Sally Ingraham here with a look at Rina Ayuyang’s “Blame This on the Boogie”- plus other news of note!


In Rina Ayuyang‘s new memoir – Blame This on the Boogie (Drawn + Quarterly Nov. 2018) – bright colors and glamorous dance moves leap off of the page. They’re a sort of dazzle camouflage, nearly disguising a difficult childhood and a bumpy transition into motherhood – and that’s the point. That’s what “the Boogie” did for Rina. Her love for music in its many forms helped her cope with the realities of growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, in the 80’s – as the youngest member of a Filipino American family.

Silver screen musical numbers saved her, and continued to bring her balance and comfort as she grew into an adult and became a mother. The story is a series of memories, pinned to the musical clothesline that ties everything together. Ordinary moments in life take on beautiful new proportions when they become mixed up with movie sequences. Is Rina dancing with a sibling or her husband or Fred Astaire?

There’s something about the chaos and colors of the pages that compels you along, and I found myself exploring spreads in every direction. It is more of an experience that you dive into than a book you read – and you might feel your toes start tapping and get the urge to leap up and boogie along.

The loose line work is joyful, even when Rina is describing postpartum depression or being ridiculed by classmates. And it is fascinating to me that while music has provided Rina with a means to escape or survive the rockiness of life, it is through comics that she processes those experiences. Hollywood musicals and TV shows like Dancing With the Stars can provide a “therapeutic distraction”, as the D+Q blurb puts it. In the end though it is comics that get Rina to the core of the matter. The rush and purge of these stories – the actual book in your hands – is her big theatrical number.

Dive into this song and dance in November when the book officially debuts – or pick up an advance copy through Copacetic Comics HERE.

Rina Ayuyang will be appearing at Short Run Comix and Arts Festival in Seattle on Nov. 3rd, along with Mimi Pond and Anna Haifisch. She will be releasing the comic in her hometown of Berkeley, CA, on Nov. 8th at Pegasus Books.


Other News of Note

  • The 3rd ComiqueCon is taking place this weekend in Detroit at the Arab American National Museum. The Detroit Free Press has a feature on it – check it out!
  • Tegan O’Neil reviews Liana Finck‘s new comic Passing For Humanon The Comics Journal.
  • The Comics Beat chats with the creative team behind Devil’s Dye, the latest 4-issue mini series in the Black Mask Studios’ Black AF world – read the interview HERE.
  • The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum has announced an upcoming 2019 show featuring the work of Barbara Shermund. Read more about the show, titled “Tell Me A Story Where the Bad Girl Wins”, HERE.



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