Doodles that will make me laugh and cry
June 22, 2015 2:34 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to dabble more in graphic novels and comics for "grown ups". I like Julia Wertz and Allie Brosh--so basically I'm looking for stuff that is kinda gritty yet also kinda funny, preferably with a female's point of view. Who else might I enjoy?

I have Fun Home on hold at the library. I don't like flippant writing so it needs to pull on your heart some. I adore memoirs, especially those that cover topics such as alcoholism, depression, anxiety, fucked-up families, existential angst...
posted by oceanview to Media & Arts (31 answers total) 77 users marked this as a favorite
Skim by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki (me recommending it previously)
This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki (me recommending it previously)
posted by Juliet Banana at 2:42 PM on June 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

Not especially gritty, but I love Lucy Knisley's work.
posted by keever at 2:53 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Go ahead and put 'Are You My Mother?' on hold now.

You might also like Roz Chast, Ellen Forney, Lucy Knisley and Anna Ulinich.

And I'm not sure it's exactly what you have in mind, but somebody's gonna say it: Marjane Satrapi.
posted by box at 2:53 PM on June 22, 2015 [4 favorites]

Strong Female Protagonist. If you don't like web-comic view, the first set is out as a book now. EXCELLENT.

The Adventures of Superhero Girl is cute and fun.
posted by jillithd at 2:58 PM on June 22, 2015

I've been really loving Rat Queens. (Not free on the internet, but really worth the price to buy the books.)
posted by likeatoaster at 3:00 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis

Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg
posted by coevals at 3:01 PM on June 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

All of the above are great. Also...

- Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch
- La Perdida by Jessica Abel
- Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story by Peter Bagge (non-fiction but reads like fiction)
- Aya of Yop City series by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie - really complex interrelationships and takes place on the Ivory Coast
posted by jessamyn at 3:03 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Not sure if this is the sort of thing you're after but I liked Marjane Satrapi's Persopolis books.
posted by vunder at 3:05 PM on June 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Fun Home floored me. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt doesn't fit the POV request, but is possibly the most powerful work in this format I've ever read.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 3:06 PM on June 22, 2015

Sounds like Julie Doucet's Dirty Plott and My New York Diary could be up your street.

I love all of Love and Rockets for about a billion reasons. Easy to get hooked into it.
posted by Joeruckus at 3:07 PM on June 22, 2015

Oh yeah and Mimi Pond's Over Easy - a memoir about her obsession with diners (and one diner in particular), the people who worked there, the people who came in. It's ace.

And Rutu Modan's stuff (Jamilti, a recent memoir The Property).
posted by Joeruckus at 3:15 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Get the entire Bechdel oeuvre -- I've probably re-read "Dykes to Watch Out For," start to finish, a dozen times over the years. It pained me when the strip ended; I still want to know what they're up to...
posted by kmennie at 3:24 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

ruby etc is my new favorite, she really fills the Allie Brosh void in my life

Kate Leth is also super great, she doesn't post many of her traditional webcomics these days, but she does do new stuff on tumblr sometimes.

Erika Moen: "DAR! chronicles the six year long autobiographical story of Erika Moen, who starts out as a lost 20-year-old lesbian artist-wannabe in college who falls in love with a boy in England and the evolution that her sexual identity undergoes before winding up marrying him as a queer 26-year-old full-time cartoonist. Along the way there are many vignettes about sex, farts, the queer community, the Brits, vibrators and figuring out sexual identity." She also has a new webcomic called Oh Joy Sex Toy.

Kathleen Gros
has some great stuff!

Sarah Anderson does really funny observational comics! So does Moosekleenex!

You might also like Nicole Georges. She did a graphic memoir called Calling Dr. Laura.

And Colleen Frakes! She has a graphic memoir coming out in the fall called Prison Island.

Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince!

Jane, The Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt!

Kiss & Tell by Marinaomi

Not from a female perspective, but you might also dig Blankets by Craig Thompson
posted by wsquared at 3:55 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Seconding Marinaomi, Nicole Georges, and Lucy Knisley.
posted by Juliet Banana at 4:07 PM on June 22, 2015

Oglaf (the one on the front page doesn't happen to be, but usually totally NSFW) is out in books. It's not so gritty, but very adult and sort of casually subversive of conservative sexual norms.

