Bad Friends by Ancco: In stores today!
I remember the first time I flipped through Ancco's Bad Friends. It was the French translation, my language skills too poor to fully know what was up, contextually. But it didn't matter. Ancco's pencils drag you into the page, capturing the malaise, dissatisfaction, joys, freedom, pains, sheer emotion of being a teen. Feeling seeps through her pencils. Her cartooning transports.
When I first read the translation, expertly rendered by Janet Hong, I immediately thought of the Ferrante series. Then I gasped! People love those books maybe we'll get rich. Then I remembered I work in comics and poured myself another tall glass of hot water!
Bad Friends is a storm: Violence, poverty, adolescence, sex work, a tightly packed neighborhood where everyone knows your business, and a political climate where traditional values are clashing with those imported from the West. The eye of that storm is a story of female friendship, and the lasting impact a close adolescent relationship can have on you, long after it all blows over.
Ancco's Bad Friends is in stores today. You can read an excerpt at PEN America, or on our webste, and buy it anywhere you get your good books. And it's not just me that was fully rocked by this book. Check out what leading ladies Alexandra Kleeman and R.O. Kwon have to say about it too: