cover image The Amazing Camel Toe

The Amazing Camel Toe

Claire Dunlan, trans. from the French by Celina Bernstein. Black Panel, $24.99 (120p) ISBN 978-1-990521-11-9

With the rough energy of a kiss-off note scribbled on a cocktail napkin, Euro-cartoonist Dunlan scrawls the origin story of The Amazing Camel Toe, a feminist superhero and “vigilante in panther leggings.” Constance, a frustrated commercial illustrator, vents her aggravations by creating the cringily named heroine, who, in Constance’s imagination, beats up misogynists, berates celebrities accused of assault, and has the power to make catcallers see the faces of their disappointed mothers on the women they leer at. The script hits a predictable rhythm: Constance experiences sexism, draws a minicomic imagining Camel Toe’s biff-pow response, and shares it with her appreciative friends. In between, she deals with workplace aggravations, hygiene mishaps, her inadequately supportive boyfriend, and her friend’s punk band. The loose black-and-white art, which consists mostly of angular figures and close-ups of fiercely expressive faces, can be vibrant and funny, but often runs utilitarian. The style’s reminiscent of the fearless, raunchy feminist minicomics of the 1990s zine heyday. Dunlan doesn’t break new ground here, but Camel Toe offers a jolt of old-school catharsis updated for the #MeToo era. It’s a breezy option for nostalgic grrrl power fans. Agent: Sylvain Coissard, Sylvain Coissard Agency. (May)