Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable is a terrific comic somewhat based on a 1980s teenage girl's diary Watson found in the bathroom of a Vegas gas station. I first read the strip in Bust magazine, and Fantagraphics published Unlovable (Vol. 1) as a hardcover in 2008. Unlovable (Vol. 2) is due out next month. Watson is also a fine art painter, and she has a show of new work opening on February 12 at the Webb Gallery in Waxahachie, Texas. Several pieces from the show titled "Space is the Place: Paintings of UFOs and Such," are also viewable online. Above, "Garland, Texas Something New Near the Paintball Field" (20 x 30", acrylic on board). From the Webb Gallery:
A strong narrative sense runs through the paintings in her new exhibition Space is the Place:Paintings of UFOs and Such by Esther Pearl Watson. Charming and funny, they chronicle her life growing up in a series of small Texas towns, with an eccentric father who was always trying to build spaceships in the yard, often with disastrous results. Part fantasy, part puzzle (find the family cat, Pooter), and part homage to the past, these works feature glittery spaceships hovering over tilted and flattened perspectives of rural landscapes–some idyllic, some trash-littered and neglected–with extended titles written in childlike printing.
Executed in acrylics, graphite, silver leaf, glitter and spray paint, Watson's works combine a sophisticated use of mixed media with an assumed unschooled style in which Watson adopts the vernacular of Outsider Art.