Unlovableby Esther Pearl Watson
The sequel to 2009’s critical smash.
Loosely based on a teenager’s diary from the 1980s found in a gas-station bathroom, Unlovable is the remarkable story of Tammy Pierce, as filtered through the pen of Los Angeles artist Esther Pearl Watson. This second and concluding volume picks up where the first volume left off (winter break) and finishes
The sequel to 2009’s critical smash.
Loosely based on a teenager’s diary from the 1980s found in a gas-station bathroom, Unlovable is the remarkable story of Tammy Pierce, as filtered through the pen of Los Angeles artist Esther Pearl Watson. This second and concluding volume picks up where the first volume left off (winter break) and finishes Tammy’s tragicomic sophomore year of high school in 1985.
Tammy has built a devoted following over the last several years in the pages of BUST magazine, where Unlovable continues to be serialized on the magazine’s back page, and this beautifully produced, day-glo orange and sparkly pink hardcover presents over 400 pages of her sometimes ordinary, sometimes humiliating, often poignant and always hilarious exploits. Her hopes, dreams, agonies and defeats are brought to vivid, comedic life by Watson’s lovingly grotesque drawings, filled with all the ’80s essentialstoo much mascara, leg warmers with heels and huge hair, etc.as well as timeless teen concerns like acne, dandruff, and the opposite sex (or same sex, in some cases).Unlovable is about the rawness of trying to figure out who you are in a very public and humiliating way. Unlovable addresses these mysteries of adolescence through Tammy’s naiveté; girls and women in particular will find much that resonates, but men will also relate to Unlovable’s universal humor and wide cast of characters.
In the epic saga that is Unlovable, Tammy finds herself dealing with: tampons, teasing, crushes, The Smiths, tube socks, facial hair, lice, celibacy, fantasy dream proms, gym showers, skid marks, a secret admirer, prank calls, backstabbers, winter ball, barfing, narcs, breakdancing, hot wheels, glamour shots, roller coasters, Halloween costumes, boogers, boys, boy crazy feelings, biker babes, and even some butt cracks. Tammy’s life isn’t pretty, but it is endlessly charming and hilarious. Unlovable will be handsomely packaged in an irresistibly girly hardcover that would make Tammy proud.
Everything and everyone is on edge. Through the narrative, you can quickly switch between cheering on, yelling at, and dissing the ever optimistic Tammy.”
Based on a real diary that the author found in a Vegas bathroom in 1995, this episodic collection is an alternately hilarious and exhausting trip through the inner monologue and outer turmoil of overweight high school sophomore Tammy Pierce. Tammy struggles with body image (and body odor), pines for the cute boys who torment her, steals money from her mother's purse and spends way too much time chasing her next fix of French fries from Sonic. Given the source material, it's not surprising that much of the book is self-absorbed, repetitive and insufferable; it is also genuinely poignant. The highlights of the collection are the stretches where Tammy's situation is too excruciatingly painful not to be funny: practicing kissing with her pillow, not shaving her legs sufficiently for prom, dealing with a surprise hair on her chin at school. The art style is jagged in the extreme-sometimes it doesn't look like ink was placed on the page so much as thrown-but it's a perfect fit for conveying the chaos Tammy is so desperately trying to put down in words. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Fantagraphics Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.10(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.50(d)
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Meet the Author
Esther Pearl Watson lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and fellow artist, Mark Todd. Together they authored the influential D.I.Y. tome, Whatcha Mean, What's A Zine?
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