Underwire by Jennifer Hayden

by Jennifer Hayden
Top Shelf Productions, 2011

A fine collection of the “webcomic for women” which seems to be defunct at the moment, although Hayden’s website is still operational. She declares herself a voice for womanhood and motherhood (that is, middle-class white American motherhood), and stresses her credentials in that area.

I’m not sure how important the concept of authenticity is to comics readers – if you love Bruce Springsteen because he wears jeans, then this might be a big issue for you. I suppose all I really care about is someone writing sincerely without pandering to their supposed audience, and there’s nothing phony about Hayden’s observational skills. Her visual style is also pleasantly loopy, like illustrations from a Seventies cookbook.

The only area in which this book is really let down is by its dreadful blurb, which a) is extremely pleased with itself, and b) describes Hayden as “politically incorrect”. It also uses the phrase “rocking out”. And “gonna” instead of “going to”. Copywriters can be bozos sometimes.


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