bell cracks me up and she’s so relatable as she tells stories about losing her keys, struggling with crippling anxiety and dealing with all around social awkwardness as an adult. I also love that she wrote the novel when she was living in Williamsburg, which is where I was a the time when I read this, so it pretty magical knowing the locations that she talked about and even some of the people at the local shops. Her book is less focused on the illustrations and more about the stories, but her book is so charming and I highly recommend it!

Get Over It
Definitely a winner of the summer! If I just get real for a second here, I saw this book when I was going through a gut kicking break up and I had to buy it and as I read it every page held moments of ,’yep’ ‘uh huh’ ‘I completely understand this feeling right now’. I adore her illustrations so so much and I think she talked about the experience of a break up in way that is so witty and enjoyable and she creates the perfect balance between angst and humor. Her novel has definitely been an influence on the comics that I’ve been making and honestly I have been responding to her statement that it was embarrassing that it took her three years to get over her break up. I just felt like, ‘Don’t be embarrassed girl! Break ups are the worst!’

This is my staple. Marjane Satrapi is one hard core rockin’ woman! I love her story and I think it’s so important to hear from a voice like hers from a culture that is so unfamiliar to us. While an entire culture can not be analyzed by one graphic novel, she gives wonderful insight into Iran during the Islamic Revolution. She is spunky and witty while also discussing political conflict, which may not sound appealing, but I think I enjoyed it the most out of all of the novels I read this summer. It’s truly an enriching read. It’s one of those makes ya laugh makes you cry novels but in a really nice way. Who doesn’t love a punk rock, memorabilia smuggling, rebel girl? Love it!


My Sister’s Sorrow (The Job Project) Update

Sister's Sorrow Promo

Ok are you ready for it?

My collaborator and talented composer friend, Zane Harker and I, have great news. Our project proposal was accepted and we will be receiving a grant to enable our fundraiser for the local women’s shelter to come to fruition! We have been secretly working on this project for a year and now we finally have gotten to a place where we can say with absolute certainty that we are going to be able to turn our dreams into a reality and hopefully we’ll be able to create an event that is impactful on the community through art and music.
The event will consist of open viewing of the final paintings that I have created and music that Zane has composed around the theme of struggle and redemption. We will also have a short forum where speakers from the Center for Women in Crisis and BYU’s Women’s Studies Program will be able to talk about women’s issues in the local Provo/Orem area. We will also have some very special musical guests, including Jennifer Blosil and Rachelle Call and Jessie Clark Funk.
The event will take place early in December. We will let you know as soon as we get the date pinned down which will be very soon.
Thank you so much for your help and support in enabling this project to succeed and we look forward to sharing our journey with you over the next two months and hopefully you all will be able to help this event succeed, but most importantly we hope that we’ll all be able to work together to make our community a better place!
Thank you,
Normandie Luscher and Zane Harker

Fairy God Feminist: Short Film Promo

Hi! I know I’ve been the worst lately, but I promise that I’ve been making a TON of art! Including my latest obsession, online comics :O I really am obsessed though and I love it.

To check out what I’ve done so far make sure to visit my tumblr page. I’ll also be starting a new tumblr specifically for my comic, which is ‘Fairy God Feminist’. I can’t help it, I just think it rocks hard core. And that leads me to my announcement that one of my comics, ‘Depression Derby’ is coming out as a short film next week! I told you I’ve been working hard!

Oh my goodness I have so many exciting announcements on the way, including some pretty big and exciting news that’s coming tomorrow. I know! You’re on the edge of your seat! Well you’ll just have to be patient 🙂 But hopefully those comics will tie you over, eh?

Fairy God Feminist: VIDEO-TRAILER

If you haven’t seen it all of my new stuff, make sure to follow me on the social fun times media:


Instagram: @NormandieIllustration

Twitter: @norm071


New York Tour of Art

This summer was filled with so much art, which must indicate that it was a fantastic summer, and it was! So I thought I would let you all in a few of the exhibits that I was able to see.

Sketching at the Met
I was so overwhelmed by the amount of art in the Met. I’ve only been a few times and I’ve come to the conclusion that it is going to take me a lifetime to get through it all. I really enjoyed sketching for hours in the Museum. I think that there is something so magical about art museums and getting to know different eras and generations through their art.

