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We Ate Wonder Bread: A Memoir of Growing Up on the West Side of Chicago
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We Ate Wonder Bread: A Memoir of Growing Up on the West Side of Chicago

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  75 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Nicole Hollander's internationally syndicated comic strip Sylvia ran for thirty years. The characters, and unique sense of humor, that inhabited that progressive comic strip, however, originated in Hollander's own childhood neighborhood. We Ate Wonder Bread is the first graphic novel from this acclaimed veteran cartoonist, a coming-of-age memoir starring the gangsters, the ...more
Paperback, 124 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by Fantagraphics
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David Schaafsma
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan reading "the funnies" in the paper and in "alternate," usually free weeklies such as The Village Voice and The Chicago Reader. I got to know of feminist thought in part through the work of Alison Bechdel, in Dykes To Watch Out For, which introduced me to a mixed and fluid community of mostly women--some straight, some lesbian, some white, some of color. But Dykes came later.

Hollander's Chicago Sun Times syndicated, Chicago-based comic began in 1980. It was cl
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My review for the Chicago Tribune:

Ever wondered of Nicole Hollander, creator of the shrewd and radical, tough and hilarious internationally syndicated comic strip “Sylvia”: Where on earth did this sharp, outspoken feminist, leftist cartooning genius of socially conscious sarcasm come from? Her new book, “We Ate Wonder Bread,” offers a full-color answer: the 1940s and ’50s in a long-vanished Jewish milieu in a working-class neighborhood on Chicago’s West S
Jan Priddy
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The syndicated comic "Sylvia" was first published the year my oldest son was born in 1980. It ran for 32 years and my mother and I used to call one another and discuss the latest strip long distance and then from just a few miles apart. My son will not be aware of this, but his grandmother, my mother and I cut Nicole Hollander's work from the newspapers and for many years I kept a thick stack of these strips in a basket beside my desk. I have all of Hollander's books, two copies of most since I ...more
lucy  black
An interesting ramble. A woman recalls her unconventional childhood in an apartment with her working class Jewish family. Sort of Really Rosie and sort of bizarre. I haven’t read Nicole Hollander’s comic strip and I’d like to, I think I might like short sassy pieces rather than this patchy, incomplete autobiography.
The pictures are purposely amateur and I think I might have liked it more if it was all comic or all photos or all text. This mismatch just added to the already asked and repeated st
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
My hopes were so high with this book. A memoir about decades-ago Chicago written by a feminist cartoonist (whose strip I admittedly never have read)? My dream book- and even more exciting as I think I was the first person to check out this copy from the library (a first for me in Chicago!). Despite the low time commitment, I feel so let down.

The stories certainly aren't uninteresting, but the level of repetition for a book that's already quite thin was deeply disappointing. I suppose I could int
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Nicole Hollander's We Ate Wonder Bread is an interesting, yet very repetitive graphic memoir. The art is very expressive and chaotic, at times deranged and at times fascinating (and sometimes both). The humor takes getting used to if you're not familiar with Hollander's other work. Sometimes, when she says things like "all girls long to dress up," I wondered if I was missing some joke (she then explains that she joined the Girl Scouts because she wanted to dress up in a uniform.)

The sexual haras
Dakota Morgan
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
A coming of age graphic memoir that's light on good illustrations and heavy on repetition. Hollander's childhood in Chicago is still relatively fascinating, though, for all the ways that it both reflects our current times (Chicago apartments haven't changed in 70 years) and feels entirely different (listening to the radio for amusement). The anecdotes move fast, so even if you read them two or three times, they're never dull. I would have appreciated a tad more depth, though, perhaps some analys ...more
Stuart Miller
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-cpl-copy
I expected a lot more than I got from this collection of vignettes (some admittedly very funny) about growing up in Chicago in the 1940s and 1950s. Hollander has written elsewhere that her superb cartoon character Sylvia was inspired by her mother and her friends but I didn't feel I got to know much about any of those women from this memoir. The various episodes are presented not in any particular order and there is repetition (which I found very irritating). While any Sylvia fan will want to re ...more
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found my favorite Sylvia strip on a set of post-it notes many years ago: in Sylvia’s classic withering glare, she’s saying “ I can’t stand intolerant people.” Perfection.

It was so interesting to learn about Nicole Hollander’s childhood on the west side of Chicago. Anecdotes, character sketches, stories. Filled with quirky nuance, I learned a lot of what inspired her to create Sylvia and what nourished her through the years (wonder bread and Jewish chop suey). A solid read.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed the book but wanted there to be more; more tales from the city, more about her family, more about her mother's friends, more about treks in her father's blue Hudson, more illustrations. As a fellow Chicagoan (former) I will forever associate myself with the city. Nothing like travelling back into the old neighborhood(s) to bring nostalgia flooding back.
s w
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh, i enjoyed falling into this book! Felt stream of consciousness in its writing, supplemented by Nicole’s illustrations. It easily transplanted me into her childhood in a series of anecdotes
Eileen Lynx
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Now I need to go read all the “Sylvia “ comics that I have missed.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
Boring. No humor. Read 38 pages and gave up.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun, impressionistic, but not very informative memoir by the author of the Sylvia comics. I liked it!
Vicky Griffith
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved the multi media format of this memoir of growing up in the 40s in Chicago. A delightfully unique story.
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
A little repetitive but weird and fun.
Deirdre Routt
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Nov 10, 2018
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Miss M
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Apr 19, 2018
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I am best known for writing and drawing the syndicated cartoon strip, SYLVIA, which appears daily and weekly in more than 30 newspapers across the country, including The Boston Globe, The Berkeley Daily Planet, Women’s e News Online and The Houston Chronicle (online). Sylvia strips appear on BadGirlChats as well. I am represented by the Tribune Media Services Syndicate.

I continue to write and draw