Meet Dina Gachman, graphic novelist

Even though I can’t get a date, I’ll often overhear my friends talk about their daft dating lives.

Apparently, writer Dina Gachman picked up on people’s chatter, too. But instead of telling them to keep their probably-soon-to-be-failed relationship to themselves, she was inspired to write her popular online graphic novel Fling Girl LA.

The premise of the column is about a “newly single [girl named] Maggie, who finds herself adrift and defenseless in the dating trenches of L.A. … the last time she went on a date George Bush had just gotten re-elected.”

Gachman, whom also authors Bureaucracy for Breakfast, a blog that with the self-described purpose of “laughing at the economic divide,” says the Fling Girl comic is “influenced by all the crazy dating stories you hear people talking about in Los Angeles.”

It started in November 2010 when she was tricked into thinking that writing a novel in 30 days was reasonable. If you don’t know, November is National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo … and so, Fling Girl the novel was born on Nov. 30, 2010. Dina, and her longtime collaborator Amy Saaed, decided to take the concept further than November and turn it into a monthly graphic novel.

“After the first issue, we felt that we could really do something with this,” Gachman said.

That first issue was released in December 2011. With an average monthly readership of 8,000 people, and still growing, she seems to have a struck a cord with others in the Los Angeles community.

“It’s a moving train now, and we just have to keep going,” she explains, “I usually write the first draft during the day and edit at night. After all the writing, editing, art, updating the website content, etc.—it can take about a month to finish four pages.”

Now that the comic has gotten steady traction, Gachman says she’s exploring other avenues to take the story. “We’re looking at what our reader’s react to.”

Future plans? “We want to expand the site content so it’s more like a monthly magazine. Eventually, We want to do printed versions of the graphic novel, and we’ve been approached about turning Fling Girl into an animated web series.” With Los Angeles offering so much drama, it’s safe to say Gachman will have plenty of experiences to use in her comic.”

Gachman also has a few other areas of expertise, however, such as when she wrote and directed a dark comedy called Archer House, as well as writes film reviews and other works.

“L.A. is a strange place,” she said, “because one minute you’re broke and the next you wind up at some crazy party in the Hollywood Hills – there’s always material to write about.”

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