The Sex and the City-esque graphic novel, Fling Girl LA, depicts the experiences of every twenty-something year old's love story (or lack there of). You know what I'm talking about: the messy romances, the less than stellar partners, and the capital “S” singleness. We've all been there, or at least somewhere near there. Creators Amy Saaed and Dina Gachman bring you Maggie, a recently single lady looking to celebrate her newly-acquired independence via flings. Maggie's journey to fling girl-extraordinaire is embellished by her cheeky friends and even cheekier celebrity presences (Aretha Franklin, anyone?). Fling Girl LA is the accessible Sex and the City, where our heroine and her companions are much like ourselves... now, are you a Maggie or a Brooke?
BRINK had the opportunity to chat it up with Dina Gachman, the graphic novel's writer- read on for her inspirations, advice for writers & even a little bit of Lykke Li...
Tell us about the inspiration behind Fling Girl LA. I had worked with the artist Amy Saaed on a few projects and I wrote this short novella about dating in Los Angeles so last August we got to talking about turning it into an online comic book. It sounded like a fun thing to try - and we love it. It has kind of grown beyond I think what we first imagined when we were sitting in that coffee shop! It was also inspired by all the funny and crazy dating stories we had, and that our friends had, it just seemed like the time was right.
How did Anais Nin, Mae West, Dolly Parton and Aretha Franklin end up on the page? For some reason when I was writing our 3rd issue, which is a Valentine's Day issue called The Pledge where the main character Maggie makes the "Fling Girl Pledge" I imagined her having some sort of guardians to help her out. Anais Nin and Mae West popped into my head and they ended up in the issue, so we started having "Honorary Fling Girls" each month which are strong, interesting, fun women that we think embody what a Fling Girl is: women like Anais, Mae, Aretha, Dolly, our new one is Eartha Kitt. It's such a fun series and people seem to love it. We're open to suggestions too! Next up is Lucille Ball.
Are your romantic escapades anything like Maggie's? Is this somewhat autobiographical? Somewhat, in that like Maggie I walked away from a very long relationship and realized I had completely forgotten how to date. The actual story and characters are fictional, and her dating escapades are a mix of things we've overheard, experienced, or just dream up and find funny. Issue #7 that comes out in August starts getting into her crazy dating experiences, I'm excited for that one.
What is your top advice for upcoming writers? Write every single day. People say it but it is the absolute most important thing. Even if it's a paragraph or a list or a doodle, keep your imagination really limber because I find with writing, the looser and more free you are, the better. That comes with writing constantly. And don't try to sound like someone else, trust what you sound like. And if the word "No" is a hurdle for you - you might need to pick a different field. Find a way to bulldoze past all the No's and you'll realize that you're basically living for that random yes and that's OK. You have to really love the actual writing I think, or at least have a love/hate relationship. When writer's say they hate writing I just assume they're masochists!
Who are your inspirations? As far as passion and exuberance my grandfather, he really loves the arts and his excitement about it is really inspiring. I love people like Lykke Li because she's so free to be herself, there's no one like her and she doesn't seem to care how insane she might seem - she's always unique. As far as writers it's pretty varied - Patti Smith, David Sedaris, Larry McMurtry, all distinct voices and so relatable. Filmmakers like Sarah Polley and Todd Field, they're pretty brave.
What's next for Maggie? We'll in the upcoming issue she has to deal with that dreaded post-breakup call from her ex-boyfriend, so stay tuned for how she handles that. And there's a very hot neighbor in her future - like Ryan Gosling hot so you know that's trouble. She's got a lot of growing to do so there are a lot of adventures ahead of her.
- Taissa Rebroff
Images courtesy of Fling Girl LA