Roberta Gregory, Bitchy Bytch
There didn’t use to be that many women getting published in the comics industry and Roberta Gregory is one of a select gang thanks to ‘Bitchy Bytch’, a selection of stories about a relatble bitchy bytch who had stuff happen and lived through it.
Bitchy Bytch is your most famous creation… Is she dear to your heart?
Oh, the most immediate project on my plate is an upcoming graphic novel with Bitchy Bytch. She is going to deal with breast cancer, which the stories in the comics have been leading up to. I have just begun writing it. I am completely scared of the subject matter so that is why it is taking so long to get off the ground, but I can tell this is just going to be a biggie. I have many more Bitchy projects in mind!
Who is Bitchy? Hm, well, she has been a character of mine for many years…. she first appeared in Naughty Bits in 1991, (she showed up a bit in earlier incarnations) so this her 15th anniversary! She has always been around my age, so now she is over fifty. She is sort of an every-woman character, single, barely getting by, working at an office job she hates. She has a rather bad attitude, expecting the worst, and then not being all that surprised when the worst actually happens…. she also has lots of insight though her personality usually gets in the way of her actually taking steps to improve her lot. Her rich inner monologues are so much what goes on in everyone’s head though we are not used to seeing it on a page in front of us.
Click for Bitchy Bytch comics…
Bitchy Bytch is great because she does take risks and do the right thing. Her co-workers are very funny, a born-again Christian girl and a supervisor who is into the whole new-age self-help thing. Bitchy has had a rather harrowing past, dealing with being abused as a child and having to get an illegal abortion as a teenager. Without sounding too self-promoting, they are really wonderful stories, though they read like something I wrote over a decade and a half. Some people seem really put off by the scribbly- looking artwork of the earlier comics, but once they read the stories, they really get involved in it. I haven’t really worked on a single Bitchy story last year, which is why this graphic novel is so overdue!
My favourite thing about her is how she really does push forward. She may complain and blame a lot but she never gives up. My least favourite thing is how prejudiced and judgmental she can be… but so are a lot of us. This is funny. I am making her up but I write like I am writing about a human being!
It is hard to describe the stories. It’s best to read them. I have lots of Naughty Bits comics on sale on the Roberta Gregory website, though some of them are nearly sold out… 37 of the original 40 issues are still available, and I would love your readers to check them out. The more they buy, the less hours I have to spend working at cleaning and mopping and such, and the more I can spend doing more comics and stories. The web site seems to really undercharge for overseas postage, and we are still working on it. An order of 10 to 14 comics fits nicely into one of those Overseas Priority packages and I am only out maybe 4 or 5 dollars postage. I think people can add postage, too, but I am willing to give your readers a postage bargain… until my web guy and I figure out how to change it. If someone orders only one or two comics to be shipped overseas, though, I actually lose money on it, which is bad. It is best for people to email me through the web site with any questions and we can figure it out. Hope that did not sound too much like a sales pitch.
I used to have a lot of readers in Britain and I think customs stopped some of the comics from being shipped. I don’t think there is a problem now, but you never know. My big fantasy is to do a DIY tour…. just come on over and pay my own way for transportation but have people put me up and feed me in exchange for portraits of their pets, original Bitchy greeting cards that I would draw, and probably for the UK I would have to bring single photocopied books that I would have people photocopy and staple once I am over there to avoid getting whacked by Customs….I am so full of ideas! In the meantime, it is probably easier to order the comics. I want to get more stuff up on the web, too….