Friday, March 10, 2017

Graphic Novel: Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen

I am not sure exactly what it was that kept me from picking up Adulthood is a Myth, the first in the "Sarah's Scribbles" Collection by Sarah Andersen. Simply from the cover alone I knew I would enjoy it, and the comics I see posted on Facebook from time to time always make me laugh. And when the collection won for Best Graphic Novels & Comics, I knew I should not have waited to enjoy this group of funny and oh so painfully true observations.

Genre, Themes, History: This is not a graphic novel in the sense that there is one story line to follow, but instead a collection of incredibly hilarious, yet often too true, observations about growing up as an introvert. Or even worse (sometimes, well, often actually), an introverted artist. Andersen's first collection includes comics that deal with everyday necessary actions such as picking out what to wear, how to decide when a load of laundry should be done, deciding whether or not to go to bed at a decent hour or stay up for no reason, and of course, an issue every introvert faces on occasion, whether to go out and be social, or stay in and watch Netflix for the thousandth night in a row. Then there are issues that mostly women will be able to relate to, such as the pros and cons of the cute lacy bra, and why sometimes buying pretty frilly underwear just is not worth the expense. And then there are the things introverts can relate to, such as the inexplicable but crippling fear that someone you just met does not like you, despite there being insurmountable evidence to the contrary. The struggle is real y'all. Seriously. On occasion, Andersen is joined in her adventures by a wise and cute rabbit friend who attempts to speak reason, but is often ignored. This rabbit will not only question Sarah's choices, but prod her to admit what is really going on, which makes him (her?) a pretty delightful and helpful sidekick.

My Verdict: I only have one issue with this collection, and that is I wish there were more comics to enjoy and that it went on for a bit longer than 109 pages. But what we do have to enjoy is hilarious and awesome, and again, often painfully true. The comics are ridiculous, but real; funny, but not over the top; drawn really well, while being incredibly accessible; and while the talking rabbit treads into the Calvin & Hobbes territory (which is not a bad thing), Sarah remains the star while the rabbit is the occasional voice of reason. All of this works to make a great collection that almost anyone would love to reference in casual conversation.  

Favorite Comics: I am partial to the panels that deal with Sarah's honest thoughts about those she is forced to interact with on a daily basis. But my absolute favorite is the one titled "Things That Make Me Feel Safe." Such things include leaving the TV and bathroom light on, as well as having a cat in the room, though even the cat seems to know the real truth about the situation (this may or may not hit close to home for me). Also, the comic about the "special snowflakes" is pretty great too.

Recommended Reading: Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant is another collection of comics that often made me laugh out loud, not only because of her observations, but also because of the fun she has with history, pop culture, and the cover art of classic works of literature. 


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