Review: Dear Amanda by Cathy G. Johnson

One of the great joys of SPX for me this year (despite not getting to be there) was to see great cartoonists be recognized through the Ignatz Awards. Cathy G. Johnson is the winner of this year’s Promising New Talent Ignatz award on a slate of really great cartoonists. Dear Amanda was a debut comic for the show.

Dear Amanda is a 48 page comic on grey paper printed in black risograph. Dear Amanda is a lesbian romance comic that features coworkers Belén and Ginette. Belén is studying Dutch and wants to move to Amsterdam and write. She’s using Ginette as the subject of her writing, but when Ginette discovers she is Belén’s “muse,” things change drastically.


Alex Hoffman reviewed DEAR AMANDA on Sequential State today. You can read the whole review following this link. I really like this review, spoiler warning though!

DEAR AMANDA came out this past weekend at SPX, and is now available for purchase online.

You can buy DEAR AMANDA here.

DEAR AMANDA is now available for purchase online!

Belén is saving up to move to Amsterdam and become a writer, but thankfully this summer won’t be lonely. She starts a bittersweet fling with her coworker Ginette, who is (coincidentally) a great source of inspiration for Belén’s writing.

I wonder what Ginette thinks of that.

48 pages, 8.5″ x 5.5″, riso-printed black ink on gray paper

Alex Hoffman of Sequential State published a review of DEAR AMANDA today, if you are the type of person who enjoys reviews of something before you read it, give it a look! (Spoilers!) I think it’s a really good review.


Store Front:

Hi Cathy! I just wanted to let you know that I loved your interview with Make It Then Tell Everybody, and your comic Jeremiah. I love your style (I too dislike really polished drawing, the smudginess of your work is super rad). Thanks for making awesome comics! Also, what is your favorite kind of pencil to use?


Haha, you’re welcome! Thanks for liking my comics! Haha, I actually try to say the kind of pencil on the podcast, but it’s difficult to pronounce without practicing first. I use Ticonderoga brand #2 HB pencils. They’re everywhere, and if you are in the States you should be able to find them at convenience stores or whatever in the back-to-school section.

I can be very fancy with my materials because I worked at an art supply store for a while, so I like nice paper, but when it comes to pencils I prefer to not stress out about how “nice” it is and just use it. I probably have hundreds of little pencil nubs lying around my life.


Thank you.

This weekend I won the Ignatz Award for Promising New Talent. Thank you, to everyone, with my complete heart. What “promising new talent” tells me is that people are rooting for me. I’m being lifted up. And it feels really really good. I won’t let you down. Thank you, thank you.

The response for my acceptance speech has also been utterly positive. For those who missed it, Heidi MacDonald at Comics Beat transcribed it:

Brandon Graham presents Promising New Talent to Cathy G. Johnson. “I love comics. It’s a very important medium to me, I love this culture and this community that we’ve created. I feel very welcome in it. It can also be frustrating. I feel like this year and many years in the past a lot of our peers have experienced harassment, esp. female peers, and I think we need to work harder [with solidarity] to reject [harassment and oppression]”

After the ceremony, and the next day at SPX, I had dozens of folks congratulate and support me. I hope the support reaches survivors. I hope it reaches folks when they speak out about the oppression they experience. I hope the solidarity continues to grow louder. This is our community, and we have the power to shape the future into a more welcoming and safer environment for each other and for new artists to join us. This is how comics will grow as an art form.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Also: CBR