Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?
By: Liz Prince
Publisher: Top Shelf
Reviewed by Chris Eng
There are a ton of books that cover new love. It’s fresh, beautiful, passionate, and the emotions carome off each other in an endless cascade. Similarly, there are many books that cover the end of love. It’s stark, ugly, passionate, and the emotions carome off each other in an endless cascade. What’s usually glossed over are the moments in-between. Not the mundanities and daily foibles of living together with your partner—there’s plenty of autobio comics out there if you’re interested in seeing other people’s lives—but the moments of affection, those sickeningly sweet moments that populate a relationship which no one ever talks about because how and why would you describe them to anyone else?
You know, like the time you flapped the whistle cap on the kettle up and down, pretending it was talking and making it proclaim your love for your partner in a dorky voice. I’m talking about all the revoltingly adorable stuff that fills the gaps between when you and your partner are pretending to the outside world that the two of you only engage in responsible, mature behavior because you’re grown-ups. And these are the things Liz Prince is not only not ashamed to bring up, she’s filled a book with page after page of comics detailing them, a volume which is one of the most honest looks at relationships I’ve ever seen. It’s possible other couples don’t invent with amusing in-jokes about their farts, but I bet more than 90% of them do, and for everyone that does, I recommend investing in a copy of Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?
I’m not going to beat around the bush: the art is rudimentary. This was Liz Prince’s first book and it was published eight years ago. In many of the drawings you can see the pencil lines she roughed in over the heads in order to get the proportions correct, and in parts her style is so loose it approaches doodling, but the interesting thing is that all genuinely adds to the charm. The sketchiness makes it feel like you’re a fly on the wall, voyeuristically peeping on several dozen instances of dorky love. The content clearly hasn’t been polished up or given a faux finish. It’s honest, and that’s why it resonates so strongly.
There’s no deep meaning to Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?, no conclusion that will hit you like a bag of hammers and leave you reeling as you ponder the philosophical implications of everything you just took in. This isn’t Blankets nor Love and Rockets, but there are numerous reasons you shouldn’t make comparisons between them, not least of which is they’re all triumphs in their own right. Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed? is heartening and uplifting. It’s powerful in a way few books have shown themselves to be, because it has the potential to remind you that when you get to the point where your relationship is collapsing in a morass of hurt and you’re convinced there’s nothing good love could ever bring you, there are still moments that make it all worthwhile. Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed? is a collection of the moments that make love worth pursuing; it’s a mirror reflecting the two hundred tiny things your partner does every day to make you smile, and that’s beautiful.