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“Smile” comic book May 30, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Books, Smiley.
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"Smile," a graphic memoir by Raina Telgemeier. From my personal collection.

Just a few weeks ago, my mother-in-law, the Great Enabler, gave me a handful of new smiley faces for my collection. The coolest by far was this delightful young-adult graphic memoir by Raina Telgemeier, in which she recounts the trauma and teen tribulations surrounding her orthodontic work. I was happy with the book just for the grinning smiley on the cover, complete with gleaming braces, but the book itself is actually quite good, a painfully and hilariously honest portrayal of those awkward teen years taken to an almost absurd — yet all-too-real — extreme. Telgemeier’s knack for character depth, storytelling, and accessible art make this a fantastic read, and the ending is superb, uplifting without being at all trite. (Plus, she’s the same age as me, so she’s writing about an adolescence I recognize ALL too well!)

Telgemeier is going to prove an important new female voice in comics, and I highly recommend Smile for anyone interested in the medium.

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