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Monday, July 1, 2019

Make Me a Woman (Autobiography) (Graphic Novel)

by Vanessa Davis

Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly (September 28, 2010)

Hardcover, 176 pages.

There seems to be a plague of autobiographical graphic novels by Jewish women writing about the “exciting” events of their everyday life, but all they truly do is describe themselves as being banal and tedious. Why are so many of these types incapable of drawing any sort of strip that doesn’t involve their narcissistic self? This group of half-finished shorts is the most tedious yet. While Crumb pretty much popularized the autobiographical comic, at least he drew a lot of other things and wasn’t only masturbating over the minutia of his life like a bland Seinfeld episode.
Clocking in in over a hundred and fifty pages this book offers published work by the author in various magazines, and is padded out with black and white half-finished strips from her sketchbook and full page watercolor paintings of some random character in a dance pose.

Don’t get me wrong. I have read many autobiographical graphic novels by men and women which were great, but this one was simply did not have anything of interest. She grew up in a Jewish dominated community and does not seem to have left that community. In various parts of the United States some of the Jewish customs and foibles are different. The End. There isn’t anything else going on in this book. 

The art style is childish, similar to what a bored twelve year old would doodle in their science textbook. While I suppose this is a stylistic choice and, I’m assuming, that the author is capable of more sophisticated art, it becomes somewhat tedious. No matter what the price, give this book a miss. If you really want to read an autobiographical graphic novel by a female artist, there are so many other good choices to make.
For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst. 

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