GRAPHIC NOVELS

How I Tried to Be a Good Person

Fantagraphics. Jul. 2019. 368p. ISBN 9781683962038. pap. $34.99. Rated: Mature. MEMOIR
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Lust (Voices in the Dark) presents a slice of her life that is by turns mundane and passionate. After a far-flung, dangerous adolescence (chronicled in Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life), twentysomething Lust is just getting by in Vienna—taking unemployment while pursuing illustration, toying with applying to art school, and occasionally visiting her son who lives with her parents in the countryside. Her easygoing attitude finds her navigating consensual nonmonogamy long before it was cool—there’s Georg, an older actor, with whom she has an intellectual, artistic relationship, and Kimata, a young Nigerian man with whom she has a passionate (and quite graphic) physical relationship. As Lust tiptoes into adulthood, she tries to stay true to herself, and it isn’t easy. Lust’s commitment to depicting her own complexity, warts and all, and not moralizing or apologizing for it, is a singular gift. Furthermore, her artistic style is flowing but precise, making daily minutiae and explosive arguments all of a piece.
VERDICT Intensely personal and sexually explicit, this chronicle of Lust’s young adulthood life is told with specificity and scrutiny, ideal for adult graphic memoir enthusiasts. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s “Mass Appeal,” 6/19.]

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