These stories originally appeared in "mini-comix"--photocopied pamphlets self-published with total disregard for their commercial viability. Bell takes full advantage of the opportunity self-publication affords for unfettered creativity, and it is exciting to watch her emerging talent tackle all sorts of subject matter, from the autobiographical (a staple of alternative comics) to the fantastic in stories about turning into a 50-foot woman or, in the title story, becoming an eccentric old crone to adaptations of short stories by Hermann Hesse and D. H. Lawrence to the book's centerpiece, a chronicle of a young woman's descent into madness a la Roman Polanski's film Repulsion
. Meanwhile, the tone veers from serious goofiness (turning into a giant doesn't keep Bell from showing up for her waitressing shift) to premature angst, as when she bemoans the loss--in her twenties!--of her youthful genius. Her naive drawing style may turn off comics readers used to a slicker, more conventional approach, but it perfectly suits her youthful candor. Gordon FlaggCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Gabrielle Bell was born in England and raised in California. In 1998 She began to collect her Book of miniseries (Book of Sleep, Book of Insomnia, Book of Black, etc), which resulted in When I m Old and Other Stories, published by Alternative Comics. In 2001 she moved to New York and released her autobiographical series Lucky, published by Drawn and Quarterly. Her work has been selected for the 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Best American Comics and the Yale Anthology of Graphic Fiction, and she has contributed to McSweeneys, Bookforum, The Believer, and Vice Magazine. The title story of Bell s book, Cecil and Jordan in New York has been adapted for the film anthology Tokyo! by Michel Gondry. Her latest book, The Voyeurs, is available from Uncivilized Books. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.