Superhero comics were never my “thing.” Don’t get me wrong, I love superheroes in the movies, in television, and in novels. My favorite DC hero is Batman. My favorite Bruce Wayne is Michael Keaton, of course. My favorite X-men couple ship is Rogue and Wolverine (from the ’90s cartoon). My favorite Avenger is Captain Marvel.
I still could never get into superhero comic books. This is why Image Comics and I are such good friends. Their titles fall away from the traditional superhero and give us something a little different. Monstress is a big favorite of mine, but sometimes you need something a tad lighter.
Green hair. Don’t care.
Who Is Lottie Person?
“Lottie Person is a glamorous fashion blogger living her best life—at least that’s what she wants you to think. The truth is, her allergies are out of control, her friends are terrible people, her boyfriend traded her up for someone younger, and she may or may not have killed somebody!”
The “back of the book” description of volume 1 doesn’t leave anything out, because there is much more to Snotgirl, a comic book series written by Bryan Lee O’Malley and drawn by Leslie Hung. Lottie isn’t just some fashion blogger in Los Angeles. Lottie is everyone who ever felt her life on the outside didn’t match what she felt on the inside.
So… pretty much everyone on the planet with an Instagram account.
Lottie hides behind her brand, hiding her anxiety and allergies with her, while secretly hoping to be seen. Her brand controls the narrative of what people think about her, but it also creates the feeling of impostor syndrome when she’s out adventuring in the real world. The not so glamorous side of being a fashion insider.
Think Mean Girls (Except Add the Internet)
Lottie is all of us. Seriously, there’s a study on the link between anxiety and allergies. On the surface, Snotgirl seems like a shallow blog fest, filled with green hair and fashion freakouts. Her thoughts are all over the place, along with the liquid coming out of her face, and you see the internal monologues that play in her head all.the.time. Monologues I’ve said to myself. Words sounding like they were pulled from the brain of a former version of myself, and planted into the pages to stare back at me.
She is very much wrapped up in her own world. The panel art does an excellent job of keeping us locked in her perspective. Half the time I had no idea where Lottie is or what she is doing because SHE has no real idea where she is or what she’s doing. Whenever she goes anywhere, the reader is where Lottie is.
Wrapped up in her thoughts.
When she goes in to see her allergist, Dr. Yang is out on leave, and she is seen by a male doctor instead. He gives Lottie an experimental drug that he says will help her allergies. She starts to protest, and he appeals to her emotions, instead asking her “Do you feel ruled by your allergies?” If you have allergies, you know the answer to that question.
She visits him again later with some concerns that will remain nameless to prevent spoilers, and he tells her this other pill will help with the side effects until her body regulates and to add it to her regimen. He is clearly not trustworthy, but Lottie is so desperate to be free of allergies, she doesn’t give it a second thought.
Serious Themes Wrapped in Bright Green Hair
Leslie Hung and Bryan Lee O’Malley keep the narrative real with strong writing and panel choices. The characters are all memorable and familiar. People you know in your real life, or at least did when you had a life. Lottie is someone life happens to. She rarely ends up anywhere on purpose and spends her life simply reacting. While she is put together on the internet, she still believes humans must be hot and perfect all the time to be of value.
Her “Effortlessly Chic” style is full of effort, her friends are frenemies, and who knows what is going on with her “new best friend,” all things familiar with growing up in modern society. The panels center on Lottie a lot of the time because that is where her focus is. Perfectionism can be a crippling thing.
Bloody murder aside, Snotgirl spends her time stalking her ex-boyfriend on social media. She is constantly comparing herself to those around her, and those around her to herself. Lottie also has a good heart, which shows through choices she makes regarding her loyalty to people. She’s not completely shallow.