cover image Solutions and Other Problems

Solutions and Other Problems

Allie Brosh. Gallery, $30 (529p) ISBN 978-1-98215-694-7

Brosh follows up bestseller Hyperbole and a Half with a gut-busting volume of autobio comics. Her wobbly, wall-eyed avatar regards the world with bafflement as she hurls herself into one bizarre situation after another. As a toddler, Brosh gets trapped in a bucket, invades her neighbor’s home through a cat door, and later becomes a suspect in the mystery of how horse poop keeps materializing in the house. As an adult, she tries to build character by getting deliberately lost while on drugs (“I’m like 99% sure we aren’t inside the moon right now”), and unveils more complex stories of medical, psychological, and family ordeals. Like a millennial James Thurber, Brosh has a knack for seeding a small, choice detail that snowballs into existential chaos, such as when a bird’s mating dance leads her to question reality itself. Brosh’s spidery and demented digital portraits, a visual expression of fun-house mirror anxiety, fits her material perfectly. In piecing together the many turns of her life, she reflects, “Sometimes all you can really do is keep moving and hope you end up somewhere that makes sense.” This achingly accurate and consistently hilarious comic memoir finds Brosh moving forward and becoming a stronger, braver storyteller page by page. Agent: Monika Verma, Levine Greenberg Rostan. (Sept.)