“The less I hate who I was, the more I can like who I am.”
By being her anxious, honest, and just plain silly self, Jackie Davis’ egg-shaped character proves that, even though opening up to others is scary at first, vulnerability can be a superpower.
A sweet, instantly relatable diary comic about self-discovery, mental health, relationships, and childhood. From bouts with anxiety and insecurity to the thrill of simple pleasures like secretly trying other people’s coats on at a party, she’s figuring things out as she goes along, navigating domestic life with her husband, Pat (aka “the Purple Guy”), and sharing her most embarrassing thoughts and habits so you don’t have to.
For anyone who struggles with self-confidence or just likes to scrutinize the curious workings of relationships and everyday life, the confessional comic gems of “Underpants & Overbites” will make you laugh, think, and feel less alone.
Vulnerability Is My Superpower gives exactly what the title promises. This comic collection will make you want to conquer self-doubt and turn your vulnerabilities to possibilities. As I write this blog post and revisit my favorite panels, I also realized that this comic meant more to me than I initially thought. Like any other stories collection, there were a number of pieces that were not exactly mind-blowing, but for those that did, they resonated with me like none other. Reading this certainly made me feel less alone and more understood. It’s super inspiring, and much-needed especially during these uncertain times.
I love how Davis was able to use her art to overcome her personal struggles, and I am grateful that she chose to share her journey. It is one thing to look inside yourself and search for an epiphany, but to share these learnings to the world in a form that is so easily relatable and fun is nothing short of amazing. The simplicity of her panels and overall goofiness of her stories can sometimes make you forget the eloquence of her thoughts. I always felt surprised and awed by the sheer power of her insight.
Davis perfectly captured the essence of being very human. Always exploring, always awkward in our search for answers and fumbling for a “correct” way to live life. I can no longer count the number of times I have asked myself in the past whether I am normal enough… do I fit in? Am I really happy where I am?? I can absolutely relate to that feeling of having locked myself in a small prison of my own making, only to discover that the door isn’t locked and all it takes is enough courage for me to finally open the door.
The collection is not all about rainbows and butterflies. Half the time, it shows the harsh reality of tough days. I love the honesty, and I think that acknowledging the bad days also makes the future look more hopeful–a reminder that better days are yet to come. Davis reminds us that our sadness and uncertainties are part of who we are, and we can only ever be whole if we embrace all of our small parts: all our soft and polished sides along with our rough and sharp edges.
I have so many favorite panels but I obviously can’t put them all here. It’s better you get the book and read them all for yourself. I highly recommend this book to absolutely everyone! This is simply one of the most wholesome and pure things ever published. Big thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel for my advanced reader copy (ARC). 💙
About the Author
Oh hi, I’m Jackie! I live in Rochester, NY with a bunch of happy houseplants, squishy plush toys, and my husband, Pat. He’s the exhausted purple character in my comics and is an artist too. I’ve been drawing chubby things with googly eyes my whole life, but discovered comics and my passion for them around 2015. I’ve been reading, writing, and drawing them ever since.
When I’m not drawing, I like to play outside, make new friends, find things on the ground, and cook lots and lots of soup. Oh, how I love soup.
Sometimes people read my Twitter handle and think, “underpant sand”. Nobody wants that. Whoops :p
Vulnerability is My Superpower: An Underpants and Overbites Collection by Jackie E. Davis
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 13th 2021 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN 1524865087 (ISBN13: 9781524865085)
Genre: Graphic Novels | Comics | Humor | Mental Health