GRAPHIC NOVELS

Inappropriate

Uncivilized. Jan. 2020. 120p. ISBN 9781941250389. $19.95. Rated: Teen+. GRAPHIC NOVELS
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An encounter with a dog walking its pet human along the sidewalk, a confessional tale of using Jungian theory to overcome social anxiety, a fantasy of discovering a British prince living in exile on the streets of Brooklyn, and a letter to a neighbor who insists on lounging nude in front of his window—it’s difficult to imagine any cartoonist other than Bell (Everything Is Flammable) daring to combine such disparate stories into a single volume. And yet these tales, along with others that range in topic from a botched root canal to the life of a 43-year-old spider to the difficulty of saying “I love you” fit together seamlessly owing to Bell’s masterful storytelling and the sense that each is the raw expression of an artist who can’t help pondering the world, wondering about her place in it, and offering her observations with unflinching honesty.
VERDICT Memoir and fiction stand side by side, often in the same story, in this frequently hilarious, occasionally melancholy collection that affirms Bell’s status as one of the best cartoonists of her generation.

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