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Chronicle Books

$19.95

Wash Day Diaries

Jamila Rowser ; Robyn Smith
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From writer Jamila Rowser and artist Robyn Smith comes a captivating graphic novel love letter to the beauty and endurance of Black women, their friendships, and their hair. Wash Day Diaries tells the story of four best friends...
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★"The motif of wash day— as the women wash their own hair and others', go to the salon, and get braids—invites the reader into the rhythm of their lives, with welcome inclusivity of queer romance, as well as non romantic story lines. This subtle but heartwarming homage to friendship, feminism, and reconciliation sings. "
—Publisher's Weekly

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From writer Jamila Rowser and artist Robyn Smith comes a captivating graphic novel love letter to the beauty and endurance of Black women, their friendships, and their hair. 

Wash Day Diaries tells the story of four best friends—Kim, Tanisha, Davene, and Cookie—through five connected short story comics that follow these young women through the ups and downs of their daily lives in the Bronx.

The book takes its title from the wash day experience shared by Black women everywhere of setting aside all plans and responsibilities for a full day of washing, conditioning, and nourishing their hair. Each short story uses hair routines as a window into these four characters' everyday lives and how they care for each other.

Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith originally kickstarted their critically acclaimed, award-winning slice of life mini comic, Wash Day, inspired by Rowser's own wash day ritual and their shared desire to see more comics featuring the daily lived experiences of young Black women. Wash Day Diaries includes an updated, full color version of this original comic—which follows Kim, a 26-year-old woman living in the Bronx—as the book's first chapter and expands into a graphic novel with short stories about these vibrant and relatable new characters.

In expanding the story of Kim and her friends, the authors pay tribute to Black sisterhood through portraits of shared, yet deeply personal experiences of Black hair care. From self-care to spilling the tea at an hours-long salon appointment to healing family rifts, the stories are brought to life through beautifully drawn characters and different color palettes reflecting the mood in each story.

At times touching, quiet, triumphant, and laugh out loud funny, the stories of Wash Day Diaries pay a loving tribute to Black joy and the resilience of Black women.

Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
Size: 6 x 8 1/2 V
Publication Date: 07/05/2022
ISBN: 9781797205458
Jamila Rowser is a Black, Puerto Rican, and Dominican award-winning writer who enjoys creating comics for Black women. She also publishes comics by and for women of color and non-binary people of color through Black Josei Press. Jamila was featured, along with Robyn Smith, in Adweek's 2021 Creative 100 as a creator to follow. Jamila lives in Miami but reps the Bronx. You can find her detangling her hair, reading manga, and doting on her two cats Sage and Sapphire.

Robyn Smith is a Jamaican cartoonist known for illustrating DC Comics' Nubia: Real One (written by L.L. McKinney) and her mini-comic The Saddest Angriest Black Girl in Town. She has an MFA from the Center for Cartoon Studies and has worked on comics for College Humor and The Nib. She loves cake and cats and holds onto dreams of returning home to the ocean.

★"The motif of wash day— as the women wash their own hair and others', go to the salon, and get braids—invites the reader into the rhythm of their lives, with welcome inclusivity of queer romance, as well as non romantic story lines. This subtle but heartwarming homage to friendship, feminism, and reconciliation sings. "
Publisher's Weekly

"Smith's charming and inviting art invites comic book readers old and new to lose themself in this joyful and touching celebration of Black joy and sisterhood that cements the duo of Rowser and Smith as one of comics most powerful creative teams."
—Polygon

"Wash Day Diaries is the kind of thoughtful and engaging slice of life comic we rarely get in US publishing, and it feels even more vital and unique for that reason. Rowser and Smith are an unbelievable creative force and this book proves that they're one to be reckoned with."
—Nerdist

"Readers will adore this strikingly illustrated graphic ode to Black women, their relationships, their hair, their lives and their loves."
—Ms. Magazine

"From spilling tea to family riffs, through the ups and downs of four best friends — Kim, Tanisha, Davene, and Cookie — Jamila Rowser and artist Robyn Smith's beautiful graphic novel is a heartwarming celebration and tribute to life, friendships, and Black hair."
—Apartment Therapy

"Feels like a warm hug in graphic novel form."
—HeroMag

"At its core, this graphic novel is a story about four beautiful, strong black women and their friendship."
—Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune (Texas)

"I love when a graphic novel uses colours as a statement, and this one certainly does. Great artwork alongside a great storyline." 
—BookRiot 

"A loving tribute to Black women and their community with a humorous day in the life graphic novel." 
—Cultured Vultures