Comic book launch: Yes, Yes… No: The story of one of many virgins (July 12)

I first saw Sofeel (aka Sophie Laplante)’s drawings at Expozine in 2005. Despite being modest photocopies of ballpoint pen line drawings, they leapt off the page, drawing me in with their delicate simplicity.

Sofeel’s work stems from her life experiences. Her artwork and zines cover such territory as masturbation, mourning a lost love, sexual abuse and hating Christmas. Like peering into a private journal, the viewer is brought inside the head and world of the artist, where things can be equally profound, funny, and cringe-inducing.

Yes, Yes… No is a story about a 23 year old virgin named Faube, and her experiences coming to terms with sex, family and feelings of inadequacy. It jumps between present time (2006) and her past through flashbacks and journal excerpts. Faube is a bit of a dork, a bit of an outcast, but she’s starting to figure it out.

Sofeel draws quickly, crossing out things that don’t work, often redrawing mouths or eyes several times until she gets them right. Readers will notice that many of these “mistakes” were left in, revealing her process while helping to portray a confusing moment or situation.

“I think initially I thought up the idea [for the comic] because I was sure I wasn’t alone in feeling so shitty/stressed about my virginity,” says Sofeel. “I want the “late” virgins and the ones who have difficulty dealing with their sexuality in general to not feel so secluded. In my head, I didn’t go through all that weird pain for nothing. It’s selfish, but it’s the truth.”

This self-published first run of 45 copies features lovely silkscreened covers, 25 of which include a 7” flexi-disk vinyl of the artist (also a musician) performing her song “Virgin Romance.”

Art is the search for truth, and artists like Sofeel, who are brave enough to be honest about the most personal of things, help us all along this path.

—Aimée van Drimmelen

Yes, Yes… No: The story of one of many virgins is being launched Monday July 12th at Casa del Popolo, 5 à 7. Comics are $20, $25 with flexi disk. www.sofeel.ca

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