Not Funny Ha-Ha
Meg Lemke writes: An abortion is a medical procedure. Stripped of political and moral debate, it’s the termination of pregnancy through either surgical or medical means. Leah Hayes’s graphic nonfiction book, Not Funny Ha-Ha: A Handbook for Something Hard, is a narrative guide following two women who have each made the decision to undergo one of these procedures. Her body, her choice. The audience for this work is any person who wants to understand what to expect if they choose to make such an appointment. Though it does not explore the backstories or anguish over the decisions that these women make, it also does not diminish the emotional experience of the process. This sends the message that while the women’s stories matter, this book is about trusting women to make a choice. What we follow through these evocative and informative drawings is what happens after that choice.
At the end, Hayes writes that abortion, “a procedure that so many women go through can also seem like you are very alone. Part of my intention is to make such a thing seem less lonely, if I can.”
Leah Hayes is an illustrator, musician, graphic novelist, songwriter, and producer. She has published several books with Fantagraphics, including Funeral of the Heart, Holy Moly, and her latest work, Not Funny Ha-Ha (June 2015). She also has several albums out with her band, Scary Mansion; writes songs; and produces beats for pop and hip-hop artists.