Graphic Novel Review: Girl Town
Posted on February 14, 2019 at 11:07 am by Gene Ambaum
Girl Town by Carolyn Nowak. Top Shelf, 2018. 9781603094382. 156pp.
Not a graphic novel per se, but a collection of five excellent and entertaining comic stories of varied length that, together, are one of my favorite “graphic novels” of 2018. Not many books have a first line this good (atop the first panel of the title story): “I have lived with Ashley and Jolene since we all got kicked out of astronaut school for being too good looking to be sent to space.” Three women make zines and clean houses while having a low-level conflict and friendship with the three women next door. The “I” of that sentence also harbors a serious crush on one of her neighbors that is oh-so-poorly expressed. It’s a great story, and like Vera Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost, it’s drawn in purple. “Radishes” is an emotional tale of friendship and shopping with tigers and a magical food stall. In “Diana’s Electric Tongue” the broken-hearted title character orders a sex robot (it also stores her secrets) and refuses to be embarrassed about/by it.
I left the library’s copy around the house and I hope that my teenage daughter secretly picked it up when I wasn’t looking. Now I’m off to track down some of the issues of Lumberjanes that Nowak illustrated, plus her comics/prose combo Buffy the Vampire Slayer: New School Nightmare, which was just published.