In Need More Love (My copy is missing, along with a bunch of my other books, AND I’M STILL REALLY PISSED ABOUT IT!!!) she gossips about her drama with the Wimmin’s Comix Collective 30+ years later (the book is from the late 90s/ early 00s) in a way that makes it sound like it’s happening as she’s writing the book. While I bet there was validity to her side of it, when she recounts it in her comics she draws the artists at Wimmin’s Comix as gross, fat, completely undesirable femininazis. Her work is in some ways, insufferable. In her collected comic anthology by Drawn and Quarterly, she rehashes the same incidents that were traumatizing to her over and over in basically the same exact way. You can tell comics are cathartic for her, but it’s interesting how she doesn’t seem to grow as a person over the 40+ years collected in that book.
That being said, I adore her work! She is starved for male attention like I still am, she is obsessed with looking good (which I try to hide but I desperately want to be conventionally attractive again re:thinner), she loathes herself in ways I really relate to, and she is neurotic in a way only New York area Jews can be (she is from Long Island, my mother is from NJ).
That is something I should mention. While I did not grow up in a fully Jewish household, my mother is Jewish and I consider myself a cultural Jew (meaning I’m not into the religion but and tied to Judaism ethnically and culturally). So a TON of the stuff mentioned in this book resonates with me hard core, in a way I don’t usually see. A great example is how Aline recounts being pressured into things like getting a nose job and straightening her hair to look less ethnic (plastic surgery, nose jobs specifically, are a big thing in rich Jewish high schools).And then there’s just basic stuff like the food and Yiddish terms used where I go, “Ah yes, this makes me feel really at home.”
The Jewish culture (and neurosis) combined with the self loathing depicted with raw honesty and vulnerability (along with being kind of casual and flippant about it) is a rare mix that makes her one of my favorite cartoonists. THAT and she was doing autobio comics way before almost anybody (the only comics I like by her husband are the comics they did together that were based in reality or his retelling of Genisis- which he obviously didn’t write). She really doesn’t get enough credit for that. I’m not sure if the reason is because she is overshadowed by her husband, or that the only reason she is on anyone’s radar is because of her husband (it’s probably a mix of both),