Hot Comb

Hot Comb

Hot Comb offers a poignant glimpse into black women’s lives and coming of age stories as seen across a crowded, ammonia-scented hair salon. The titular story “Hot Comb” is about a young girl’s first perm - a doomed ploy to look cool and to stop seeming “too white” in the all-black neighborhood her family has just moved to. Realizations about race, class, and the imperfecti...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Hot Comb
Author:Ebony Flowers
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Hot Comb Reviews

  • Kirsti

    I like a book that makes me feel as if I got a look into someone else's life. These are sequential-art stories about trying to be a person in the world. The author thanks Lynda Barry, whose influence I can see in this book.

  • Melissa

    Flowers debuts with a poignant look at the Black experience in the United States with the common theme of hair and hair care running through each short story. The illustrated chapters focus on varying characters of different ages and at different points in their own coming-of-age story with chapter headings featuring a young Ebony during a rainstorm - first exhibiting a gloomy outlook at the weather, then dancing in the rain, and finally smiling with the sun with each new panel showing a transfo

    Flowers debuts with a poignant look at the Black experience in the United States with the common theme of hair and hair care running through each short story. The illustrated chapters focus on varying characters of different ages and at different points in their own coming-of-age story with chapter headings featuring a young Ebony during a rainstorm - first exhibiting a gloomy outlook at the weather, then dancing in the rain, and finally smiling with the sun with each new panel showing a transformation not just in her emotional expression, but in her hair as she literally lets it down in the water. Much is said in each story, both in the words spoken and in what readers can see in the loaded silences of wordless panels.

    The author both celebrates Black culture while also demonstrating the stereotypes and forms of racism and classicism that create feelings of isolation and stress for all people of color. Each story, in turn, can generate nostalgia and heartbreak with some sweet moments of childhood interspersed. This is certainly a thought-provoking work.

    The style of illustrations are varied, however, causing some scenes to feel jumbled and slowing the pace of the overall narrative.

  • Beverlee

    Hot Comb evokes memories of girlhood spent sitting still while my mother pressed my hair. That was my first test of patience and I passed most of the time (no singed earlobes lol). Another memory is the insecurity of early teenage years-wanting to fit in with an accepted hairstyle, yet not really wanting to repeat the process after being on the receiving end of negative attention. The title story of this collection reflects these memories and the following stories attempt to present hair as a li

    Hot Comb evokes memories of girlhood spent sitting still while my mother pressed my hair. That was my first test of patience and I passed most of the time (no singed earlobes lol). Another memory is the insecurity of early teenage years-wanting to fit in with an accepted hairstyle, yet not really wanting to repeat the process after being on the receiving end of negative attention. The title story of this collection reflects these memories and the following stories attempt to present hair as a liberating force, as a crown we wear that does not have to look a specific way to be splendid. Hair can also be a source of pain as shown in My Lil Sister Lena & The Lady On The Train when people disrespect what should be a clear boundary. Some stories involve hair, but the connection isn't clear to the story's premise (Big Ma, Sisters and Daughters, Last Angolan Saturday).

    This is my first time reading a graphic novel and it wasn't a disappointment. I think the drawings that represent hair ads are a nice complement. Advertising has a history of displaying stereotypes but these drawings have a celebratory tone of self confidence. Hot Comb is a book that examines hair from different perspectives, ultimately reminding the reader of the importance of loving self. What's tricky is realizing that individual people don't express this love the same way. Wearing hair in its natural state is not automatically loving self nor should it be assumed that wearing a weave or straightened hair is an expression of self- hatred.

  • Melissa

    We humans cut our hair to mourn, cover it to be observant, shave it off to be more pious or keep it long as it is a gift from God. We judge others whose children have unkempt locks, and we dress our own to conform or rebel, because hair has meaning in culture.

    To brush hair binds parents to children or lovers to each other. We stroke the hair of our beloveds when they are sad, playfully tug it when they are sassy, and muss it up when they are adorable. To touch another’s hair, one must be invited

    We humans cut our hair to mourn, cover it to be observant, shave it off to be more pious or keep it long as it is a gift from God. We judge others whose children have unkempt locks, and we dress our own to conform or rebel, because hair has meaning in culture.

    To brush hair binds parents to children or lovers to each other. We stroke the hair of our beloveds when they are sad, playfully tug it when they are sassy, and muss it up when they are adorable. To touch another’s hair, one must be invited, or it is a deeply felt violation, because hair is personal.

    The cartoonist and ethnographer, Ebony Flowers, knows hair is a thing, ya’ll. Her debut graphic novel, “Hot Comb,” weaves together eight stories that illustrate that there is no sunlight between the personal and the cultural experience of hair in the African-American community. Her most affecting stories are those centered on young people as she captures both the magic and the vulnerability of childhood with a loving eye. In busy black and white illustrations, Flowers roams from the delighted child dancing in front of the mirror at Grandma’s house while trying on each of her many wigs, to the girl who has endured burning relaxers only to be bullied at school by the same kids who called out her buckshots and beadie-beads the week before. The most harrowing story allows us to watch a young woman of color develop the nervous habit of pulling out her hair, strand by strand, after suffering the casual disregard of her white teammates who feel free to touch her hair anytime they wish. While not all the stories pack the same emotional punch, this is still a very worthwhile book, perfect for those who have lived these tales as well as those of us who are lucky enough to learn a thing or two from Ms. Flowers about #havinghairwhileblack in America.

