By Vanessa Davis. Published by Drawn & Quarterly.
Hardcover, 176 pages, Colour and B&W, 2010.
CHARMING VIGNETTES ABOUT BEING YOUNG, JEWISH, AND SINGLE
It's 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: autobiographical 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 set Davis apart not only as one of the premier cartoonists, but as one of the leading humorists for her generation, too.
Praise for Make Me A Woman
A charming collection of autobiographical stories, jokes, and sketches by a clever and honest young cartoonist with a keen eye for her own foibles.Vulture
If you don't like [Vanessa Davis], you don't like anything good.Vice
Davis is a young artist at the very beginning of her career, and this book is a solid first step for an artist who could very well become a Robert Crumb-level talent.The Stranger
[Davis’] confessional drawing and journaling style feels inclusive, but manages a balance between insider and outsider. Her work humorously straddles the vibrant area where artsy and nerdy meet…The Rumpus
…a new kind of comic out of experiences that never seemed like the stuff of art before.The New York Times
This wonderful collection of disparate slices of her life conveys humor, intelligence and great heart.The Miami Herald
From the adolescent bat mitzvah circuit of her youth in Florida to the first loves and first jobs that come later in New York, it’s a comedic coming-of-age chronicle.The Los Angeles Times
[Davis] can pack so much humor and insight into a single drawing.The AV Club
Davis … finds beauty in the ways we arrange ourselves as human beings … [she] emphasizes warmth and intimacy in telling stories about herself.The Comics Journal
Davis knows exactly what she's doing, and is as comfortable laying out the straightforward story of a hilariously horrible date as she is creating a more expressionistic - and gorgeous – page … Davis' voice has a satisfyingly spiky, take-no-prisoners wryness that's all her own.NPR
What distinguishes Davis's take is a reflective hunger for meaning and connection in the very mundane.Bust
The lushness and diversity of page types—many full color, talkative snippets that extend across dozens of panels; some black-and-white single-panel cartoons; and others employing the busy but expressive nonlinear relational perspective Lynda Barry has honed—echo the varied story elements … [for] readers interested in the complexity of contemporary womanhood.Francisca Goldsmith, Booklist
Vanessa Davis's autobiographical slice-of-life drawings are both totally relatable and sweetly surreal.Bitch