It’s sure obvious to me that I’ve missed some time in this epic. For those of you who don’t know, Ariel has been doing a comic story of her high school experience, detailing pretty much everything from Grade 9 to 12, with Likewise being the start of her senior year. The book is going to be something like 380 pages long, so there’s obviously a lot to be told. One of the things I love about this is the way she tells absolutely everything. There’s a scene of probably four or five pages just about Ariel and some of her friends trying to define the “It” that certain people have that makes them cool. A silly, meandering conversation, sure, but it’s real, and that’s what makes this book so priceless. She shows her deepest fears and feelings, seemingly without a care in the world or regard for the consequences. I’d say to wait until this is finished and read this all as one epic, but I think it might be a better idea to read some of the earlier years and keep up with this as it comes out, every six months or so. I feel stupid putting a warning up at all but she is incredibly graphic about everything, so if you’re the squeamish type you should really loosen up and take a look at this book. Autobiography at its finest. Sure, there are better writers and sure, there are better artists, but this is just pure and real. Read it! Here’s some contact info if you want to order the book: Ariel Schrag 5231 Lerner Hall New York, NY 10027-8351. Here’s her e-mail address too…
A little bit of research can go a long way. I wasn’t sure exactly what this was all about, whether or not it was autobiographical, how old the author was when she did this, anything really important. Turns out that this is the first of four volumes about her high school experiences, with everything laid out in pretty graphic detail. This is her ninth grade year, dealing mostly with going to concerts and boys. Which might sound kind of cheesy or something that not everybody could relate to, but she just tells everything with such a vibrancy and intimacy that it’s hard not to like it. I couldn’t care less about Juliette Lewis (Ariel’s hero in ninth grade), but I wondered if maybe I hadn’t given her enough credit after reading about how great she was for so many pages. It’s obvious that this was written by someone in high school, and that’s its charm. It’s innocent, even with things going on that might not seem that innocent to jaded, adult eyes. Looks like it’s currently out of print, but keep checking the Slave Labor link up there and I’m sure they’ll fix that sooner of later. Until then, I’m thrilled to know that she went ahead and did all four years, even if the fourth isn’t done yet. If they’re all as good as this one (or better, considering that she did this when she was 15), this should be a hell of a story.