Book By Its Cover

I love Julia Rothman and her illustration and design and textiles. Lucky for me she liked my book and posted this amazing profile with lots of pictures and a long, great interview that I got all into answering in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep from excitement over the questions. Some of my favorite parts were when she asked me about being a "good Jew" and when I shamelessly put out the call for designers to call on me for collaboration on utilitarian crafts!


Twice as Vice

From Vice:


Make Me a Woman
Vanessa Davis 
Drawn & Quarterly

Vanessa Davis’s drawings have a softness to them that feels like sympathetic memories. Maybe I’m off here, but it feels like she views the world in a forgiving way, whether she’s showing us the time when everyone was having bat mitzvahs or some Israeli dude was treating her poorly. Everyone is a lovable goofball. There’s a particularly good comic in here about going to the sex store with Karen of M[r]eh fame and being observed by a Hassidic man. It’s odd when you run into Hassidic men in places like that. I remember seeing a few at that goth/fetish party they used to have at Siberia. I also remember seeing a couple at a Death in June show on a Sunday morning at the Pyramid Club a few years back. Maybe they were just Orthodox.  

Anywayahs, as you may have cottoned, there’s a whole load of stories in this book relating to Jewishness.  I especially like one strip where she describes how great Purim is to her boyfriend while he turns up his nose at the concept of “gross Jewish food.”  Later he is giggling while reading  a biography of Hitler before bed.

--Nick Gazin


Tropical Tidings

From The Miami Herald:

Make Me a Woman. Vanessa Davis. Drawn & Quarterly. 176 pages. $24.95.

Davis grew up in South Florida and returns often to visit family. This wonderful collection of disparate slices of her life conveys humor, intelligence and great heart. She's a terrific and entertaining artist, too, and her penciled work is almost as rich as her beautiful color art. Autobiographical strips may be commonplace, but as Julia Wertz did in Drinking at the Movies, Davis reveals her life without fear or self-aggrandizement, and her strength, humor and vulnerability seep through every page. Much of the art herein originally appeared in Tablet (, an online Jewish cultural magazine, and Davis' Judaism unambiguously informs her work in surprising and amusing ways.

--Richard Pachter



Alex Dueben at Comic Book Resources just posted this interview: Davis is a Self-Made Woman, in which I speak delicately about some things.



Rainy Day Googlin'

Oh also, J. Caleb Mozzocco wrote at Robot 6, Comic Book Resources:

What am I reading? As much as I can while still having time to eat, sleep, shower and occasionally get a little work done—as per usual.

My own personal Possible Review pile had a lot of great stuff in it this week. I just finished—like, a few hours ago—Vanessa Davis’ Make Me a Woman, a gorgeous, nine-by-twelve-inch hardcover collection of select autobio strips and short, sketchy diary comics from over the course of six years or so.

It was a really revelatory read for me, in large part because while I knew her name and had read some work over the years, I’ve never read this much Davis at once, and the volume of this, um, volume really transformed the way I saw her work. I think it will be a great library comic and a great coffee table book, as while there are a ton of pleasure for those of us already in love with the medium, a lot of Davis’ strips seem like the sort “civilians” would be interested in as well. That is, I think Make Me a Woman will have rather broad appeal.