Although best know for her autobiographical comic stories, Fleener has a varied career in the world of cartooning, illustration, ceramics and painting. She was born in Los Angeles.
Fleener was inspired by the comic work of Robert Crumb and for years harbored a secret desire to do cartooning. In 1984, inspired by an article written by Matt Groening, (“The Simpsons”), in THE LA WEEKLY about the “new comix”, Fleener began to self publish mini comics and sent them all over the country to her favorite cartoonists, and that’s how she discovered a network of other comic people doing the same thing. Her first solo comic was HOODOO, (1988), a tribute to the Harlem Renaissance writer, Zora Neale Hurston. She then started an autobiographical series which was eventually collected in book form as LIFE OF THE PARTY, (1994). This book has also been translated in German, and Spanish. Her work had been published in hundreds of anthologies, magazines, and books. In 2005 she contributed to the comic anthology Weird Tales of the Ramones that accompanied the CD/DVD box set of the same name, which was compiled by Johnny Ramone.
For the past two years, Mary has been drawing a weekly political strip, (“The Less You Know, The Better You Feel”), for a North San Diego newspaper, The Coast News. Other recent and forthcoming work from Mary includes a Popeye #13 variant cover for IDW books, cover and story for Dennis Eichhorn’s Real Good Stuff #1/2, and an adaptation of “The Owl and the Pussycat” for Graphic Classics’ Feline Classics. She will also be featured in a French book called Femmes et Humour.
You can read more about Mary and see some of her work at http://www.maryfleener.com/.