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Gingerbread Girl

3.11  ·  Rating details ·  464 ratings  ·  101 reviews
There are plenty of established facts concerning 26-year-old Annah Billips. She likes sushi and mountains, but hates paper cuts and beer breath. She dates girls and boys, and loves to travel. She may have a missing sister, or she might be insane. Did Annah invent an imaginary sister named Ginger during her parents' ferocious divorce, or did her mad scientist father extract ...more
Deluxe Flexicover, 112 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by Top Shelf Productions (first published June 7th 2011)
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Average rating 3.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  464 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A truly unique sort of comic. I've never read anything like it before.

Fair warning: it's not a conventional story. But I found it a delightful departure from standard storytelling.

Highly recommended: But only for a certain audience.

Odds are you won't like it if:

You're only into superhero comics
You only read D&D novels or thrillers or horror....
(Which indicates you're mostly into action-centered stories)
If you only read the works of a few authors over and over
(Which indicates you're not terri
Dave Schaafsma
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gn-women, gn-sex
Eh. I really kind of wanted to like this book with its lighthearted artistic feel and kooky, crazy bisexual main girl character but I just mostly did not. The art is good as it sort of helps undermine the overly talky and expositional text, where little happens in the actual plot… but it feels a little too cartoony or childish for its story…. which involves a framework of…. neurobiology where the separation of the girl's Penfield Homunculus (that's in our brains, duh) from her body creates a sha ...more
Jan 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Great artwork!
This book perfectly captures the frustration of liking someone, but knowing you'll never be able to get any closer to that person.
I liked the storyline being passed like a hot potato among different narrators. Who knew pigeons had such a grasp of the human psyche!
The ending was unsatisfying...perhaps Part Two is in the works?
Seth T.
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Gingerbread Girl by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover

I love a good, challenging novel (or graphic novel) as much as the next guy. Maybe even more. I've spent my fair share plumbing the depths of Kafka on the Shore, The Unconsoled, Savage Detectives, and Duncan the Wonder Dog. Those books are treasured to me and I'll always remember to think of them fondly. There's a certain invigouration that occurs when one puzzles through a tough work and comes out the other end with something that resembles a solution—or even just a partial solution. There is l
Clare Mitchell
Dec 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
I reeeeeeally don't know how I feel about this book.

More accurately, I feel like I should have liked this book - quirky queer girls, vague sci-fi medicine plots - but in reality it made me feel super uncomfortable. I'm not usually a person who gets bothered about use of the word "crazy" but the sheer number of times it appears in this book is overwhelming. The more I read the more I felt like the book was shrugging at me & saying "chicks be cray cray". The fetishisation of natural African hair
Mar 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
I'm giving this one star because the artwork is good. Otherwise, the story is terrible. It follows a manic-pixie dream girl who is bi-sexual. However, it depicts every bad stereotype about people who are bi-sexual and women in particular: undecided/confused about their sexuality, attention seekers, teases, and, overall, crazy. The protagonist is obsessed with the afro of a woman of color. Not the woman, just her afro. I found it hard to care about her or her story.

This could have been a really
Gingerbread Girl is a graphic novel whose story is both interesting and uninteresting. Whose main character is both lovable, yet frustrating.

Over the chorus of a single night we are introduced to a plethora of characters each taking their turn to narrate the story of Annah Billips and her "sister" Ginger. With each hand-off, from character to character, we're given more bread-crumbs of what is really going on inside of Annah's brain. As outside observers we're asked to question Annah's sanity a
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtqia, comics
Weirdly wonderful and intriguing. I took Annah to my heart, and would like to learn more about her (if that is possible) and what happens to her.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Umm...did white girl seriously just touch her hair?... and fetishize her afro?... well... set in Portland so not surprised...
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The whole time reading The Gingerbread Girl, I couldn't help but be frustrated. It felt so much like a book written by a guy as a flippant, "girls are crayzee but we love 'em anyway" ode to women. As such, it takes all kinds of generalizations about female nature, ramps them up to 200%, then gives us all kinds of winks and nods that even the girls themselves know they are crazy. So we have a cute, bisexual, frequently
Steve Castner
Nov 14, 2012 rated it liked it
This mostly comes down to a matter of taste. I can't cite any objective reasons for not liking this book. I thought the drawings themselves were pretty beautiful, and the line quality is just incredible, but it didn't fit the story, in my opinion. It's also not the kind of style I want to look at for the duration of something as long as Gingerbread girl. It's a better fit for shorter strips and lighter subject matter, not a character sketch of a girl with deep emotional scars and psychological i ...more
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I don't know what I was expecting. Something lighthearted or sweet or funny, I guess. But this book hit me hard. Despite the Penfield Humunculus storyline, it really hit home, so to speak, having grown up under the same circumstances as the lead character: parents always fighting, feeling alone and scared and what the brain does to protect itself or you. My parents did not divorce nor disappear from my life. Who is to say which is better. All I know is I am still fractured and damaged, in therap ...more
Jun 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen
Gingerbread Girl is a graphic novel with a creative premise that, unfortunately doesn't quite get there. Annah, a twentysomething, may or may not have a sister who was created when her father removed a part of Annah's brain (again, something that may or may not have happened). Annah's quest to find Ginger, her sister, seems mismatched with the casual date the story relays. Though Gingerbread Girl's multiple storytellers give the book a fun feel, the story never really connects, and leaves the r ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was so wonderfully well written and illustrated. A girl named Annah imagines that her father has extracted the Penfield homunculus - actually a conceptual representations of the sensory centres in the brain rather than a separate entity - from her brain and given it life. The resulting girl, 'Ginger' feels all the things the girl cannot. The sisters have lost track of each other and a series of narrators including the girl, a pigeon and many others talk about Annah's quest for Ginger and wh ...more
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
Such a wonderful premise, but such a short book! I'd just started to get invested and it was over.

