Some comics tell fantastical tales of heroes and adventures, with gallant characters and dastardly villains. Some comics tell stories of sweetness and light, with beautiful scenery and happy endings. “The Quick and Dirty Life of Fritz Fargo” is neither of these. Mixing a gritty and complicated yet realistic story with a stark, sharp, black and white art style, “Fritz Fargo” forces the reader to face life, and face it hard.
“Fritz Fargo” starts out following the story of Eddie, a young closeted man head over heels in love with his toxic friend John. John, however, having suffered from a difficult past, is in an abusive relationship with an older man named Seth. Eddie invites John – who prefers to go by Fritz Fargo – to join him and his friends in their band, who hope to strike it big. Working with Fritz is far from easy though, and as the story progresses and character ties become more and more in depth and complicated, readers get to see both sides of each member of the cast – both black and white.
Artist and author Sarah Fowlie explained that the inspiration for “Fritz” came from a desire to create thought provoking media and an amalgamation of her interests at the time, with a dash of dissatisfaction with existing boys love stories. “I wanted to make something of my own that I can show people that can stand on its own and let people draw their own conclusions from it,” said Fowlie. “Basically the whole concept with
“Fritz” is that there’s never going to be a “right” answer. I have a lot of young readers and I really think it’s important to create media that gets people thinking and questioning things for themselves.”
Despite the apparent grittiness of the comic, “Fritz” is both engaging and funny as well, aided by the somewhat over-the-top art. “It’s a lot of bleakness, darkness, terrible situations, all kind of handled with a weirdly – not light hand, but not terribly heavy hand,” Fowlie explained. The point of “Fritz” is not to be edgy, but for readers to connect with the characters and story. “The kind of situations that are in “Fritz” are situations that a lot of people – a lot of young people and teenagers are going to eventually have to deal with if they haven’t already,” Fowlie said.
“Fritz” is now entering it’s fifth year online, and the story shows no signs of slowing. When asked about future issues, Fowlie said that her plan was to turn the focus of the story back on to Fritz himself, and his inner turmoil, as well as develop Roxanne – a newer character to the story – more. “With her, I want to explore a bunch of things; I want to explore the awkward teenage girl who has some internal misogyny, who wants to be like her idol that is really the wrong place she’s putting her admiration,” Fowlie explained. “I want to explore the concept of can you really separate an artist from his art, especially when it’s in your face what he’s actually doing.”
“The Quick and Dirty Life of Fritz Fargo” is fully available to read on the comics website, as well as Fowlie’s Tumblr page, with links to updates available on the comics Facebook page and Fowlie’s Twitter. To date, Fowlie has not printed her comic physically, but she has expressed interest in doing that in the future.
Fowlie’s closing thoughts:
“I am a big believer in the notion that you create the media you want to see, so if you want to see something that explores characters, like LGBTQ characters, in a way that they don’t often get looked at, like I did, sometimes you have to pick up a pen and do it yourself. I think a lot more people should consider getting into the arts just to tell their own stories.”