When I first started reading Marlo Meekins' comics Tumblr, I was drawn to her delightfully grotesque caricatures--filled with long, red noses and vile grins--and her off-beat sense of humor. But what has made me smile every time I see a new update is Meekins' tendency to scatter reassuring messages amongst the jokes about moose makeouts and farting ladies. In short, energetic cartoons, Meekins reminds us not to beat ourselves up, make art and spend time with our friends.Meekins is one of those people who strikes me as a natural cartoonist, someone who thinks in carefully curled black lines. Although her comics are short, I spend a lot of time staring at the precise gestures of her hands, picking apart just how her facial features add up to giggle-inducing expressions, admiring how a messy hairstyle contributes to a composition. Meekins has worked for Spumco, and you can see John Kricfalusi's vibrant and compelling ugliness underlying her work. At the same time, though, there's a deeply personal vein of joy running through Meekins' artwork--even when her comics come from a place of frustration. (She's clearly run up against her share of art-world sexism.) It's a joy that Meekins seems determined to pass on to the rest of us, especially lately, as her comics serve as admonitions not to compare ourselves against others, not to berate ourselves for our procrastination, but to pick up the pen (or whatever our instrument of creation) and get to doing the best work we can.

Other times, she simply gifts us with a perfect, goofy joke.