DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary

Erika Moen has self-published the first collection of her webcomic DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary (NSFW link), collecting her strips from 2006-2008. Although there are plenty of webcomic diary strips, this one is like none other.

DAR Volume 1
DAR Volume 1
Buy this book

First, it’s remarkably bawdy and explicit. Erika is not shy about dealing with bodies, her own or others, and physical functions like sex or farting. Her portrayal of these are both funny and honest. You’ll know from the first few strips whether you can keep up with her — the first is illustrations of various things that make her orgasm, while the second is her playing with her man’s penis. But for every adults-only subject, such as a visit to a strip joint, there’s a remarkably sweet or emotionally affecting strip, like the one about kissing your love while drinking tea.

Some you can relate to. The idea of a simple treat like cookies making the day better matches most people’s experience. Some are really thought-provoking, such as “Autobiography”, where the artist tackles the question, “Is it hard to write about people you know?” Some of the full-nude strips can be unbearably cute, a juxtaposition you rarely see. The one about shaving her cat (“The cat is a euphemism”, the strip helpfully points out) is a wonderful use of the comic format in a way no other medium could support.

Also, Erika is a fascinating person. She’s an artist who also works as a live nude model. She identifies as a lesbian but fell in love with and married a man. (Her introduction, which covers the years 2003-2006, sums up this history. I’d like to hear a lot more about her choices and emotions in this area.) She’s clearly not shy when it comes to telling stories about any of these elements.

I’ve read other autobiographical comics about similar subjects where my reaction was “Too much information!” I wanted to avoid meeting the artist as a result, because it felt like I didn’t have the right to know so much about them when I’d never met them. With Erika, it’s different. Her personality seems open and accommodating and like she’d be a terrific person to hang out with.

Most importantly, she’s a dynamite artist. Her cartooning is fluid and accomplished. She uses tricks of the medium to capture motion when necessary and always just the right moment. Buy your own copy here.

13 Responses to “DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary”

  1. Fleen: Enjoy Our Semi-Abusive Opinion Mongering » Please Knock It Off With The Car Accidents Says:

    […] thoughts: Johanna Draper Carlson has a copy of Erika Moen’s new book, and has reviewed it up better than I ever could. Also, I am a lazy, lazy man who hasn’t gotten around to ordering a […]

  2. Wood Says:

    “Her personality seems open and accommodating and like she’d be a terrific person to hang out with. ”

    She is !

  3. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » May 27, 2009: The steel in Silk Satin Says:

    […] [Review] DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary Link: Johanna Draper Carlson […]

  4. DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary » Archive » Model Says:

    […] and DAR! got a super lovely review over on Comics Worth Reading by the kind Johanna Draper. Man, what a way to start off your […]

  5. MoCCA Art Festival 2009 (Johanna) » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] my favorite is Drawn to You, a collaborative comic by Lucy with Erika Moen. They each drew themselves, sending pages back and forth online. It’s like reading a […]

  6. Small Press Expo (SPX) 2009 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Moen had the much-anticipated (by me, anyway) news that she was hoping to put out a second DAR collection before the end of the year. I was surprised to see that the most popular area in the room, at least […]

  7. Interview With Erika Moen » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Earlier this year, Erika Moen published a print collection of her webcomic DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary, after some struggles […]

  8. Drawn to You » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] had the pleasure of discovering the work of both Lucy Knisley (Radiator Days) and Erika Moen (DAR) this year. So imagine my glee when I discovered that the two had teamed up for this conversational […]

  9. DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary Volume 2 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] book of her webcomic DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary takes an interesting approach. Volume 1 collected work from 2006-2008, jumping ahead in the comic to where the material better resembled […]

  10. *Sinfest: Viva la Resistance — Recommended » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] was pleasantly surprised to see a foreword provided by another favorite webcartoonist, Erika Moen. She praises Ishida’s art, an astounding part of the Sinfest experience, as being “head […]

  11. Bucko Comes to Print With Artist and Writer Annotations » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] of my favorite comic people, Jeff Parker (Underground, X-Men First Class) and Erika Moen (DAR), teamed up to create the webcomic Bucko, a pointed satire of Portland subcultures revolving around […]

  12. Anything That Loves: Comics Beyond “Gay” and “Straight” » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] so much I’ll be seeking out more of her work. I share her appreciation for the work of Erika Moen, although it didn’t have quite the same effect on me. Erika’s work is also represented […]

  13. A Comic That Inspires: Erika Moen’s “I Want to Live” » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] keeping with her previous project, the autobiographical DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary, this comic is heavily revealing. It may be the best thing I read […]




Most Recent Posts: