Published on May 24th, 2018 | by Lisa Lim


A Comic About My Bad Ass Grandmother aka Nag Finger


A Comic About My Bad Ass Grandmother aka Nag Finger is about my favorite matriarch in life, my grandma. It’s about a long Chinese tradition of loving boys over girls just because they’re boys. It’s about the horrific custom of foot binding that debilitated women all over China and kept them close to home. It’s about how one bad ass grandmother raised three boys on her own, ran a laundry mat in Washington Heights, and learned to speak absolutely no English. It’s about a woman who scares the sh*t out of me, and the world, but who inspires me every day to be just as bad ass.

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About the Author

Lisa Lim is a comic storyteller born and raised in Queens, New York. Her work has been featured in Guernica, PANK, The Rumpus, PEN America, and Mutha Magazine. Her short illustrated story, “The Hunger” was featured in an anthology edited by Joyce Carol Oates, Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers. Find more of her storytelling here.

100 Responses to A Comic About My Bad Ass Grandmother aka Nag Finger

  1. This is amazing, I love it so much!

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  3. Jphn jimh says:

    Loved your work

    Wonderful tribute

    Bit please don’t confuse your grandparent laundry with a “laundromat” two very different animals

  4. Christine says:

    Absolutely lovely! What an amazing piece.

  5. Divya says:

    It’s beautiful!

  6. Esther says:

    I absolutely love it. Very good piece.

  7. Awesome! I’m sharing this with my my oldest son. Happy I came across it. And if you don’t mind I will also share it to my Facebook. Fun stories about the past and your family history. Blessed to have such a bad ass grandma. I also come from a long line of badass’ myself. As a first generation Dominican republic girl born in America.

    • Lisa Lim says:

      Please share away! I love sharing stories about my grandmother. It makes me feel closer to her. Also reminds me of who I am. Here’s to the badass women who’ve made us who we are today! Thank you for reading!

  8. Colleen says:

    What an honest and beautiful tribute to your Grandmother. Nothing like a powerful badass in our lives to empower us.

  9. Brilliant !
    Awesome !

  10. HAMZA says:


  11. Cate says:

    Love this! It’s deceptively simple yet so rich, evoking the strength of family ties (even when not fully reciprocated) and the importance of powerful women, especially in the midst of forces that seek to diminish and constrain. Beautifully done; you made me laugh, reflect and appreciate. (And I think your grandmother was likewise lucky to have you and your love, despite her enculturated bias toward your brother.)

    • Lisa Lim says:

      Am glad you enjoyed Cate. And thank you for your kind words. It’s funny despite all the favoritism, I think I was her best friend who had the pleasure of hearing all her stories. I was lucky.

  12. Cool! I am striving to be one bad ass Nana too!

  13. There is also the same case in India. I liked how you took things in positive manner. Really loved it.

  14. I loved this so much!

  15. amazed grandchildren says:

    I loved it! Your grandma is so similar to my grandmother who was also a bad-ass granny. However, my granny was the one who smoked weed, played mah-jong, and drank bottles of wine.

  16. Comics (and art in general, really) have away of allowing the reader to relate on such a personal level no matter how simple or the topic. Immediately this comic made me think of my old school Italian grandma and her wooden spoon! Love it =)

    check out some more great artists at

  17. Thanks for the great post. It is informative, interesting and well written, The illustrations are first rate. You get a big thumbs up!

  18. Sissy says:

    clever format for thoughts!

  19. This is very creative. I love it.

  20. Lisa Lim says:

    Thank you everyone for your kind and generous comments. I am so happy to share stories about my grandmother and my family. I feel like every time i write about her I discover something new about her life. And mine.

  21. jamosmart says:

    This is really amazing

  22. Grandmas are so fantastic to be around. You are very priveledged to have had her as a constant in your life. Great story and wonderful images too.

  23. Natalie says:

    I suddenly missed my grandma. Thank you for the good read.

  24. Quite a story of your family. I laughed, imagined some of the things you described, remembered my own grandmother’s and thought how lucky we are to have been blessed with bad-ass grandmothers. Wish I could sit and visit with them again. Thank you.

  25. Rob says:

    Wow – Thanks. Your blog inspired me, and it was a touching story about your family at the same time. I am new to blogging but will keep at it, as I have time. Thank you!

  26. Very nice, was great to read, keep writing
    Sourajit Aiyer

  27. Gauri says:

    I loved your work , honestly !

  28. Kat Challis says:

    Excellent read and graphics.

  29. Jamshaid aadil says:

    Very good awesome

  30. Henry Lewis says:

    All around interesting. Chinese culture is fascinating, whether in China or blended with a new culture. Great insights and unique format.

  31. Indra says:

    Clever presentation of Chinese family life. So true about doting sons and foot bending traditions.

  32. Arenbi says:

    i should make memories like this. 🙂 thank you for the idea. 🙂

  33. Azra says:

    Really amazing

  34. Really enjoyed this! It really hit home, cause i use to have a Chinese Grandma too….(Bless Her Soul)

  35. iif says:

    kereeen banget gambarnya,lucu dan seru

  36. Anesi says:

    This is beautiful!

  37. Michelle O. says:

    I love how Lisa told her story. I love her grandma. Sounds much like my grandma.
    Keep it up. I love to read more of her stories and simple art. It brings out the child in me.