Brooklyn Museum of Art
Some of my favorite exhibits were at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. There was the Ai Weiwei exhibit, which I loved!!! I really appreciate when art is used for advocacy and sharing opinions. Some people think that he is too extreme in his methods, but I can’t help but admire his passion for art and speaking out against issues that he feels are wrong. All of his works are powerful, but I was particularly moved by ‘Straight’, a sculpture that he created by detangling and straightening the steel bars that failed to hold up building structures, including several schools, in China during the Sichuan earthquake in 2008.

I also really enjoyed ‘Submerged Motherlands’ by Swoon, a Brooklyn artist. I’m not gonna lie, I really liked that her exhibit was like an Anthropologie window display, but way way cooler.

And Soljee Lee and I totally geeked out on Judy Chicago’s feminist art, especially her piece ‘The Dinner Party’, where Chicago created dinner places for significant women through history who upheld feminist ideas. Love it.

Lynda Barry
I was so giddy when I found out that Lynda Barry’s exhibit of comeeks were showing during my visit! I love her cheeky wit and sass mixed with deep and serious social commentaries and analysis on various aspects of being human. How is one woman so cool?

This piece affected me the most and I’ve been trying to stop doubting myself in my own art making by trying to not worry too much if my art sucks. Art making is good people! Always!

BOSI Contemporary
I had some fun going to gallery openings with Kelly and Heather, my two Brooklyn buds! Kelly works at BOSI Contemporary, so we went to see the opening of “The Loss of so many” by David Mellen. The exhibit is still up until August 23!

Kelly also took me to a great gallery where they had live music. These girls are so talented and beautiful and I love their music.

Stay tuned for updates about all of my favorite comics and graphic novel finds from this summer!

BFA Project Update – June

With the help of several audio books and seasons of Gilmore Girls, I am almost officially half way through these paintings for my senior project. It is always amazing to see how a painting comes together. I believe in art miracles! I’ve added the scripture references that I used to form the concept and compositions of these pieces.

I was able to meet with some of the women from the Center for Women in Crisis, the local women’s shelter. I admire them, not for having been through difficult situations, but for how they have overcome and are still striving to pull their lives together after physical and emotional trauma. I wanted this project to represent the difficulties that all people face, but I’m grateful that it can be a part of something in the community, not only as an exhibit, but hopefully it will have some sort of greater impact. I don’t know, maybe that’s hoping for too much, but no matter what, I think it’s going pretty well!

Beware of Pride June

Job 33:17

Nightmares June

Job 7:14

Resting in the Lord June

Job 14:7-9

Three Friends June

3 Friends detail

Job 8:2
Job 11:2
Job 15:2

Party on the Porch

Party on the Porch

When I was out in D.C. last year, I made some great friends that also love art. We talked about doing an art show last year, but I only was able to participate in the First Friday Art Walk in Leesburg. Now that I’ve reconnected with these wonderful city slickers, we are putting together a quick little gathering this Tuesday evening. Please stop by and meet with some of these cool cats, me and my art that I’ve brought all the way from the west side of the nation!

Tuesday 7-8
2100 S Grant Street
Arlington, VA

We’ll be out on the porch!

Licensing Dreams

So a funny little thing about me, I have been wanting to design and make comforter sets and dish ware and fabric for a couple of years. I haven’t put too much focus on it…because if you haven’t caught on, I’m always working on one project or another. But now I really want to do this thing! I’ve been making trinkets here and there and now I’m getting ready to put together a small portfolio of designs for a fabric line and hopefully something will come out of it.

This has been one of those zeitgeist projects, which seems to happen quite often actually. I mean that, as I have thought about taking this project seriously, I’ve happened upon a fabric design competition, I mention it to friends, and funny enough, they’ve been wanting to do it too! It’s one of those aligning universe type of things!

A few friends and I are looking to put together some ideas and enter some competitions and submit to printing companies, but it looks like it will be most probable that we will do a small kickstarter. We want to just raise a small amount to get some of our designs printed and to play around with sewing some pillows and skirts, so keep an eye out and I will keep posting about it!

Here’s some of the stuff I’ve been working on:

Art Open Haus 2014: A Success!

The Art Open Haus went swimmingly! We were so glad to see so many of you all come out and we hope you were able to have a smashing good time and to find some great art for your homes. We really have so much fun being a part of this community and we look forward to future events.