Saturday, March 31, 2018

Reader's Diary #1778- Gabrielle Bell: Everything is Flammable

I'm always a little torn about autobiographical comics. On the one hand, I think everyone's life could be a story. On the other, I often find such comics self-indulgent. It took me a while to decide how I felt about Gabrielle Bell's Everything is Flammable.

It began with small anecdotes about Gabrielle's life, most of which seem to have no real conflict or resolution, barely connected to the other quasi-anecdotes, and it felt somewhat dull and unnecessary. Like reading someone's doodle journal.

However, when the book became more about her mother who lives, I want to say on the outside-of-society, I felt the book had more of an anchor or at least a focus. I was then much more interested and found the writing at turns poignant, provocative, or funny. She especially had a knack for exploring complex human relationships.

The art is fine, a bit sketchy and therefore fitting for a book with a diary-type feel, and coloured in flat pastels like Tintin comics.

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