Vanessa Davis’s Spaniel Rage is a compilation of sketchbook autobiographical comics of her experiences as a young Jewish woman navigating work, dating, family and friendship in New York City. Davis is a California cartoonist and illustrator best known for her well-received 2010 collection of autobiographical comic strips, Make Me a Woman. Spaniel Rage was originally published in 2005 as a mini-comic by the now-defunct Buenaventura Press. Drawn & Quarterly brings this cult comic back into print in a high quality paperback that collects the one-a-day comics Davis drew between 2003 and 2004.
They depict Davis’s everyday life, such as conversations with friends and microaggressions at work. However, they offer fewer of the intimate insights readers might expect from a diary comic.
The one standout element is the evidence of her creative process: Davis often leaves behind erased material and comments on how she feels about the quality of the drawing, so that the most confessional elements are about the process of drawing itself.