And more to the point - nothing happens. Its a book purely done in exposition, and you get the the end and realise that pretty much an hour has passed in real time and nothing has happened to advance the story at all. An interesting device, but it needed to be done in tandem with some solid action/conflict/happenings.

Also find it an odd choice of artist. The strange story could have done with less
Jan 11, 2012 rated it liked it
I have to say a little "meh" on this one. I wanted to like it--the art work is good--but the story left me cold. ...more
I didn't expect to like this. I picked it up because books that are not the standard size appeal to me, and this one had a fun pop-art cover. The blurb on the back seemed a little... cliché, but had promise. I expected a kind of sci-fi mystery, about humanity and emotions and twins and connection.

What I got was a kind of vignette about Annah, an emotionally manipulative and stunted young women who might or might not be crazy, told through the eyes of those who love her and those who barely know
Mar 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
Wow, did I completely despise everyone in this story. I even hated the pigeons for bothering to care about Annah, who--regardless whether or not she's insane (I abandoned this story in disgust a fourth of the way through -- is a piece-of-shit person who treats everyone like garbage, and I have zero compassion for her girlfriend, who seems to find that trait exhilarating and sexy. And being that I hated all the characters so much, I was especially annoyed by all the breaking-of-the-fourth-wall fo ...more
About a 27 year old teenager who WOULD be bisexual IF she put out. She's the type of chick who relies 100% on being pretty for people to put up with her issues.

The psychological narrative IS fascinating in study BUT constantly frustrating in it's manifestations and hang-ups.

The ART is what got me because I find Coover's females irresistible- I've been waiting to get "Small Favors" for awhile and will probably get the others too.

There were many fun facts scattered throughout that a trivia junkie
Mark Bult
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
There’s a penchant among graphic novelists toward open-ended stories where the reader is left wondering how things turned out, perhaps filling in the rest with their imagination. Ordinarily this doesn’t bother me (I know people who hate foreign films because of just these types of endings), but this book left just a few too many things open and I would’ve liked a tad less puzzling mystery on the last page. It gets one-half star off for this, despite the fact that I love Tobin’s writing and Coove ...more
Nov 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I like this book in that I bought it in New Orleans and it's about a bisexual girl who is about the same age as me (I'm 26 currently, she is 27). The different angles and perspectives in the book are also interesting. I have a few issues with this book in some of the wordings and themes chosen, and I especially dislike how many times the author uses the word "crazy." ...more
This was a sad book about a woman who believes part of her body has been removed and put into her sister. While the author leaves the story open top hope and interpretation, it seems to be about dissociation with her emotions because of trauma.
May 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels, lgbt
I really wanted to like this but I just couldn’t get into it. The art is good. The story is unconventional and a bit out there. If you are looking for something really different you might check it out.
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
I loved the art, but the story was pretty aawful. She's flightly to both the guy and the girl. I thought the narrative method of having different people narrate was cute at first but quickly got twee. ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Occasionally, I wonder whether I like reading graphic novels too much to ever be too critical of one. This book has allayed those concerns.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked where it was going but then we never really got anywhere? I loved the framing and the art, though.
Andrew Shaffer
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Indescribably charming and kooky.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Tries so hard to be an offbeat, hipster book that I want to punch it. There's not really a story here. It's date night for a kooky, manic-pixie girl with some mental health issues. We follow her on her date while various characters she passes by comment on her issues. A disappointment after reading this husband / wife duo's Bandette. ...more
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
This is the most eccentric book I've ever read. I actually gave up on it halfway through, because it was stretching my imagination way too far, but then I checked out some reviews that this book received, and they've all been very strong and positive. So, then I suspended my disbelief real well and got back to reading it. Besides, being a graphic novel, it was easier to decide whether to continue with it or not. Once I was done with it, I wasn't in love with it, but I could see the point of the ...more
Steph C
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I actually saw this at the library, looked at the first couple of pages, which boil down to "tee, hee, I'm bisexual and I'm in my panties", and put it back. But then I happened to pick up again (what can I say, the title grabbed my attention) and actually read it and boy, is it ever a surreal combination of slice-of-life drama and complete mindfuck. Or maybe, considering the cute, friendly style, sort of a mind-cuddle with occasional mind-spanking. The closest thing I can compare it to is Calvin ...more
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Paul Tobin is the Eisner-award winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Bandette, Colder, and many other comic books and graphic series.

Bandette, drawn by Colleen Coover, was awarded the Eisner Award for Best Digital Series in 2013, 2016, and 2017; and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award for Graphic Literature in 2016. His original graphic novel I Was the Cat was nominated for an

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