Thursday, September 4, 2014

Graphic Novel Spotlight: Tomboy

Tomboy: a graphic memoir by Liz Prince

This is, to my mind, the graphic novel for teens who feel marginalized or out of place. Liz is a self-described tomboy. From an early age she refuses to wear dresses, skirts, or anything "girly". She prefers toys that are favored by boys. Her role models are all male. She is quickly ostracized in elementary school and finds herself questioning her own identity. 
This is the story of a girl who doesn't fit into a traditional societal definition. She defies gender norms but still defines herself as female. She simply wants to define womanhood for herself. And that ultimate realization, that you can still be a woman even if you don't act in a socially traditional manner, is what makes this graphic novel stand out to me. Liz Prince has this way of explaining her ideas without becoming preachy, leading us to her realizations, that felt like a conversation with a friend instead of a lecture. Plus, this memoir is equal parts funny and meaningful. You will laugh and you might just cry a little.

Personally, I went through phases like this myself. My favorite outfit in the second grade was my Peter Pan costume.

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