Off the Racks: ‘Minty’ Fresh

Fruit Pals by Minty Lewis

Fruit Pals by Minty Lewis

It seems there’s more than one fan of Minty Lewis here at Osmosis Online.

As I frequently do at work (don’t tell anyone), I was surfing the inter-web for comics. Some 20,000 mouse clicks later, I ended up at the Secret Acres Web site. I had never heard of Secret Acres, but some of its products seemed interesting and there were free previews. “What’s this,” I asked, “talking fruit working in an office?” I read the free stories and was immediately hooked by their painfully awkward moments and realistic humor. And thus my affair with Melanie “Minty” Lewis had begun (don’t tell my wife).

The following week saw me go on a Minty-bender. Here’s a recap.

Papercutter No. 10, $4

I bought this at Quimby’s Books in Chicago after I went in thinking the shop would surely have the PS Comics book. Sadly, this was all they had. Well, wait–I wasn’t sad at all. Papercutter No. 10 is a short anthology by Tug Boat Press and I really enjoyed it. The two other contributors, Damien Jay and Jesse Reklaw, were stellar and I plan to look into more Damien Jay stuff.

Lewis’ story is entitled “hello neighbor” and it concerns the central character of her Fruit Pals comics, Apple. It is 15 glorious pages and she contributed a back-page advertisement as well. It’s hard to describe, but it is fortified with awkward workplace and life humor that I really enjoyed. She really makes you want to grab Apple and chuck him at a brick wall. He’s just so damn socially inept. I had to order everything I could find.

PS Comics Trade Paperback, $11

I bought the PS Comics Trade Paperback Salad Days directly from Minty’s Web site. Bonus: a sweet personalized postcard! As far as the comic, it was so worth it. It has several “Fruit Pals” stories and animal stories such as “Yorkie roomies.” All you need to know: pears suck; Yorkshire terriers love to get drunk; cats smoke crack out of moped parts.

Okay–now that you’ve rejoined us after browsing away to purchase your own copy, a few more thoughts. Some of the stories are already online, but that doesn’t take any of the value away from purchasing the trade paperback. There is just a ton of true-to-life jokes that are so much funnier when seen by a cat or kumquat. Many of the stories are about the inadequacies and insecurities of humans and how people crap on each other constantly. Topics also include such heartwarming favorites as child abuse, selfishness and theft. But it’s all fruit and animals, so it’s okay. It never gets old or too awkward and the art style fits the humor perfectly. I suppose you could describe it as simple art–simply awesome!

Salad Days, $4

As mentioned above, I bought this single issue from the author along with the PS Comics collection. It has a really nice screen-printed cover and I believe it’s put together by the author, as I don’t see an imprint on it. The story focuses on Apple and his struggle with employment. It’s broken up into chapters and really gives a more in-depth look at the ineptitude of the fruity character. I believe he may be a Washington apple or perhaps a Jonathan. I prefer Golden Delicious.

All in all, I have really enjoyed Minty’s comics. I couldn’t recommend her stuff more for fans of indy comics–but non-comics fans should enjoy them too. I would definitely recommend it for fans of “the Office” and other dry/honest humor. I was saddened to see via her blog and Twitter that she may not have as much time for comics, as she’s taken a new job. I’m hoping there will be more soon and I hope you will check out her wonderful comics.

Jon does a weekly Web comic here on Osmosis called Apocalypse Meh, has a band called Anti-Hero (www.myspace.com/antihero815), acts like an idiot for Fight Fire with Aurthur Films, and frequently posts atwww.11oclockcomics.com. He’s really a big dumb animal folks.

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