Hot Comb is the first book from Ebony Flowers. A former student of – and then co-worker with – the one and only Lynda Barry, this collection bears some of the hallmarks of Barry's work as it brings together a series of short autobiographical anecdotes and creates an intimate space for sharing experiences. An ethnographer by training, Ms. Flowers here weaves together her personal and professional lives in a series of black and white comics of varying lengths – ranging from four to over forty pages, eight in all – that highlight the relationship between hair and identity in the lives of African-American women, with a special focus on how this relationship plays out during childhood and adolescence – with her own life as Exhibit A. And, to help tease out the connections between self-consciousness and cultural hegemony, Flowers additionally created a series of apocryphal advertisements for hair products targeted at women and girls of African heritage, which have been interstitially inserted between the stories themselves to provide a frame of reference.
Learn a bit more about where Ms. Flowers is coming from in this recent interview from her current hometown, Denver, CO.