Girl Juice’ celebrates the chaotic intimacy between female roommates

 "Benji Nate's 'Girl Juice': A Refreshing and Hilarious Comic Novel About 20-Something Roommates"

If you're looking for a comic novel that will make you laugh out loud and feel seen, you should check out Benji Nate's "Girl Juice." This 176-page book, published by Limerence Press, collects the webcomic that Nate created and shared on her Instagram account, which has over 65,000

followers. The book's title refers to a drink that Bunny, one of the main characters, makes with fruit juice, vodka, and a secret ingredient that she claims has aphrodisiac powers.

The book's cover features Bunny and Nana, her best friend and roommate, sitting on a couch in their colorful apartment, surrounded by plants, posters, and snacks. Bunny has short blue hair, a nose ring, and a T-shirt that says "I'm not here to make friends." Nana has long pink hair, glasses, and a sweater that says "I'm a feminist but I still love pizza." They both have expressive faces that convey a range of emotions, from curiosity to confusion to joy.

The book's opening scene sets the tone for the witty banter and absurd situations that follow. Bunny and Nana are at a bar, sipping drinks and scanning the crowd for potential hookups. They spot a man with tattoos and speculate about his attractiveness. Their conversation is both hilarious and insightful, as they analyze the cultural codes and contradictions of masculinity, sexuality, and beauty. The fact that they end up agreeing that he's hot despite his "SEX FIEND" knuckle tattoos shows how fluid and subjective their tastes are.

The rest of the book features similar vignettes that capture the everyday dramas and dilemmas of Bunny, Nana, and their two other roommates: Mango, a shy artist who communicates mainly through drawings, and Buddy, a flamboyant party animal who loves to dance and sing. The four friends have different personalities, backgrounds, and ambitions, but they share a bond that is tested by various challenges, such as a noisy neighbor, a messy breakup, and a haunted houOne of the strengths of "Girl Juice" is how it balances humor and heart. While the book is full of witty one-liners, absurd situations, and pop culture references (such as a parody of "The Exorcist" that involves a vibrator), it also has moments of vulnerability, tenderness, and growth. For example, Bunny and Nana have a touching conversation about their fears and dreams while lying on a rooftop, looking at the stars. Mango learns to express her feelings more openly and assertively through her art. Buddy reveals a hidden talent for cooking and learns to appreciate the value of staying in.

Another strength of "Girl Juice" is how it celebrates diversity and inclusivity without being preachy or tokenistic. Nate's characters are diverse in terms of race, gender, sexuality, body type, and personality, but they are not defined by these traits. They are complex and relatable human beings who face universal challenges and joys. Nate's art style is also refreshing and distinctive, with bold lines, vibrant colors, and expressive gestures that convey both humor and emotion.

Overall, "Girl Juice" is a delightful and refreshing comic novel that will appeal to anyone who enjoys witty humor, relatable characters, and colorful art. It's a great example of how webcomics can evolve into books that capture the zeitgeist of a generation and offer a unique perspective on modern life. If you're looking for a fun and uplifting read that will make you feel like you're part of a cool gang of friends, give "Girl Juice" a try. You might discover your new favorite comic creator.09:58 PM

Nate's charming group of four consists of Bunny, who is undoubtedly the protagonist of both the novel and her personal life, and is perhaps overly conscious of it. Most of the narrative revolves around her conflicts, many of which involve men, although there is a notable instance when Bunny assumes that the house is haunted, only for the psychic she employs to determine that Bunny's negative energy is the only thing present. Bunny is an example of bimbo representation in internet slang. However, Nate never allows her audience to underestimate Bunny, who ultimately turns out to be a deeply religious individual despite her hypersexuality and is (spoiler alert) completely correct about the house being haunted.

Then there's Nana, who initially appears to be the quiet artistic counterpart to Bunny. It comes as a surprise when she ends up having one of the funniest storylines in the book, which demonstrates Nate's skill in developing characters through their outfits. It all starts with a casual confession from Nana that is difficult to summarize but involves a childhood birthday party, a balloon animal, and sexual imprinting. By the conclusion of "Girl Juice," Nana is not only dating a real clown, much to Bunny's dismay, but her wardrobe has gradually transformed into what can only be described as Pierrot chic, complete with a white ruff.

The group is made up of four individuals, including Sadie and Tallulah, who are in a romantic relationship. Sadie is a no-nonsense punk with pink hair who acts as the responsible friend of the group. Tallulah is an aspiring content creator who invites a demon into their home due to her dedication to her online persona, which requires an exorcism.

Nate's stories explore the unique intimacy that arises from living in close proximity to others, often due to financial constraints or lack of a partner. These liminal arrangements can either lead to the breakdown of friendships or create an endless sleepover atmosphere that lasts for months or years, where you're not sure if you want to stay up all night talking or call your mom to pick you up.

After reading “Girl Juice,” I felt the urge to capture images of the pages and share them with my friends. The book brought back memories of our past experiences living together. To my surprise, during an interview with Publisher’s Weekly, Nate revealed that she has never had female roommates despite always wanting them. She hoped that her book would offer a glimpse into the world of female friendships and the absurdities that come with it. For those who can relate or simply want to reminisce, “Girl Juice” is a must-read. Rachelle Hampton, a culture writer for Slate and host of the internet culture podcast “In Case You Missed It,” offers her perspective on the book.

طلحة عبد الكريم
By : طلحة عبد الكريم
مدير و محرر مدونة الموقع التقني.