by Janet Chan Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd introduces us to Maggie as she is celebrating what she is certain will be the best day of her life- her 10th birthday and the day she finally becomes a dog owner. She has looked forward to getting a dog because she wants something that is all hers. Her younger brothers have each other and her parents are distracted preparing for the arrival of a new baby. Unfortunately, Maggie experiences a sudden and severe allergic reaction at the animal shelter. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 10-20% of people… Read More
What’s So Funny? A Cartoonist’s Memoir is one long therapy session or twenty-six sessions (aka, chapters). It includes 107 drawn illustrations, mostly the author’s single panel cartoons from The New Yorker, and a few family photographs. I highly recommend this work for its honesty, portrayal of some inner working of this cartoonist, and serious and not-so-serious laughs.
Guest Review by Kaitlin R. Weed Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction depicts the childhood of comic artist Jarret J. Krosoczka while his family was managing his mother’s dependence on drugs. Krosoczka’s loose and effortless art style pairs perfectly with the ink brush. Characters are center stage because backgrounds are uncomplicated and ink washes. Each character design is simple yet distinct, allowing for maximum expression and emotions. An example of the style aiding emotions is on page 133, when Krosoczka’s grandfather, Joe, finally explains to him about his mother’s… Read More
Book Review by Kevin Wolf Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas – 1914-1953) Almost immediately we read that Ms. Kumiko Saito—an elderly Japanese-Canadian woman— in Shadow Life, Hiromi Goto’s first graphic novel and drawn by Ann Xu, only needs life’s necessities and discards the rest. This graphic work wonderfully merges the words and pictures symbiotically without excess. One can’t exist without the other, because too much would be lost if either was missing. Shadow Life is… Read More
guest review by Tahneer Oksman “Sometimes it feels much easier to bare intensely personal information with a stranger than to tell your real friends” (55). This is how the narrator of Nicole J. Georges’s graphic memoir, Calling Dr. Laura, describes why she found herself one day sitting awkwardly on a couch beside an almost-stranger and uttering the secret she had not dared tell any of her friends or family in real life. When the book first opens, Nicole is a 22-year-old living in a small house in Portland, Oregon with her pet dog and chickens. She sports charming… Read More