  38. Tuba says:

    My nana’s dead so can’t relate, oh well. Loved the insight and learning about another culture. I read about lilly feet as a kid and wrote every report i could on it. If i could i’d squeeze it in a report about airplanes tbh. x

  39. JOO says:

    I love it from top to the bottom

  40. It’s time to join the party and take over grandma traditional and start kicking super ass!
    There nothing more to be smart, funny, adorable and be bad ass all in the same content phase and to be #1 outspoken to set standers among your peers and family and most important your true love.

  41. You are such a talented person. I had so much fun reading this! Keep going!

  42. This warms my heart. Thank you for sharing this story.

  43. erina says:

    I love this story!! and I love your grandmother too! (^-^)

  44. Ericson Fernandez says:

    I love how you delivered the story it’s like i’m hearing your young self. I love it.

  45. Awesome Grandma, with a blend of her pros & cons. & I love the way you told the story. Great work!

  46. Mohamed says:


  47. Peter says:

    I just love it. Excellent way to deliver a story.

  48. Jess says:

    Lisa, your story had me captivated. I kept scrolling and scrolling and lo it finally ended and, just, wow. It is absolutely amazing what older generations went through and believed and survived. The part about immigrating to the US – what bravery. The unknown and embracing it, whatever was to come, all of it. Thank you so much for sharing and educating someone like me in appreciation for people and a culture I know too little about.

  49. HungryPanda says:

    Loved the story and all the characters! I could also relate to the custom of loving boys more for no reason at all 🙂

  50. I really enjoyed reading the comic. Brilliantly written and illustrated.

  51. Tina says:

    It’s so cute and sweet and easy to read and understand. Great idea

  52. Rebecca says:

    This story is a sweet reminder of those great characters that exist in abundance in our lives, to be enjoyed, cherished and sometimes suffered hahah Perfectly childish, and totally relatable ❤ Loved it!!!

  53. Sabrina Case says:

    That was a fantastic read! I love your art work as well. Thank you for sharing.

  54. Now this is amazing !

  55. Dilshad Noor Lira says:

    Love it, feel inspired to do something about my grandma 🙂

  56. This is so beautiful.
    Having grown up with my grandmother, i have can relate and feel so much of this wonderful piece!

    PS- I’m 17, I still sleep with my grandmother❤

    • Lisa Lim says:

      if i could, i would still be sleeping with my grandma. i loved being close to her. and i love that you still sleep with your grandma! hugs

  57. Aj says:

    My grandma at the moment is in the hospital fighting for her life, and I’m happy to read your memories with your grandma. Reminds me of all the amazing memories I have. Keep writing and check out my stuff. Hope u like. And love and prayers to all grandmas

  58. Evelyn says:

    Such a heartwarming comic. I relate to it a lot as my grandmother is also going through dementia. It’s so tough to see her reduced to a childlike state.

  59. This is so neat! Badass indeed! Never underestimate the strength of a woman.

  60. Sonia Jordan says:

    Sounds a lot like my great-grandmother Mama Liza, and she was from East Texas!

  61. Munvar says:

    Awesome story really very nice

  62. What an incredible creation. I just love this and the drawings make it extraordinary. Thanks for making me smile today!

  63. Charlene says:

    This is SUCH a cool way of storytelling. It’s almost like some of these pictures could be animated! Thanks so much for sharing this; super special. And I’m so sorry to hear that your grandmother ultimately had dementia. Mine eventually developed dementia, too, and I was really, really close to her, so I know how hard it can be to watch someone you love go through that. But I’m sure both of our grandmas are super stoked about the badasses we became, anyways 🙂

    Xo Charlene

  64. Barsha says:

    It’s awesome

  65. I love this. Such beautiful stories and wonderful illustrations! Family really is so important.

  66. Divya says:

    Such a heart-warming story! <3

  67. Sadie says:

    This is so touching – thank you for sharing this love letter

  68. Ridhima says:

    Beautiful, love it!

  69. Annie Bryant says:

    What a fascinating way to keep family stories alive!

  70. Martha says:

    I just started blogging again two days ago after leaving almost a year. I left blogger to wordpress, and it’s amazing I get to have access to so many blogs and posts. You told a beautiful story .

  71. Geary Erua says:

    WOW! Your grandmother was a serious BADASS.
    I guess my grandmother is kind of like that too, but maybe a better cook.
    Anyway, I LOVED the article.

  72. Rachel says:

    I really loved my bad ass grandmother

  73. Subarna says:

    This is so beautiful! 🙂
    Thank you for giving us a glimpse of the tough life of your grandma and your childhood. I loved this so much! :”)

  74. Jaan says:

    This is so good and the illustrations are cool. Loved gong through your comic narrative.

  75. mari small says:

    I absolutely loved this piece!!! As an illustrator, as a grandma, widow and self-proclaimed bad-ass – you wrote a primer on what I would have loved in a grandmother and try to be for my 6. Lisa, you go girl!

  76. Karlie says:

    Badass grandmas are the best grandmas. I had a feisty, mean as hell grandma, but she loved me more than the world. I miss her everyday. ❤

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  78. Subhasree says:

    This is super awesome! So honest, so very beautiful! 🙂 Loved it!

  79. Billy says:

    Awesome comic, brought back so many memories. My grandfather took me to the mj parlor all the time when he babysat me.

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  83. Dara says:

    You make me remember about how awesome my grandma is, she never complain about life, she has the courage of a lion, and the persistence of a cat. I know it doensn’t make sense, haha. But I’m so thankful stumble upon your post.

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