It’s a double blog tour week! Thanks again to Zest Books, I’m celebrating the release of a new graphic memoir, Tomboy by Liz Prince!
As a kid I read Archie comics, but I otherwise was not so into cartoons, and I don’t think I ever picked up a graphic novel until I had to for class in grad school. And I thought they were fine, but by then it had been years since I read Archie and I had lost my skills in reading pictures. It wasn’t until we started reading some graphic memoirs that I began to love them.
Technically that shouldn’t really make sense, since it’s not like a graphic memoir is in a totally different form from graphic fiction, but somehow I seem to like it a lot more. And I especially tend to like the black and white or spotcolored ones over full color (though books from the Scholastic Graphix imprint tend to change my mind on that occasionally), and things that clearly come out of the indie comics world and marginalized people’s minds, not big budget things. Tomboy is definitely one of those. Again, here’s the official synopsis for you:
Growing up, Liz Prince wasn’t a girly girl, dressing in pink tutus or playing pretty princess like the other girls in her neighborhood. But she wasn’t exactly one of the guys either (as she learned when her little league baseball coach exiled her to the distant outfield). She was somewhere in between. But with the forces of middle school, high school, parents, friendship, and romance pulling her this way and that, the middle wasn’t exactly an easy place to be. Tomboy follows Ignatz Award-winning author and artist Liz Prince through her early years and explores—with humor, honesty, and poignancy—what it means to “be a girl.” From staunchly refuting ”girliness” and finding the perfect outfit, to discovering through the punk community that your identity is whatever you make of it, Tomboy offers a sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking account of self-discovery in modern America.
So I will admit I am not quite finished reading, though it’s a quick read and it’s more due to my poor health this week than not being engaged with the book. But I’m mostly liking it so far. It’s a great readalike for Julia Wertz, whose Infinite Wait I enjoyed earlier this year, and probably also similar to Lucy Knisley‘s work. By that I mean it’s conversational, a bit more casual and less polished in its ideas and execution, but very accessible and with the potential to inspire others to begin creating comics, even if they don’t think they’re capable.
This is a cool book about gender and growing up, and you should probably pick it up and read it.