I have been a fan of Liz Prine's comics for many years. I fell in love when I found her comic 'Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed' over 7 years ago. A wonderful autobiographical comic capturing all those small moments of a relationship from the romantic, to the gross to the moments that make you go aww. Her comics have always been relatable and engaging but none more than her most recent comic titled- Tomboy.
Tomboy tells a very personal story of Liz's one that many can relate to, especially myself. Even from a young age Liz struggled with society's idea of what it means to be a girl. Liz wasn't your typical girly girl playing with barbies and wearing dresses. You'd usually find her playing with her Ghostbusters or attempting to be one of the guys on the baseball team. Girls didn't want to be her friend because she was different and the guys in the baseball team kept placing her in the outfield because they thought it was embarrassing to have a girl on their team.
We follow Liz throughout her school life as she finds and loses friends and struggles through feeling like the outsider to find her own close knit community and ultimately discover
Be Yourself And Good Things Will Follow.
Tomboy really opens up a lot of questions about gender identity, bullying and relationships. What exactly makes a girl? And why does what we enjoy or wear identify our gender? I laughed at Liz's honestly in these situations because I had been in almost all of them. People presumed I was gay because I had short hair and skateboarded in high school. I often got left out of things because people thought I would embarrass them or that I didn't belong. It took me a long time, just like Liz to feel comfortable in my own skin and find others that I could relate to.
Liz's simple line based art gives a very honest and intimate feel to the whole comic. I felt like I was reading expects from her diary (And in some cases I was) and her rough lines and quirky art really make you feel like you know Liz are are going through this lifelong journey with her.
I honestly believe that Tomboy should be read by everyone from an early age. Liz's story can resonate with anyone who has ever felt like an outsider and helps create discussion about a much overlooked subject of gender identity. I have to say it is one of my all time favourite comics delivering an exploration in self discovery with such whit and charm. I wish this comic had been around when I was in high school, the experience would have been a lot easier with Liz there to help me.