Greetings, tentacle aficionados! First of all, I’d like welcome this new octopus into our household, courtesy of a gift from my mom:
I felt like going with something more modern this week, though given that the last TT was set in the 60s, that still leaves a healthy 40-50 years to choose from.
Ali Fitzgerald’s Bermuda Square waved its first ‘hi there!’ on May 16th, 2016 in the The Cut, one of New York Magazine‘s website-only divisions describing itself as ‘a site for women who want to view the latest fashion trends; read provocative takes on issues that matter, from politics to relationships; follow celebrity style icons; and preview new products.‘ I don’t believe Bermuda Square fits that neatly into any of these categories, though Iris the octopus is unarguably stylish, and politics and relationships are definitely involved. Does she and her siren friends ever try out some new face cream, or weighs the pros and cons of that foundation one sees ads for absolutely everywhere? Who knows – Bermuda Square strips only live behind The Cut’s pretty rigid paywall (not that I object to writers and illustrators actually being paid, but I would much rather buy a collection of strips than a subscription to an online-only lifestyle magazine – call me old-fashioned).
Fitzgerald describes the world her comics are set in as “a feminist enclave where everyone can co-exist” and a “delicate ecosystem”. It’s a fully fleshed world, with intricate plot lines tracking relationships between characters and some class warfare, since underwater denizens aren’t at all immune from pettiness or envy. « It’s segmented like New York: There is Astora, a Manhattanite underwater mer-city where Margox imagines building a life, and Orchid Island, which resembles a not entirely gentrified Brooklyn or Queens. Solanas Village is a ‘70s-style, separatist female commune on a rocky shore, while the social, watery Tidelands are like a club where everyone mingles. If a sailor stays too long in Bermuda Square, he goes to (and dies in) the Ghost Vortex… »
The following excerpts have been lovingly coloured by co-admin RG.
Ali Fitzgerald, who currently lives in Germany, has also worked for The New Yorker, and in 2018 Fantagraphics published her memoir, Drawn to Berlin: Comic Workshops in Refugee Shelters and Other Stories From a New Europe.