The Portland, Oregon, based cartoonist Colleen Coover has a large following among comic strip fans who love the offbeat exploits of the misfit characters brought to life by her and her writer husband Paul Tobin. Coover grew up in Iowa; a self-taught artist, she started drawing at a very early age and has never stopped. She moved to Portland in the early 1990s and worked for a while at the Daydreams comic shop, which was perfect for getting a sense both of what was available in erotic comics – and what wasn’t.

Her big break came when she linked up with Seattle-based Eros Comix, an imprint of Fantagraphics established in 1990 to publish a range of erotic and explicitly pornographic comics and graphic novels. Eros signed Coover up for two series of Small Favors, which launched her successful publishing career. Around the same time she met her husband-to-be and collaborator Paul Tobin at a drama class; they married in August 2007.

Coover followed up Small Favors with Banana Sunday, a light-hearted story of friendship and loyalty, with plenty of teen romance and angst – and talking monkeys.

Coover has contributed comic work to Out magazine and has contributed illustration and cover design for On Our Backs, Girlfriends, Curve, Kitchen Sink and Nickelodeon Magazine. Her publisher clients include Buckle Down Publishing, Alyson Books, Cleis Press and Dark Horse Comics. Her latest work is the graphic novel Gingerbread Girl, written by Paul Tobin. She and Tobin are currently releasing chapters of Bandette, a web-first comic series about a costumed teen burglar plying her skills on either side of the law alongside her network of street urchins, a thorn in the side of both Police Inspector Belgique and the criminal underworld.

Colleen Coover’s website can be found here, which has links to all her past and current projects.

Example illustration