Trudy Cooper (who does Oglaf with Doug Bayne) has other publications including Platinum Grit, none of which I've done more than thumb through yet, but it all seems to have a similar feel.
posted by cmoj at 4:50 PM on June 22, 2015

Phoebe Gloeckner is everything you ask for except funny. 'The Diary of a Teenage Girl' is a good starting point.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 5:14 PM on June 22, 2015

I'm looking for stuff that is kinda gritty yet also kinda funny, preferably with a female's point of view.

OMG, Sunstone. It's a kinky romantic comedy and it is brilliant. (Previously)
posted by DarlingBri at 5:16 PM on June 22, 2015

Definitely Persepolis. Also check out The Rabbi's Cat.

Joe Sacco's war memoirs are gritty and fucked up, but not very feminine.
posted by gnutron at 5:38 PM on June 22, 2015

Both Saga and Sex Criminals are excellent in my opinion. Neither is SFW though, if you're at all squeamish about sex.
posted by TheCoug at 6:53 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also anything by Ariel Schrag.
posted by TheCoug at 6:54 PM on June 22, 2015

You should check out Lynda Barry.

Seconding Ellen Forney, try Monkey Food to start.

Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms.

Blankets and Ghost World are classics; male authors (though Ghost World has a female POV) but both well worth it.

It's wordless, with a male protagonist, but Shaun Tan's The Arrival is amazing.
posted by gudrun at 6:56 PM on June 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person
posted by Cinnamon Bear at 7:38 PM on June 22, 2015


Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story

Friends with Boys

Lots of other great suggestions above.
posted by haunted_pomegranate at 8:04 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ellen Forney's Marbles

Marisa Acocella Marchetto's Cancer Vixen

Jess Fink's We Can Fix It!
posted by cadge at 8:31 PM on June 22, 2015

This isn't from a female perspective, but it satisfies your other requirements: Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw
posted by neushoorn at 12:47 AM on June 23, 2015

Octopus Pie by Meredith Gran
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:30 AM on June 23, 2015

Bitch Planet

Not memoir based or particularly funny, but it is most definitely from a female point of view and very gritty.
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 6:55 AM on June 23, 2015

Graphic memoirs are one of my favorite things to read. Here are some awesome ones by women:
A Game for Swallows and I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached

How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden

Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother, and Me by Sarah Leavitt

Over Easy by Mimi Pond (self described as a semi-memoir)

The Imposter's Daughter by Laurie Sandell

Calling Dr. Laura by Nicole J. Georges

El Deafo by Cece Bell (for kids, and the characters are animals, but based on the author's experiences)

The Shiniest Jewel: A Family Love Story by Marian Henley

Have not read, but some more graphic memoirs by women (on my to-read list):

Special Exits by Joyce Farmer - chronicles the decline in health and welfare of an older couple, semi-autobiographical

American Widow by Alissa Torres - Torress was widowed in 9/11 while 7 1/2 months pregnant; also tells the story of how she and her husband met

And a few couple novels by & about women that might fit the bill:

Unterzakhn by Leela Corman - follows two sisters in the NY's Lower East Side ~1910

The Property by Rutu Modan - grandmother & granddaughter visit Warsaw in hopes of reclaiming property lost in WWII
posted by carrioncomfort at 9:48 AM on June 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

From MeFi's own sawdustbear: The Center for Otherworld Science.

"It is about three women, interpersonal workplace dynamics, and a cryptozoology institute with questionable ethics." (And it's so, so amazing.)
posted by divined by radio at 12:16 PM on June 23, 2015

I thought The Nao of Brown was good. It's about a woman who has OCD. It's from a woman's perspective, focusing a lot on internal life, but it was actually written by a man. The illustrations are really amazing watercolors.
posted by stinker at 3:21 AM on June 25, 2015

Glad to see Lynda Barry mentioned upthread. One Hundred Demons is a thing of beauty.
posted by benzenedream at 6:39 PM on June 28, 2015

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