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Down with OPP*: Make Me a Woman
Written by janice headley | Filed under Fantagraphics BookstoreDown with OPP 17 Jan 2011 4:31 PM

* Other People's Publications
** Yeah, You Know Me.

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"Down with OPP" spotlights excellent titles from other publishers that you can find at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery.  And this week, I present to you Make Me a Woman by Vanessa Davis (Drawn & Quarterly).

This week's column ain't exactly for the ladies. I'm sure we all bought this book when it first came out, gleefully pouring over this collection of sketchbook drawings that Davis did from 2004 to 2010. Some of these stories were originally published online in a monthly column she did for Tablet magazine, but they were new to me.

No, this column is for the fellas. I see you walking by our tables of new releases, your eyes darting across the covers, and some of you seem to flinch at the exuberantly girlish cover here. Really? It makes me wanna hit you in the face with this book, and it's a $24.95 hardcover, so it's gonna sting. How's THAT for being a woman?

Davis has a wonderful drawing style, somewhere between the frame-eschewing style of Ellen Forney (and with all the similar tiny anecdotal notes!) and the energetic spirit of Julie Doucet. Some drawings are slapdash pencil sketches, while others are beautifully watercolored, with exquisite attention to floor tiles, curtains, and book spines.

And, sure, some of you boys aren't gonna appreciate the awesome way she draws clothes and hairstyles as much as I do (I reaaaally appreciate it), but there's so much more about this book to enjoy. Maybe you went to Fat Camp, too. Maybe you'll agree with her opinions on R. Crumb's The Book of Genesis. Maybe you can relate to her Jewish upbringing. And actually, as a woman, I couldn't relate to any of that, but I still enjoyed this book.  Look, I don't pee in jars, but I still enjoyed reading Peepshow!

So, be a man, and get Make Me a Woman.

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We've also got another Davis book in stock, Spaniel Rage #1 (Buenaventura Press).  It, too, is a collection of diary comics and sketchbook drawings, but from 2003 to 2004.  And it's softcover, so I won't hit you with it.

[Um, and that "Cheri" t-shirt on the cover of Spaniel Rage? Well, it pops-up again in Make Me a Woman, in a scene where she's drawing with Gabrielle Bell and Michel Gondry -- Yeah, don't think I didn't notice!!!]

Both Make Me a Woman and Spaniel Rage #1 are currently in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: (206) 658-0110.  See you soon!