Life’s a Bitch

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NUMBER OF PAGES

240

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED

June 2005

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This volume collects the entire first half of the Bitchy Bitch saga, from her childhood to her hippie free-love days to her days as an office drone and her disastrous tropical getaway. Plus a new full-length story!

Naughty Bits, the longest-running solo comic by a female alternative cartoonist, came to an end in 2004 after a 14-year, 40-issue run. Beloved for the expressive scrawl of Gregory’s line and her take-no-prisoners satirical approach, it was particularly notable for introducing the world to Bitchy Bitch―a woman who is eternally, magnificently, and for the most part, quite justifiably pissed off at the world around her!

This volume collects the entire first half of the Bitchy Bitch saga, and it ranges widely in her eventful life. There are stories about Bitchy’s travails as a little girl (when she was just “Bitsy Bitch”), including that greatest horror of all, the holidays; a long sequence about her hippie free-love days in the ’70s (and the harrowing abortion that followed); tales of her miserable days as an office drone surrounded by dunces, lechers, and the occasional ultra-Christian maniac; and the hilarious full-length graphic novel
Bitchy Takes a Vacation where a tropical getaway turns into a fiasco (romantic and otherwise) of epic proportions. The book also features a brand new full-length story that chronicles the (never before shown) death of Bitchy’s tempestuous father (well, she had to get that temper from somewhere), as Gregory once again finds the humor in even the grimmest situation.

If anger is an energy, as Johnny Rotten once said, then
Life’s a Bitch is a 240-page slab of caffeinated fury... but laugh-out-loud funny!

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REVIEWS

Booklist

•Literary review magazine

In any competition for most unlikable -comic-book protagonist, Bitchy Bitch would be a leading contender. Star of the long-running alternative comic Naughty Bits, Bitchy--real name Midge McCracken--is a nonstop font of vitriol, vituperating one and all, if mostly inwardly, from her exasperating coworkers to the unfailingly disappointing representatives of the opposite sex unlucky enough to cross her path. Despite Bitchy's unpleasant demeanor and other disagreeable traits--she's bigoted and narrow-minded--it's somehow easy to begrudgingly sympathize with her, perhaps because she so vividly expresses what most work hard to suppress. Occasionally, she does the right thing, even when it's for the wrong reasons; for instance, lunching with an uncloseted lesbian officemate otherwise shunned by her colleagues. The strips are wordy, since Midge's ranting interior monologues are the cruxes of the stories. Gregory's drawing style is slapdash but effective, reflecting a freewheeling sensibility reminiscent of sixties underground comics (Gregory contributed to the early-1970s Wimmen's Comix). For some, Bitchy's excesses are offputting, yet her travails should strike a responsive chord, especially in women.

Publishers Weekly

•Publishing trade magazine

Midge McCracken is the self-destructive pessimist every office has. Not to mince words about it, she's a bitch. Gregory, one of the underground comics movement's few female movers and shakers, first introduced Midge, aka Bitchy Bitch, in her series Naughty Bits. This mammoth collection includes the first half of Midge's story, and a never-before-published comic on her lost decade, the '80s. Readers follow Midge through several decades, illuminating how she ended up a 40-year-old snarky office drone. Every panel includes Midge's internal monologue, always expecting the worst and usually getting it. Some of the stories focus on her office-mates—annoyingly cheerful Sylvia and her quest to solve all her problems through positive energy; power hungry manager Pam; intolerant Christian Marcie and her fight against Satan in all his forms. The art is loose and scratchy, bursting into manic episodes. It's crass, it's crude, it's biting, and it's uproariously funny. Gregory doesn't shy away from politically incorrect topics. Don't mistake Bitchy for a female Dilbert. Her life is filled with real problems that make us like her despite her offensive exterior.