Girls and gays, assemble! After nearly seven months away, Lottie is back! Meg’s wedding approaches whether anyone–including Meg–likes it or not, and Lottie is a mess of feelings over her very public kiss with Caroline in the previous issue. With Snotgirl #15, creators Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung, colorist Rachael Cohen, and letterer Maré Odomo let all that tension bubble at the rehearsal dinner for Meg and Ashley’s wedding till it boils over into complete chaos. As a Californian wildfire rages just outside the venue, will Lottie’s feelings for Caroline melt her icy exterior or will they both end up burned?
When I say the tension boils over into chaos, I mean it. This issue is packed with a lot of manic queer energy and I’m living. From the developments in Lottie and Caroline’s relationship to the telegraphed, yet satisfying hijinks that ensue as Meg holds her wedding together with eyelash glue and a prayer, I was hollering with each page turn.
The Snotgirl team lets loose and makes it clear they’re having fun with this issue. Misty’s slow and gradual dognapping of Meg’s cute little poodle over the past several issues has been hysterical and that arc continues to inspire new laughs here. Some of the out-of-nowhere wildness in this issue perhaps needed just a hair more set-up for the sake of comedic timing and certain characters’ reactions at times felt a bit too nonchalant. However, there are only so many pages and so many panels to develop these stunts and none of this nitpicking made the issue any less of a joy to read.
Even if you’re entertained by the antics of the present, perhaps you don’t remember how the cast got here after such a long break between issues. Team Snotgirl has you covered, working in dialogue and narration reminding the reader of what happened last we saw Lottie and the gang. Though I recognized the function of this scripting immediately, it never felt so unnatural as to pull me out of the story. This is thanks to the expertly handled dialogue and general self-aware attitude the issue maintains. There’s an editor’s note calling back to the first arc of Snotgirl that was particularly funny.
All the dialogue continues to feel fresh and modern without ever dipping into forced-sounding #teenspeak. One of my favorite aspects of Snotgirl has always been the references that spring up to current online and pop culture trends and this issue continues to satisfy that want. From mention of “vibes” to more references to Terrace House and Netflix, Snotgirl continues to be a series very much set in 2020. I’m reminded of a quote from talk show host and infamous gossip tycoon, Wendy Williams, which reads, “She’s an icon, she’s a legend, and she is the moment.” If that doesn’t bring Ms. Lottie Person to mind, you must not be reading Snotgirl.
Speaking of icons, Leslie Hung’s art sings in this issue. She makes excellent use of close-ups in this issue, rendering all kinds of feelings as the rehearsal goes downhill. There’s a lot of great character acting and body language and this is an issue with a ton of bodies, no less. Many panels feature background guests meandering around the wedding and there’s even a two-page spread with a group shot as everyone crowds together for a picture. Hung gives all these extras just enough character to leave an impression if you’re looking, but not so much as to distract from the main cast.
Her inking throughout the issue continues to shine, letting thin strokes of ink keep the characters’ angles and faces soft, while using thicker lines to define clothing or emote with eyebrows. As always, Hung renders all kinds of hairstyles with love and I especially love the inking work done on Caroline’s hair. Apropos for Coolgirl, the way it flows down her back reminds me of a thick, dark river of tar you could sink into, not even realizing you’re stuck till you’re already waist deep. Lottie’s hair is more voluminous and airy, with locks thrown carelessly about like her feelings for Caroline.
The team treats us to an especially gorgeous moment with Snottie in the first few pages. The issue opens with a stunning dream sequence with Lottie decked out in wedding attire. The close-up of her shoulder and lips superimposed over the larger panel of the surprise blushing bride felt like the perfect way to be reunited with Lottie after the long break. Colorist Rachael Cohen does masterful work on these pages, employing dreamy cotton candy hues that make everything feel soft while making Lottie’s signature green hair pop off the page at the same time. The coloring matches that high bar throughout the issue, no matter the setting. The rehearsal starts in a shady afternoon and the colors are more muted to fit the overcast created by the trees. As the issue dips into dusk and night, Cohen’s colors work in more pale yellows and orange to match the sunset and artificial lights. There’s also a panel framed with a close-up of a broken phone that is a real treat to look at with the colors bleeding over one another to create a glitchy effect.
The lettering is pitch-perfect as always, with Maré Odomo adding elegant overlaying text to signify each new phase of the rehearsal dinner. I also love the light blurring used to cloud the area around Lottie’s inner narration in lieu of any bubbly thought balloons. Overall, Snotgirl #15 sees each member of the team serving their best in another issue that’s equal parts stylish, intriguing, and hilarious. Readers of my work won’t be surprised by my noting the series is leaning hard into several characters exploring messy queer relationships with one another as the series continues to give the gays everything they want. Also, as I hinted in my review of issue #12, I’m happy to report the return of thotty Metal Gear Solid. Buy this comic. Get your life.