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"Hayden's work reminds me of why I began drawing comics, and why I continue. They're comforting, straightforward and strongly connected to life." -- Gabrielle Bell, author of Lucky and Cecil and Jordan in New York "Underwire explores the funny, and often absurd, aspects of being a lady. Cheers to the artist for spotlighting female characters... and, hopefully, getting more women psyched about comics."-- Whitney Matheson, USA Today "Hayden's cheerful profanity and scratchy lines give the work a homey, intimate feel... Hayden's stories are like comfortable, lived-in jeans--not the most stylish or flattering, but the ones you want to spend time wearing."-- Publishers Weekly "We observe as she watches her 12-year-old daughter learn how to hold her temper; we feel her impatience when the kids won't go to sleep and let her drink and chat the night away with old girlfriends; and we can't help but identify with her view of aging, which isn't so much graceful as it is graced by good humor and undaunted optimism... This is a book with plenty of staying power."-- Booklist "The central character is the author herself, and she's a joy. She's bawdy, messy, raucous, and entirely human -- as likely to sit around with her friends, slamming wine and gossiping, as she is to lament over her son leaving for college... Hayden is seriously fun, alive, and inspiring -- as an artist, a writer, a woman, and a human being. Brava!"-- Under the Radar "With a busy black-and-white palette of comforting cartoon grit, Hayden recalls Robert and Aline Crumb in this offkey anthem to misfit domesticity."-- Adam McGovern, Comic Critique Sometimes you just gotta pick yourself up by your brastraps. Underwire collects the wise and witty autobiographical comics of an captivating new voice: Jennifer Hayden, cartoonist and politically incorrect mother of two. She may not have all the answers, but she's not gonna let that stop her from enjoying the prime of her life -- her forties! Since its internet debut at, Underwire has attracted praise for its sharp tongue, enchanting style, and warm wisdom. These everyday observations -- about womanhood, parenthood, growing up, and rocking out -- add up to something not only funny, but also quite profound. After a few stories, you might even feel like a member of the family. Now, for the first time in print, Top Shelf presents twenty-two stories from the beloved webcomic, plus seventeen new pages of comics and art created exclusively for this collection.
Usually around about the 40 mark, the human male has a habit of leaving his well-worn spouse in search of greener pastures. As they say, the grass is always greener on the other side. Florence Cestac dissects this subject of common interest, from the very first symptoms right up to the final outbreak, via the pangs of "bathrobe-sofa" depression. "You're the love of my life! But with her, it's something else... she's a fairy," declares our hero with the touching honesty of a male en route to adventure. So once our hero's skipped off into the sunset with his fairy, our heroine begins asking herself a series of counter-productive questions regarding her general attitude and in particular her cellulite. She then 1). Discovers that everyone else knew about it all along 2). Listens to the questionable opinions of her girlfriends 3). Attempts to rekindle old flames dug out of her old phone book and to kindle new ones in her local DIY store. She explains to her kid that Daddy "just took a little jaunt over to Mars," which the kid in turn interprets as "Daddy flew to Mars with a slut that Mommy doesn't like." She manages to raise her spirits with "tiptopform," drinks a bit, weeps a lot, and buries the dog who decided to die right in the middle of it all - cherry on the cake. Anyway, she "handles it" and she survives. Between giggles and anguish, this will touch anyone who's ever felt the sting of that wonderful thing we call love. Disarmingly frank, with endearingly crude humor and a perfect understanding of her subject, this is Florence Cestac on top form.
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