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A Child's Life and Other Stories Paperback – July 25, 2000


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A Child's Life and Other Stories + The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Frog Books; Revised edition (July 25, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583940286
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583940280
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gloeckner is a legendary figure in underground comics. Her short, powerfully candid and visually explicit autobiographical graphic narratives vividly re-create the sexual victimization of her childhood and adolescence. Her first full-length book combines new work in color and in black-and-white, including the title story, along with older, shorter narrative comics dating back to 1976. (An appendix reprints her disturbing medical illustrations for J.G. Ballard's avant-SF classic The Atrocity Exhibition.) Abandoned by her father and sexually victimized by her alcoholic mother's lovers, the teenage heroine of "Minnie's 3rd Love" endures a "week-long nightmare of sex and drug-taking" among the hustlers and addicts of 1974 San Francisco. In the ruefully humorous "Quaker School Q-Ties," girls team up to embarrass, and disgust, boys in their grade school. Gloeckner's drawings combine a labored precision with a wild, often satirical expressiveness; her protagonists can resemble sad, angry toy dolls. Undergound comics master R. Crumb's introduction combines glowing praise and a typically embarrassing confession: "I, too, lusted after the young, budding artist-cartoonist."
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"I thought that Phoebe Gloeckner's story, 'Minnie's Third Love,' was one of the best comic stories I ever read in my life ... a masterpiece. She is one of the best, which is interesting, seeing as: A.) She's a cute girl, B.) She's not a very prolific artist ... two factors which, one would assume, would be a hindrance to great art. But it's always a mystery, what makes great art ... there, I said it ... she's a great artist."
—R. Crumb, cartoonist

"Phoebe Gloeckner's illustrations for The Atrocity Exhibition were superb—wonderful line and shading of which Durer would have approved—several were absolute tours de force."
—J.G. Ballard, author of Crash and The Atrocity Exhibition

"Many cartoonists today mine their personal lives for subject matter. Phoebe Gloeckner achieves what few of them can; she makes the autobiographical universal. Her finely crafted drawings and emotionally powerful story-telling ability combine in this terrific collection to tell us painful, sympathetic, and hilariously human truths. Read this book. Find out why comics are art."
—Bill Griffith, creator of Zippy the Pinhead

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
The themes are much the same and the comic art is very well done.
Booked4Life
For anyone out there still dealing with demons of their own less than perfect childhoods, this book takes on the feel of a close friend in the same situation.
hypnosuf
These questions are all explored in this big book of Phoebe Gloeckner's "comic" art and writing, which I consider the book of the year.
Draculina

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Draculina on August 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
How well do you we really know even our nearest and dearest? How do we project adult sexuality on children, and what are the consequences of this drive? How does an artist take the ugly and sordid materials of her early life and make of them something altogether beautiful, inspiring? These questions are all explored in this big book of Phoebe Gloeckner's "comic" art and writing, which I consider the book of the year. A legend in the world of underground cartooning, and in the avant-garde circles of San Francisco Bay Area high art and poetry, Gloeckner takes on a variety of charged social and sexual issues and, in one dazzling tour de force after another, treats them thoroughly, artistically, with the depth perception of a brilliant novelist, challenging our conceptions of experience, hope, debasement and youth like a modern-day Henry James. At the end, the author seems to have triumphed over her rough beginnings and to have found love and self-respect. W! arning: I wouldn't give this book to kids, but what do I know? Its rough language and troubling sexuality may be just the mirror to their own lives that they need and want and can profit from. As Gloeckner shows us so vividly, we are all on a long journey, and the pain, fear and loneliness of childhood can only be transmuted into acceptance and wisdom through the crucible of expression.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Laura N Stoland on January 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
A Child's Life is hard to read but even harder to turn your eyes away from. Her child-like drawings combined with adult events and content perfectly express the difficult adolescent limbo between girl and woman.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Booked4Life on April 7, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of Phoebe Gloeckner's comics is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it's worth a reading. If you haven't read her novel, Diary of a Teenage Girl, I think you will find this book a better introduction to her work. The themes are much the same and the comic art is very well done.
The subject matter is pretty bleak.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What was most disturbing about this book was how much responsibility the author seems to take for all the horrible advantage that was taken of her in her childhood and early teens by disgusting lecherous old creeps. The drawings are often graphic and I"m not all that fond of that peculiar "alternative comics" (comix??) drawing style, but the stories are powerful, and ring so true, that anyone that's had a life similar to Phoebe Gloeckner's really ought to check this book out.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By hypnosuf on January 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
I can't say enough about this author/artist. I've just finished reading the book and am almost speechless. For anyone out there still dealing with demons of their own less than perfect childhoods, this book takes on the feel of a close friend in the same situation. The author, in a semi-autobiographical fashion, recounts a childhood of sexual abuse, drug abuse, and general coming-of-age well before it ever should. Full of amazing illustrations (Gloeckner is a lauded medical illustrator as well as excellent cartoonist), this book is sure to please anyone looking for something different, and in my case, cathartic. I don't think I could begin to recommend this book highly enough. I'm just glad that I live in a day and age where this book is not only allowed to be published, but can earn accolades as well (the least of which is from me). Thank you, Phoebe!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
I was very saddened to know that life of this young child can be considered to be normal...until the child grows up. I felt in every line drawn an emotion was spilling off of the page...the words were so carefully chosen...the detail in each frame is fascinating. This author is more than a comic she is a master of the arts.
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