Delaine – I Am My Own Stereotype: The My Small Diary Collection

Website

myownstereotype1

I Am My Own Stereotype: The My Small Diary Collection

Believe it or not, there are still people out there who think that I must know everything about small press comics due to the sheer number of artists listed here and/or the 12 years I’ve put into this site. Granted, that was the idea at first (having one website where you could find samples of the work of any small press comics person), but as comics like this make completely clear, it was always a hopeless effort. This is a collection of strips by Delaine, who started her comic back in 1993 (when she was 23). This roughly coincides with when I started reading small press comics, she seems to have been in the same peer group as my favorites, and, somehow, I missed her entirely. The name does seem vaguely familiar, so I probably saw it on the back page of a King Cat or Naughty Bits, but I never made to next step of ordering her comics. After reading this, I clearly missed out on a lot of great stuff. This is all arranged more or less chronologically, up until 2002. Meaning that there’s a second volume coming, or that this was the extent of her regular work? There are also a dozen or so comics from various anthologies to round things out. Anyway, after all this rambling, what’s the book all about? This is a series of diary strips, mostly six panels, detailing events of Delaine’s life. Her friends, parties, concerts, boyfriends, jobs, all that stuff is thrown in here, but somehow with far less angst than most mini comics. Every time something bad happens it seems to be fixed by the next strip (although this could be mostly because she writes a comment for each strip and we already know that she ended up happy). Subjects include her very early days and the imagination she had even then (we’re talking grade school here), various sights seen at concerts and bars, boyfriends and ex-boyfriends (and what they were up to with their current girlfriends), her obsessions with Pez dispensers and Emo Phillips, drinking, employment, unemployment, and everything that goes into 10+ years of a life. If this all sounds like stuff you’ve read before in other auto-bio comics, well, there’s only so much new ground to be covered there, but that doesn’t stop this from seeming completely fresh and original. It could have something to do with her general attitude of wonder (that, happily, seems to have lasted into her 40’s), or the fact that she never lets anything really get her down. For me a big part of it was that nothing here really felt mean-spirited, even when it seemed like the subjects had it coming. This was constantly smart and funny, and good luck reading this and not coming away feeling like you missed out by not somehow being Delaine’s friend (even if that meant you would have lived in Alabama). Check this out and enjoy. $5

myownstereotype2

, ,