Part of It

Ariel Schrag. Mariner, $17.99 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-328-97244-6
This inviting collection of Schrag’s autobiographical short comics combines old and new works, organized not by the order in which they were written but by her life’s chronology. This creates a kind of scrapbook of Schrag’s growth from ages six to 26, with quick, vivid snapshots capturing social and emotional milestones. Schrag is skilled at immersing the reader in her memories in a way that feels real and unforced, as if her audience were her teenage friends gossiping in a bedroom or college kids figuring out, collectively, where to stand at a party. Her simple artwork, while sketchy in earlier drafted pieces, develops into a clean, rounded wide-eyed style reminiscent of Peanuts, and is similarly accessible. As Schrag’s cartoon self matures from an awkwardly experimenting grade schooler to a ruthlessly status-obsessed teenager to a neurotic adult who obsesses over finding the perfect pair of hipster glasses, themes develop: discovering her sexuality, testing her social power, and yearning to fit in with one group after another. Although the amalgamation lacks the depth and density of Schrag’s graphic memoirs (Awkward, Likewise, etc.), as an encapsulation of the artist’s life, it gets to the heart of the struggle that so many young people feel to fit in. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2018
Release date: 11/13/2018
Genre: Comics
Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-328-97246-0
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