Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: March 7th, 2017
Publisher: Andrews McMeel
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast then slow
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Slice of Life
In addition to the most recent Sarah’s Scribbles fan favorites and dozens of all-new comics, this volume contains illustrated personal essays on Sarah’s real-life experiences with anxiety, career, relationships and other adulthood challenges that will remind readers of Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half and Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. The same uniquely frank, real, yet humorous and uplifting tone that makes Sarah’s Scribbles so relatable blooms beautifully in this new longer form.
Not exactly the follow-up I expected, but still enjoyed it.
Just like ADULTHOOD IS A MYTH, it contains these fun and funny situations and thoughts people all around the world will be able to connect with, especially introverts.
And that’s great. But peculiarly, a little more than halfway through, these side notes started to appear. It’s as though the author wanted to transition her graphic novel into a nonfiction novel, so it became half writing, half drawing.
Why, may I ask? I appreciated her input at first, especially since this is her life she is drawing, and those thoughts of hers were very genuine. BUT, they were not necessary.
So that was a not-so-pleasant surprise I did not expect. It felt like the book suddenly became about her alone, that it wasn’t as important for the reader to connect to her as it was for them to understand her.
But like I said, before those started to appear, everything was as interesting, relatable and entertaining as in this book’s predecessor. Also, she didn’t stop at social criticism. She dared include political criticism as well (hence the blue colour?), which I think is refreshing and brave of her, although those did not always have a defined context or purpose. Like with the “No homo” thing. It was very random and she only implied at something without making it clear what her opinion was on that.
Not bad, will look forward to the next book. And please choose next time. Graphic novel all the way or half graphic novel, half personal essay, because this way you will not disrupt the atmosphere and pacing in any way, Ms. Andersen. Respectfully.
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