The Saddest Angriest Black Girl in Town by Robyn Smith was made when Robyn was living in White River Junction, Vermont, and she found herself in a sea of whiteness. In the first two sections of the comic—”Sad” and “Angry”—Robyn processes her personal experiences as she is constantly confronted by the discomfort felt by her White neighbors, classmates, and colleagues. This white discomfort manifests in nervous behavior, suspicion, and inappropriate comments, jokes and actions. In the final section—”Black”—Robyn pushes back, and exerts her individuality, and points out that it’s not her blackness that is causing problems, but her community’s whiteness that needs examination and confrontation.
Robyn’s autobiographical comic is an honest and vulnerable account of her personal experiences. Robyn’s comic pages vibrate with a complexity of linework that is both expressively sketchy and solidly pronounced, and with a poetic voice that captures complicated ideas of identity in seemingly simple sentences. Beautifully designed, and emotionally layered, this comic is difficult to put down, even after you have finished reading it.