Thursday, June 16, 2011

Awkward and Definition by Ariel Schrag

This is seriously good. It's the first in a trilogy of 'comic chronicles' about the author, Ariel Schrag's time in high school. Well two years of her time in high school. I think when she was 15 and 16. It's like two books in one. I read that she doesn't like the term 'graphic novel'.  I really really liked this a lot. A lot. It is really funny. One time I was reading it in the staff room at work and I started laughing out loud and people stopped talking and asked what was so funny. I can't remember exactly what I was laughing at though. They just ignored me after that. I kept laughing internally though because that was pretty awkward/funny and seemed like something that would happen in the book.

I like her drawings a lot. In Awkward the art is more cartoon-y and sort of messy but not in a bad way. In Definition it's like she gets more confident with the art or something. I dunno. There's more detail and the lines are stronger. Also the content gets heavier or rather she is defining her identity contextually/irl. She wrote these at the time the events were unfolding, not in retrospect. This means there's no specific plot line it's just her year as it happens: having crushes on boys/girls, getting drunk/stoned, studying for exams, making new friends, going to shows and identifying as bisexual. I like that the art changes as she does. I felt like I could really relate to her as well because she gets really obsessed with stuff like actors and bands - she has a shrine to Juliette Lewis in her room and also starts trying to look like Gwen Stefani. I remember when I had a Leonardo DiCaprio shrine in my room just last year. I took it down and I think I threw away all my pictures because I was 'over it'. So not over it. I really regret that. Really really really. Maybe I will make a new shrine to something else in my room. Maybe I will make a shrine to Ariel Schrag!

I just ordered the next book in the trilogy, Potential, with the very last of my money. There is also a documentary called, Confession: A film about Ariel Schrag. I'm going to track it down and watch it until my eyes bleed smiles and chocolate kisses.

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