I’ve been reading quite a few graphic novels of late, for lack of a better phrase, not all of which were the fiction implied by the term ‘graphic novel’. No, Hyperbole and a Half, Fun Home: a family tragicomic, and Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? are memoirs.
Continue reading The Non-fiction ‘Graphic Novel’ – is there a better term?
As Chast’s parents aged, she recognised the need to care for them, and she did, until they died. Graphic novel memoir Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? details her uncensored journey with humour and poignancy, examining her changing relationships with them along the way.
Continue reading Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
An erudite, self-aware feminist memoir, in graphic novel form, examining a lesbian’s childhood relationship with her parents – especially her closeted gay father. Fun Home is chock full of psychoanalysis, literary criticism and commentary on gender, sexuality and suicide. You may recognise the author’s name from her Bechdel Test, which ‘asks if a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man’ to indicate gender bias (Wikipedia).
Continue reading Fun Home: a family tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Life has changed down a gear and, as a result, I feel lost. Ever feel like that? Since my niece was born in February I pretty much fell off the internet. Life became slower. Suddenly there weren’t dozens of appointments to go to or a pile of paperwork to get through. My mother had finally recovered from her last operation of many. Mental rehabilitation and mild physical monitoring is all that’s required, which is amazing. My mother is the most stable physically and mentally than she has been in years.
Continue reading Lost Without A Challenge
Other than the seriously offensive smell of Hyperbole and Half‘s pages (I think it’s all that colourful ink) and that odd yellow triangle on the top of Brosh’s cartoon head (what is that, anyway? A hat, a blonde ponytail?), this is a self-aware blog-to-book memoir describing some of the absurdities and poignancy of everyday life.
Continue reading Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Robot Girl is an Afrofuturistic version of Bernard Beckett’s Genesis for children, populated with a black cast of characters. Genesis is one of my all-time favourite books. It inverts expectations and examines what it means to be human and the value of emotions.
Continue reading Robot Girl by Malorie Blackman
Flotsam, my first wordless picture book, feels age inappropriate. From what I gather picture books are generally aimed at 3 to 8-year-olds. I have doubts a child in that range would be able to fully comprehend the story without help from an elder. Does a 6-year-old know what a microscope is and what it’s used for? Will they understand the images shown at different magnifications? A few Goodreads reviews say that it doesn’t matter if a child understands or not, they might make up their own story.
Continue reading Flotsam by David Wiesner
During the past four years there’s been a radical shift in how authors are perceived. Social media and self-publishing are the main reasons for this change. The ease with which one can become an author and communicate with fans and critics alike has led to both positive and negative effects on the reputations of authors.
What many point out is the fact that as soon as you make something available for sale, you’re a business. Businesses succeed and fail based on the quality of their customer service. A small but growing proportion of authors fail to understand this fact despite repeated explanations.
Seeing and hearing this same conversation countless times may mean we’ve begun to see authors as ONLY businesses while dismissing them as people.
Continue reading Authors: Business vs Personhood?
Rape documentary India’s Daughter was BANNED in India. It’s UK airing was brought forward to tonight and is now available on iPlayer. It will probably only be on YouTube for a limited time before the Indian government or the BBC have it removed. It focuses on the gang rape and gruesome murder of Jyoti Singh on a bus in December 2012.
I highly recommend you watch it while you can. Please share.
Oliver’s illustrations are lovely, except for the ginger-haired child with what I can only describe as a pink phallic object on his forehead which appears in every depiction of him. What the hell is it? Perhaps I should just say what we’re all thinking – dickhead. It’s a perfect representation, no? Did the editor not notice this . . . appendage before printing? I mean, it’s kind of obvious. Is it some sort of unique Australian thing of which I’m unaware?
Continue reading The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers