By Liz Prince
80 pages, black and white
Published by Top Shelf Productions
Some books grab you from the second you see the cover. Others take a page or two. And then there are the ones that just sneak up on you when you’re least expecting it, and that’s exactly what happened with me and Liz Prince’s Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed?
At a glance, Prince’s book seems to be a pretty familiar form of comics, with short vignettes about her life with her boyfriend Kevin. Strips are about anything and everything, from armpits to dead squid. They’re all short and to the point, a brief glimpse into their relationship together. It wasn’t until I’d read a dozen or so that I realized that I was more and more eager to turn the page with each new strip. Prince brings a wonderful sense of innocence to her stories, like a real-life Yotsuba&! (and featuring slightly older characters). From the joy of seeing a “snail garden” to sexual desire, Prince showcases all sides of her personality in a breathtakingly real depiction. I especially loved the dialogue between Liz and Kevin; every goofy thing that couples say at one point or another to each other is there. Not many people would automatically admit to crying over the end of “Elf” or wanting to kiss a cactus, but Liz isn’t afraid to set herself or Kevin up for laughter. I think she realizes that we’re all laughing with them, not at them.
Prince’s art in Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed? is a rough, scratchy style. I can see where it would turn readers off who are looking for ultra-realistic drawings, or even clean, clear art. That said, I utterly love it. Prince’s drawings are full of life and expression, something that is lacking in so many artist’s work these days. When Kevin is looking up at Liz as she’s sitting, for instance, there’s this beautiful look of love and silliness on his face that just shines across the page. Likewise, the expressions on Liz’s face when Kevin gives her an early birthday present are perfect, ranging from questioning to excitement to disappointment to befuddlement, all right on cue.
One of the cutest comics I’ve read in the last year is, easily, Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed? It’s a perfect depiction of a relationship, and I actually feel a little honored that Prince has let us take a look inside hers. This is the sort of book I like to read over and over again (in fact that’s what I’ve been doing all year) and I can’t help but feel that you’ll do the same. Highly recommended.