Unlovable
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Unlovable

by 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

Overview

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 essentials—too 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.

Editorial Reviews

AnnArbor.com
[A]ll of the fun and chaos of being a sophomore is lovingly portrayed by the heroine, Tammy Pierce. …[T]he angst of dances, boys, makeup and big hair are portrayed with painful accuracy.— Julia Eussen
The Comics Journal
Esther Pearl Watson’s Unlovable is a rude, crude and frequently hilarious portrait of suburban teenage life in the 1980s. The book’s narrator, Tammy Pierce, is probably the most hapless 15-year-old girl imaginable. ... Watson makes Tammy comedy gold.— Robert Martin
Nick Gazin - Vice
“Unlovable 2 is a fun and funny read all the way through. ... Girls are gonna like this book and dudes are gonna like this book. It’ll remind you of how stupid you were and also of suburban sadness and realizing that your high school crush will probably never love you back.”
Lynda Barry
“GOOD!!!”
Julia Eussen - AnnArbor.com
“[A]ll of the fun and chaos of being a sophomore is lovingly portrayed by the heroine, Tammy Pierce. …[T]he angst of dances, boys, makeup and big hair are portrayed with painful accuracy.”
Robert Martin - The Comics Journal
“Esther Pearl Watson’s Unlovable is a rude, crude and frequently hilarious portrait of suburban teenage life in the 1980s. The book’s narrator, Tammy Pierce, is probably the most hapless 15-year-old girl imaginable. ... Watson makes Tammy comedy gold.”
Laurie Henzel
“From the moment I laid eyes on Unlovable, I knew immediately that I had to run it as a series in BUST. Tammy Pierce is such an endearing underdog, and her teen-loser ways keep me coming back. No matter how cool or smart you may be as a grown up, I think there is a little Tammy in all of us.”
Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman - Parks and Recreation
“Esther's consistently original, hilarious and heartfelt work evokes the travails of puberty with painful accuracy. After perusing Unlovable Vol. 3 we immediately broke out in zits and had clumsy beginner sex.”
Pendleton Ward - creator of Adventure Time
“Tammy's enchanting smile and dazzling eyes are a gift of grace from Esther Watson.”
Paul DiFilippo - Barnes & Noble Review
“In the mode of Lynda Barry and Aline Kominsky, Esther Pearl Watson has gifted us with an adolescent heroine whose nightmare life is touching and alienating, sad and hilarious, naive and knowing. Think of the hypothetical 1980s high school days of the Onion’s Jean Teasdale, and you might start to have a notion of what the life of Tammy Pierce is all about. ... Her lugubrious, hopeful incompetence is both excruciating to witness and impossible not to laugh at.”
Angela Boyle - Schulz Library Blog
“Tammy shows us how much she seems to be unlovable, but after a romp through the story inside, just as when meeting real people, we see there is so much to pity, admire, love, and root for. The scratchy artwork perfectly displays the awkward teen years; nothing goes right.
Everything and everyone is on edge. Through the narrative, you can quickly switch between cheering on, yelling at, and dissing the ever optimistic Tammy.”
Vice
Unlovable 2 is a fun and funny read all the way through. ... Girls are gonna like this book and dudes are gonna like this book. It’ll remind you of how stupid you were and also of suburban sadness and realizing that your high school crush will probably never love you back.— Nick Gazin
Booklist
“Starred Review. A modest masterpiece, affecting and funny.”
Publishers Weekly

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.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606993149
Publisher:
Fantagraphics Books
Publication date:
03/16/2010
Pages:
408
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.50(d)

What People are saying about this

Lynda Barry
GOOD!!!

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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