Woof. The Fat Girl Love Club, Volume 1 is an exercise in determination for me. Let’s review this comic to see why.
What’s This Comic About?
Fat Girl Love Club is the story of a young teenage girl named Becky. She’s, for all intents and purposes, a Jesus fanatic. As in, writes fanfiction about Jesus and Mary Magdalene. The comic opens with a fiberglass statue of Jesus being struck by lightning, Becky seeing this on the news (and being heartbroken about it), and then Becky scrambling and trying to find the ashes of the statue in order to bury them.
The metaphor is that fiberglass doesn’t create ashes when it’s set on fire. It evaporates into nothing. Just like a lot of things in Becky’s life in this issue.
Becky’s mom is a flea market master, but not a loved one. And through a series of unfortunate dealings, Becky’s mom is arrested and sent to jail, and Becky is sent to live with an uncle who, in her worldview, “lives in sin.”
Why I Have a Hard Time With this Comic
This comic is an exercise in determination for me because I grew up in a part of Ohio with a LOT of Beckys. But I was not a Becky.
I was not the kid who laughed about the Jesus statue melting, but I wasn’t going to go try and find the statue’s ashes to bury them. But I knew kids who would do that.
And those kids were absolutely nasty to me when I was growing up.
There’s also the portrayal of poverty that hits a little too close to home for me. In the comic, Becky lives in a trailer park, in a trailer filled with her mom’s boxes, until she has to live with her uncle. The ink washes in this book do an excellent job of portraying how dirty and crowded such a living situation is. But that does not mean it’s flattering.
What Did I Like About This Book?
Honestly, I don’t like this book. But I appreciate it.
I appreciate its honest portrayal of poverty, of fanatic devotion to a religious figure, and of a point of view of a character whom I would normally have a difficult time empathizing with.
This book does a great job making you empathize with Becky, even if you normally would not like Becky in real life. And that’s the mark of a good storyteller.
So, kudos to you, Gabby Metzler. You made a comic I can appreciate.
You can find out more about this book (and maybe even read or buy a copy) through Gabby’s website.
Once you read it, let me know in the comments what you thought of the comic. Let’s get a discussion going.
Thank you for reading!
You. Are. Awesome.