Tomboy is a graphic novel about refusing gender boundaries, yet unwittingly embracing gender stereotypes at the same time, and realizing later in life that you can be just as much of a girl in jeans and a T-shirt as you can in a pink tutu. A memoir told anecdotally, Tomboy follows author and zine artist Liz Prince through her early childhood into adulthood and explores her ever-evolving struggles and wishes regarding what it means to "be a girl." From staunchly refuting anything she perceived as being "girly" to the point of misogyny, to discovering through the punk community that your identity is whatever you make of it, regardless of your gender, Tomboy is as much humorous and honest as it is at points uncomfortable and heartbreaking.
Liz Prince's first book, "Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?," was nominated for several awards and won the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Debut in 2005. Born in Boston, MA, she grew up in Santa Fe, NM, and has been drawing comics since the third grade. She has since produced many of her own comics and mini-comics, which mix her real-life foibles with charming cartooning and comic timing. Fans have described her work as being "cute," making them feel "warm and fuzzy," or simply being "too much information." She now lives outside of Boston and drinks more than her fair share of coffee.
Haven't been bullied myself, and when I read others' stories it is often hard to swallow. How can such horrible people do this in the world?! Well, they do. Sadly, children can often be the most cruel of them all too. They just don't grasp the depth of what they are doing though.
I saw the authors' photo in the back at the age of 5 and age 30. Yeah, at 5, she had a suit and tie on. She still looked like a little girl to me though. Same at 32. No suit and tie, but she still looked female. I had a hard time thinking I could ever mistake her for a man, or anyone else for that matter. To think she spent most of her life being mistaken for a boy. Gender labeling was the issue of her bullying too, and the story.
I really hope pubescent teens everywhere read this book. Girl, boy, it doesn't matter. The message is just to powerful to ignore and much needed in today's society. As long as gender is an issue and bullying exists, there will be a need for books like this. The graphic format will help sink it into their younger and immature minds.
Read it first for yourself though. See what I mean.
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