So Pretty / Very RottenBooks / Debut Books
SO PRETTY / VERY ROTTEN
COMICS AND ESSAYS ON LOLITA FASHION AND CUTE CULTURE
5 x 7”, 300 pages, b&w, trade paper
A short story and essay collection exploring the Japanese fashion subculture, Lolita, by two cartoonists who go beyond the clothes.
In a series of essays and comics that are at once academic and intimate, cartoonists Jane Mai and An Nguyen delve into Lolita subculture and their relationship with it. Empowering and beautiful, but also inescapably linked to consumerism, the Rococo-inspired fashion is indulgent and sublime, pretty and rotten.
AN NGUYEN is a cartoonist and illustrator based in Ottawa, ON best known for her romantic comic series Open Spaces and Closed Places. She has drawn comics for Spera: Ascension of the Starless, Electric Ant zine, and various Love Love Hill anthologies. In addition to So Pretty / Very Rotten, she and Jane Mai also released a zine titled Don’t Talk to Me or I’ll Set Myself on Fire.
JANE MAI is a freelance illustrator and comic artist from Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and self-published zines. Koyama Press published her first book, Sunday in the Park with Boys, which was followed by the zine Sorry I Can’t Come in on Monday I’m Really Really Sick, and See You Next Tuesday.
NOVALA TAKEMOTO is a Japanese author, fashion designer and prominent promoter of the Lolita lifestyle. Soleinuit (Kokushokankai), his first collection of essays, was published in 1998. He debuted as a novelist in 2000 with Missin’ (Shogakukan). He achieved wide recognition when his 2002 novel Shimotsuma Monogatari (Shogakukan) was adapted into the movie, Kamikaze Girls, in 2004. His most recent work is Rakkusei (Cyzo, Inc.).
“Expertly mixing comics and essays, An Nguyen and Jane Mai take us on an excursion into the fascinating culture of Lolita fashion. These beautifully realized stories, which range from humorous to haunting, involve young people looking for context and place, searching for a balance between materialism and identity within their chosen social reality. Nguyen’s and Mai’s work blends together seamlessly, each approaching the theme with their own unique vision and aesthetic. So Pretty / Very Rotten reveals universal experiences within a distinct and subversive style of self-expression.” — Jesse Jacobs, author of Safari Honeymoon and By This Shall You Know Him