CARTOONIST’S ‘MEAT CAKE’ HAILED BY CRITICS, NOMINATED FOR PRESTIGIOUS EISNER AWARD
Dame Darcy calls herself a cartoonist mermaid.
“I say my race is mermaid,” Darcy says. “I feel a strong connection to the ocean. I’m an environmentalist. I’m see myself serving a higher purpose for ocean conservation and awareness.”
More recently, Darcy has been called an Eisner Award finalist, honored for The Meat Cake Bible (Fantagraphics, 2016), a collection of every story from her groundbreaking Meat Cake comic book. Among those stories is “Hungry Is the Heart,” Darcy’s collaboration with Alan Moore.
Darcy’s neo-Victorian horror/humor/romance comics “have influenced a generation of women artists,” writes The Comics Journal. “Rapists are attacked, friendships are made and dolls are possessed.” Meat Cake Bible, adds The Portland Mercury, “cements it. Dame Darcy is an irrevocable part of comics history.”
Original Meat Cake artwork directly from the artist’s collection is being offered in Heritage Auctions’ Sunday Internet Comics Auctions through Jan. 17.
As a native of Idaho, Darcy grew up on a horse ranch, “raised by cowboy poets and feminists,” she says. As a young girl, she read Zap Comix, Heavy Metal and Tales from the Crypt. Later, she saw Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice. “I loved Beetlejuice,” she says. “I wanted to be the female Tim Burton.”
After winning a scholarship to the San Francisco Art Institute, she realized movie-making was expensive. “So I would do comics in the meantime,” she says. “I saw comics as a way to easily and cheaply create my stories until I got my big break.”
Meat Cake first appeared in 1992, receiving critical acclaim in the ensuing years. “Meat Cake,” Darcy says, “is my version of Oz, except more pirates, more dark, more sexy.”
Darcy, who now lives Savanah, Ga., has gone on to create and illustrate more than 50 graphic novels, with titles published internationally, including in France, Japan, Spain and Portugal. Two books, Vegan Love (Skyhorse Publishing) and Lady Killers (Harper), were released this year. She’s working on a graphic novel about her life and a Meat Cake movie is in the works.
“I want to show the comic industry,” she says, “that filmmaking can be equally female and women can be as valuable and equally paid as men.
“There are no mermaid movie producers,” she says, “and there should be!”