I disliked this when it was syndicated in Bust, but as I read it in book form, I warmed to the semi-fictional Tammy Pierce and her countless charms. How could you not like a diarist who chronicles the time and type of her own farts? Here’s a synopsis I did not write:
A soon-to-be teen classic: loosely based on a teenager’s diary from the 1980s found in a gas-station bathroom, Unlovable details the sometimes ordinary, sometimes humiliating, often poignant and frequently hilarious exploits of underdog Tammy Pierce. This remarkably touching and funny graphic novel tells the first-person account of Tammy’s sophomore year in 1985, from the first day of school to winter break. Her hopes, dreams, agonies and defeats are brought to vivid, comedic life by Watson’s lovingly grotesque drawings, filled with all the eighties essentials—too much mascara, leg warmers with heels and huge hair—as well as timeless teen concerns like acne,
dandruff, and the opposite sex (or same sex, in some cases).
In the epic saga that is Unlovable, Tammy finds herself dealing with: tampons, teasing, crushes, The Smiths, tube socks, facial hair, lice, celibacy, fantasy dream proms, gym showers, skid marks, a secret admirer, prank calls, backstabbers, winter ball, barfing, narcs, breakdancing, hot wheels, glamour shots, roller coasters, Halloween costumes, boogers, boys, boy crazy feelings, biker babes, and even some butt cracks. Tammy’s life isn’t pretty, but it is endlessly charming and hilarious.
I agree. Esther Pearl Watson’s book was…touchingly gross?