Awkward and Definition

Ariel Schrag, Author Touchstone $15 (84p) ISBN 978-1-4165-5231-4

Many memoirs both inside and outside the world of comics cover the author’s high school years. Far fewer are actually written during those years. Touchstone has started reprinting Schrag’s comics chronicling her teenage years through the mid-’90s. Each of the volumes in Schrag’s series was created in the summer of the year it chronicles. This book includes Awkward , about Schrag’s freshman year, and Definition , which concerns her sophomore year. It’s hard not to notice that the books were written and drawn by a young artist. The artwork is simple and, yes, awkward, especially in Awkward , where the characters look like punk versions of the Peanuts cast. But rather than being a drawback, the artwork is actually charming. It’s clear that Schrag is pushing herself. Even at this age, she had already attained the ability to keep the storytelling smooth and fast-paced, even if the stories she’s actually telling aren’t remarkable. The typical teenage concerns of sex, drugs, drama with friends and the importance of music are all covered. The book is comfortable because it’s so easy to relate to. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 01/07/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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