    Bonus music video "Good as Hell" by Lizzo, celebrating black women's resilience and beauty, all set in the cultural hub of a hair salon.

  • Britt Buckenroth

    I felt like this graphic novel gave you a very true glimpse into cultural norms many just don't get to experience unless you are a part of that world. Simple things, such as a first perm or getting your hair braided by a cousin or friend...told with details, both written and drawn, that are warm and revealing. The book is emotional, but not in a way that makes you angry or especially sad, just emotionally connected to what is happening. Kudos to author/illustrator Ebony Flowers.

    My only thought w

    I felt like this graphic novel gave you a very true glimpse into cultural norms many just don't get to experience unless you are a part of that world. Simple things, such as a first perm or getting your hair braided by a cousin or friend...told with details, both written and drawn, that are warm and revealing. The book is emotional, but not in a way that makes you angry or especially sad, just emotionally connected to what is happening. Kudos to author/illustrator Ebony Flowers.

    My only thought while reading was...will children be able to read the cursive print? I know they don't teach it in the district where I teach...and that made me sad.

  • Harry Brake

    In deciding which book to include and accept as part of the Junior Library Guild, being a subscriber for new graphic novels, being on the lookout for appropriate, personal novels, perceived ideas can be deceiving.

    Diving into Ebony Flower's novel, various vignettes help share relationships, family, and moments that are not shared by all cultures. This needs to be introduced and presented to a wide variety of individuals, despite family, cultural, and community backgrounds. Graphic novels are a ve

    In deciding which book to include and accept as part of the Junior Library Guild, being a subscriber for new graphic novels, being on the lookout for appropriate, personal novels, perceived ideas can be deceiving.

    Diving into Ebony Flower's novel, various vignettes help share relationships, family, and moments that are not shared by all cultures. This needs to be introduced and presented to a wide variety of individuals, despite family, cultural, and community backgrounds. Graphic novels are a very vital medium allowing a look and sharing of various ideas and experiences to all individuals and that is certainly not just a comic. Ebony Flowers' does an amazing job on presenting struggles, perceptions, and values that many that do not experience and need to be recognized.

  • Tabrizia Jones

    It was nice to reminiscent of the times of when I got my first perm and the stigma that followed it. However, some of the stories were a little jumbled and maybe the scribble illustration, although unique, really hinder that experience.

  • Alicia

    It is equal parts biographical and every experience as Flowers describes African American hair in different contexts and experiences, however as with the graphic novel

    , the illustration style was distracting and unfocused. In scenes where there was singing or action, I was distracted by what was on the page and without any color either to change depth or make items or people pop out, I didn't know what I was supposed to be looking at. So I lost something i

    It is equal parts biographical and every experience as Flowers describes African American hair in different contexts and experiences, however as with the graphic novel

    , the illustration style was distracting and unfocused. In scenes where there was singing or action, I was distracted by what was on the page and without any color either to change depth or make items or people pop out, I didn't know what I was supposed to be looking at. So I lost something in the translation of the emotional elements of hair experiences with the illustrative choices.

    Choosing to be a collection of short stories however was a superb entry point.

  • Elizabeth A

    Hair is a thing. Especially women's hair. Across all cultures. Women of color have extra special baggage when it comes to our hair. If you don't believe me, just look up how much money this industry generates. It boggles the mind. World hunger could be fixed with that kind of money. However, we all live in this world, and are products of our upbringing and the marketing messages we are constantly bombarded with, so maybe we could give ourselves a break on this one.

    This graphic memoir is a collec

    Hair is a thing. Especially women's hair. Across all cultures. Women of color have extra special baggage when it comes to our hair. If you don't believe me, just look up how much money this industry generates. It boggles the mind. World hunger could be fixed with that kind of money. However, we all live in this world, and are products of our upbringing and the marketing messages we are constantly bombarded with, so maybe we could give ourselves a break on this one.

    This graphic memoir is a collection of vignettes that offer a "glimpse into black women’s lives and coming-of-age stories as seen across a crowded, ammonia-scented hair salon while ladies gossip and bond over the burn." While I appreciate that there is power for women and girls who see themselves in these stories, I was not a fan of the sketchy, blocky illustration style, and the pieces themselves lacked a cohesive narrative drive.

  • Kat (Why Read)

    Thoughts:

    Part memoir, part fiction and graphic novel. I am curious about this literature exploration of the black hair journey. Chris Rock’s documentary, “Good Hair” set the standard and platform for such discussions. I am happy to see this continue!

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.