Illiterature (Story Minutes, Vol. 1)

Carol Lay, Author, Carol Lay, Illustrator
Carol Lay. BOOM!, $14.99 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-60886-282-5
Reviewed on: 08/27/2012
Release date: 11/06/2012
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The page-length stories in this collection of Lay’s Story Minute newspaper strip provide readers with a window into her brilliant and original mind. In general, about Lay’s minute-long stories are 12-panel, modern-day fables that may or may not include elements of comedy, tragedy, realism, horror, science fiction, or dystopian fantasy. These stories, like the final line of a poem by Emily Dickinson, end on a note that threatens to leave the reader both disoriented and illuminated. Lay’s gift is in showing a profound understanding of basic human nature, not only about our frailties or petty jealousies, but about the deep structures of the human psyche. In the introduction, Kim Deitch warns readers not to read Illiterature from cover to cover, since the stories “overflow with ideas” and “if not taken in small doses...can be addictive.” This is sound advice for the prospective reader, since the pleasures of such an addiction will not come without the pains: the stories are too honest, too complex, and too full of insight to allow the reader to feel anything other than dizzy if he or she strings too many of them together. (Oct.)
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