From Publishers Weekly
Apparently, one of the side effects of dating Brown is that he draws a comics memoir about you afterwards. This work, originally published in a limited edition, is Brown's follow-up to his previous dating books Clumsy
, and documents the author's relationship with his third girlfriend (a co-worker at a video store) in detail, dredging up some emotionally loaded details. Like those other works, it's drawn in a deceptively low-key, dashed-off-looking way, with one or two little square panels on each page; and it again focuses on the banalities of predate small talk, mid-relationship kidding around and angsty postcoital chatter. Brown and Sophia hang out, have sex, break up, talk on the phone about their relationship, get back together, break up again, make out, argue, etc. There's no plot and no resolution, just a series of snapshots of the moments of intimacy that stick in a lover's memory. Brown draws beautifully—offhand-looking doodles have a magisterial sureness. There are a couple of fine set pieces, too, especially a section called "The Long Pause Before a First Kiss." Ultimately, though, Brown adds little to his previous observations on relationships. (June)
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The misbegotten relationships that Brown began recounting in his graphic-novel debut,Clumsy
(2003), and continued chronicling in Unlikely
(2003), just flow on. Like its predecessors, his relationship here seems doomed from the start. Needy, awkward Jeff is tragically drawn to troubled young women like Sophia, who comes with sexual hang-ups and is a cutter, to boot ("I just don't believe in my heart of hearts that sex with you isn't just another form of self laceration," she tells Jeff--in bed). Again, Brown tells the story in a series of brief scenes of the couple on the phone, having sex, chatting in bed, preparing meals, and hanging out. AEIOU
differs from its forebears in that the couple remains together at the end (an author's note indicates that the inevitable breakup has since occurred). Brown's shaky, awkward drawing style seems to spring directly from the shy, tentative character of the Jeff of the strips, with whose sensitivity one sympathizes while wanting, nevertheless, to hear one of his girlfriends tell her side of the story. Gordon FlaggCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved