The cover to Not Funny Ha-Ha: A Handbook for Something Hard by Leah Hayes, featuring the author's name and title in a sketchy font that alternates between block and regular letters. At the bottom is an illustration of seven people sitting next to one another, some reading, some talking, some looking concerned.
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Leah Hayes

Not Funny Ha-Ha

On sale date: August 8, 2015

This nonjudgmental, even humorous, graphic work of nonfiction follows two women through the abortion process.

Not Funny Ha-Ha is a bold, slightly wry graphic novel illustrating the lives of two young women from different cultural, family, and financial backgrounds who go through two different abortions (medical and surgical). It follows them through the process of choosing a clinic, reaching out to friends, partners, and/or family, and eventually the procedure(s) itself. It simply shows what happens when a woman goes through it, no questions asked. Despite the fact that so many women and girls have abortions every day, in every city, all around us, it can be a lonely experience. Not Funny Ha-Ha is a little bit technical, a little bit moving, and often funny, in a format uniquely suited to communicate. The book is meant to be a non-judgmental, comforting, even humorous look at what a woman can go through during an abortion. Although the subject matter is heavy, the illustrations are light. The author takes a step back from putting forth any personal opinion whatsoever, simply laying out the events and possible emotional repercussions that could, and often do occur.


"[Starred Review] The sketchy, loose illustrations, lacking realism but heavy with feeling, help soften the serious topic. Lots of text, slanted and personal, provides explanation, and Hayes also offers quiet spreads with opportunity for reflection. ... As the subtitle implies, this 'handbook' could be a useful companion for women in the protagonists' situation: it's full of reminders to keep breathing, be calm, and call a friend, and of what to expect. ...[F]or those readers open, curious, or seeking some guidance, it's deeply empathetic, uniquely unflinching, and unlike any book on the topic, particularly with regards to its gentle presentation." — Annie Bostrom - Booklist

"Leah Hayes... uses drawing as a medium to express complicated concepts and understand difficult experiences. In... Not Funny Ha-Ha: A Handbook for Something Hard, Hayes illustrates the realities of medical and surgical abortions. ... Hayes covers the technical and medical aspects of abortion as well as the deeply personal thoughts and steps that many people go through." — Caroline Kee - Buzzfeed

"The book explains medical jargon and breaks down the physical process of having a termination, while still offering a very human portrayal of the experience." — Natasha Preskey - Cosmopolitan

"...Leah Hayes's straightforward take on the issue of choice and abortion could be titled 'most sadly necessary graphic novel of 2015.' She tells the story of two women from different cultural backgrounds exercising their legal right to reproductive healthcare, with a mind toward dispelling the mystery, mythology, judgment and loneliness that accompanies the process. That task requires a touch that is simultaneously light and assured; Hayes delivers." — Rob Salkowitz - Forbes

"[Hayes] takes the reader, step by step, through different aspects of the procedure, covering everything from the confused emotional feelings that can accompany the decision to abort, to what a woman might expect at the doctor's office before, after and during an abortion. ... The book, in parts, almost feels like a personal note, from one woman to another." — Carolina A. Miranda - Los Angeles Times


6.8" × 8.6"