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Lopez, Erika

Lopez, Erika

PERSONAL:

Education: Attended Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Moore College of Art, and University of the Arts.

ADDRESSES:

Home—San Francisco, CA. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, cartoonist.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Writing grants from Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

WRITINGS:

Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1997.

Lap Dancing for Mommy: Tender Stories of Disgust, Blame, and Inspiration, Seal Press (Seattle, WA), 1997.

They Call Me Mad Dog! A Story for Bitter, Lonely People, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1998.

Hoochie Mama: La Otra Carne Blanca, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2001.

SIDELIGHTS:

Erika Lopez began her career as an artist, attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, as well as Moore College of Art and the University of the Arts. She worked a series of unrelated jobs before her cartoons began to sell on a regular basis to the San Francisco Bay Times. From there, she eventually won several grants, but was dismayed to learn they were for writing, and not for art alone. The result was Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing, which was published in 1997, a book that combined her art and writing, and was based in part on a spur-of-the-moment cross-country trip she took on a motorcycle in a desperate attempt to generate an interesting topic for her book. Lopez mines her own lesbian relationships and adventures as well, resulting in a raucous book about Joline "Tomato" Rodriguez, a heroine who makes appearances in several later books as well. Rachel Pepper, in a review for the Lambda Book Report, remarked of Lopez's unique work: "Savor this book for its humor, crazy rubber stamp art, and lovely tactile feel."

They Call Me Mad Dog! A Story for Bitter, Lonely People, a sequel to Flaming Iguanas, revisits Lopez's earlier themes of sex, sin, and hilarity, but also touches on more serious topics, addressing the subjects of HIV and drug use. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the book "a digressive stand-up routine masquerading, with qualified success, as a novel." In an interview with Carol Queen for the Lambda Book Report, Lopez explained her process, and its outcome: "I try to make writing like I make my art. There's what you get when you see it the first time. Then when you look at it again you catch more and more. If you have to turn something over in your hand, interact with it, you're seduced."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Advocate, December 22, 1998, review of They Call Me Mad Dog! A Story for Bitter, Lonely People, p. 66.

Lambda Book Report, October 1, 1997, Rachel Pepper, review of Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing, Karen Helfrich, review of Lap Dancing for Mommy: Tender Stories of Disgust, Blame, and Inspiration, and "Erika Lopez," p. 34; December 1, 1998, "Hot Tomato," p. 6.

Publishers Weekly, October 19, 1998, review of They Call Me Mad Dog!, p. 57.

ONLINE

Chicken Fish Speaks Web site,http://www.thechickenfishspeaks.com/ (June 20, 2007), Mutant Renegade interview with Erika Lopez.

Erika Lopez Home Page,http://www.erikalopez.com (June 20, 2007).

Salon.com,http://www.salon.com/ (December 4, 1998), Mary Elizabeth Williams, review of They Call Me Mad Dog!

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