We Ate Wonder Bread

Nicole Hollander. Fantagraphics, $22.99 trade paper (124p) ISBN 978-1-68396-010-2
An annotated scrapbook of memories, these tales of urban family life in the 1950s unfold like stories from a favorite aunt: full of literal and figurative color, perhaps lacking continuity and resolution, but that’s not the point. As a young Jewish girl in working-class Chicago, Hollander found her greatest pleasure was listening to her mother gossip: “My mother was always in the kitchen with a neighbor. They didn’t work. They had no money. They took care of the children and drank coffee.” These gab sessions inspired Sylvia, the big-haired, cat-loving heroine of Hollander’s long-running comic strip, whose conversational, tangential pacing is echoed in the graphic memoir. The sketchbook style, including Hollander’s notes to self (“too much hair”), adds to the feeling of being let in on the juicy tidbits of table talk. Hollander started her strip in the late 1970s,when “a woman cartoonist was an oxymoron,” but her scribbly characters, collaged with photos and mixed-media backdrops, and her raw, chatty honesty feel as contemporary as any Jezebel article and as salty-delicious as the Lady Aster’s Chicken Fat Hollander spread on her childhood sandwiches. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2018
Release date: 03/01/2018
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!