Oct 27, 2015

The Story of My Tits, by Jennifer Hayden

Now that I'm expected to be some sort of expert on graphic books (haha), I figured it was time I start reading them in earnest. "The Story of My Tits" was a magnificent place to start, and would be a fantastic gateway for many who are new to the graphic genre. This is the story of Jennifer Hayden's life thus far, structured around the various stages of her breasts: having none but wanting them, being comfortable with having none, growing them, motherhood, breast cancer, double mastectomy, and having no tits again. There's a lot that happens besides this, namely her relationship with her husband, his parents, and her own parents. Many of these stages are familiar stomping ground for all women, and we can all relate to Hayden's feelings about her tits in particular, and her femininity in general. Breasts can define a woman in many ways: too large, too small, too young, too old, too saggy, too perky; life giving and life taking. Hayden's story should resonate with men, too, since it's also about finding your place in the world and the slow, inexorable and often unwilling crawl into adulthood. Men who's lives have been touched by breast cancer in some way (relatives, friends, partners) will appreciate Hayden's no-nonsense, but emotional description of her own illness.

The art is wonderful, totally distinctive and accessible. Tits, in all their various forms, are obviously omnipresent. Hayden's drawings of angry faces turn into horned, hairy beasts, while the rest are simply drawn. This incredible book deserves all the attention it's getting, and I hope its reach continues to grow.

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