Synopses & Reviews
Make Me a Woman offers charming vignettes about being young, Jewish, and single
Its easy to understand why Vanessa Davis has taken the comics industry by storm and is poised to do the same with the world at large—her comics are pure chutzpah, gorgeously illustrated in watercolors. No story is too painful to tell—like how much she enjoyed fat camp. Nor too off-limits—like her critique of R. Crumb. Nor too personal—like her stories of growing up Jewish in Florida. Using her sweet but biting wit, Davis effortlessly carves out a wholly original and refreshing niche in two well-worn territories: autobio comics and the Jewish identity.
Davis draws strips from her daily diary, centering on her youth, mother, relationships with men, and eventually her longtime boyfriend. Her intimacy, self-deprecation, and candor have deservedly earned her many accolades and awards. Her deft comedic touch, lush color, and immediacy will set Davis apart not only as one of the premier cartoonists, but as one of the leading humorists for her generation, too.
"These beautifully rendered watercolor and pencil collages capture confessional moments from bat mitzvah to the author taking her boyfriend home to West Palm Beach, Fla., to visit her mother. While treading in the autobiographical path of many cartoonists before her, Davis's sweet and well-observed sketch-diary entries and more structured pieces for such magazines as the Tablet deal with growing up as a Jewish woman. Some time is given to fashion and dating, but the focus is mostly on the daily humor of surviving a boring day job and squabbling family. What sets Davis apart, as least as she portrays herself, is her general sanity and good humor. The problems are more Family Circus than Fun Home: a sisterly blowup comes down to the disposition of a doughnut, and a relationship problem involves several half-eaten packages of cheese. An early strip deals with a trip to a fat farm, but even that ends with remarkably little self-loathing. What this collection does show is Davis's evolution from sometimes awkward swirls of penciled diary pages to constantly inventive and very accomplished painted art. It's hard not to find something to identify with or smile at in these pages. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Praise for Vanessa Davis:
“If you dont like [Vanessa Davis], you dont like anything good.” —Vice
“What distinguishes Daviss take is a reflective hunger formeaning and connection in the very mundane.” —Bust
“Vanessa Daviss autobiographical slice-of-life drawings are both totally relatable and sweetly surreal.” —Bitch
About the Author
Vanessa Davis was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, and lives in Santa Rosa, California. She is the author of Spaniel Rage. Her comics have appeared in Vice, The New York Times, and Tablet.