The AV Club finds MAKE ME A WOMAN filled with honesty, humor and insight

October 22, 2010

The AV Club    |    Tasha Robinson, Noel Murray, Jason Heller, Leonard Pierce, Oliver Sava & Todd VanDerWerff    |    October 22, 2010

Cartoonist Vanessa Davis works in the cluttered, autobiographical mode of Lynda Barry and Aline Kominsky-Crumb, filling her pages with observations about culture, relationships, and the obsessions of youth. But Davis is very much her own person and her own artist, and Make Me A Woman (Drawn And Quarterly) is one smartly designed collection, combining Davis’ short stories—mostly three-pagers about being young and Jewish in Florida, New York, and California—with pages from her sketchbook. The result is a book that’s more casually revealing than typical autobio comics, recording both Davis’ fully formed insights into her own life and the tossed-off anecdotes and incidents of her average day. Davis is bright and funny and doesn’t take herself too seriously, but she does honestly grapple with her faith and her family in ways that keep Make Me A Woman from being just page after page of self-absorbed scribbling. Whether Davis can sustain this style and tone for more than just short pieces remains to be seen, but she doesn’t necessarily need to go long when she can pack so much humor and insight into a single drawing… B+

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