Unlovable, Volume 1

( 1 )


From the pages of Bust magazine, the sometimes ordinary,
sometimes humiliating, often poignant and frequently hilarious exploits of '80s teen underdog Tammy Pierce: big hair, boogers, boys and other high school pitfalls.

A soon-to-be teen classic: loosely based on a teenager’s diary from the 1980s found in a gas-station bathroom, Unlovable
details the sometimes ordinary, sometimes humiliating, often poignant ...

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From the pages of Bust magazine, the sometimes ordinary,
sometimes humiliating, often poignant and frequently hilarious exploits of '80s teen underdog Tammy Pierce: big hair, boogers, boys and other high school pitfalls.

A soon-to-be teen classic: loosely based on a teenager’s diary from the 1980s found in a gas-station bathroom, Unlovable
details the sometimes ordinary, sometimes humiliating, often poignant and frequently hilarious exploits of underdog Tammy Pierce. This remarkably touching and funny graphic novel tells the first-person account of Tammy’s sophomore year in 1985, from the first day of school to winter break. Her hopes, dreams, agonies and defeats are brought to vivid, comedic life by Watson’s lovingly grotesque drawings, filled with all the eighties essentials—too much mascara, leg warmers with heels and huge hair—as well as timeless teen concerns like acne,
dandruff, and the opposite sex (or same sex, in some cases).

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.

Originally serialized in Bust magazine, Unlovable
includes over 100 new pages created just for this edition, which is handsomely packaged in a unique hot pink hardcover format with sparkly blue glitter that would make Tammy proud.

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Editorial Reviews

“Unbelievably funny!...You'll love her 'cause you were her.”
Mallory Rice - Nylon
“All big hair, chunky mascara, and leg warmers paired with heels…what’s inside might remind you of a certain teenager you once knew.”
Rachel Molino - Wizard
“An irrepressible loser stars in this year’s funniest—and sparkliest!—indie book…there’s no bottom to Tammy’s well of hilariously embarrassing anti-adventures.”
Unlovable by Esther Pearl Watson...was for me like discovering a nugget of gold in a sieve!...really original and fun.”
Francisca Goldsmith - Booklist
Unlovable is a fine example of how art and narrative can be combined to make a potentially trivial book compelling and insight-provoking.”
Whitney Matheson - Pop Candy
“Both hilarious and a little heartbreaking.”
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.”
“I love love love Unlovable... The cover has glitter, too. LOVE it!... [Tammy] Pierce's earnest attempts to fit in at school and with her friends [are] funny and endearing, and sometimes embarrassing... Those days were such a pain in the ass, but they were the best.”
Erika Hobart - Seattle Weekly
“Watson’s graphic style and messily scrawled confessions read like a genuine diary, filled with humor and despair.”
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.”
Pendleton Ward - creator of Adventure Time
“Tammy's enchanting smile and dazzling eyes are a gift of grace from Esther Watson.”
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.”
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.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560979555
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 2/23/2009
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 1.50 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

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( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Scary "ha-ha"

    This book is brilliant, and any woman who passed their teenage years in the 1980's will find it scarily brilliant. It was the worst of times, it was the....well...yeah, the worst of times. I suggest reading it with Jill Sobule's "Strawberry Gloss" as background music.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who was, or had to endure the presence of, an 80's teenage girl.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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