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Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Reader's Diary #1880- Elaine M. Will: Look Straight Ahead

I'm sure that the Canadian Mental Health Association does some wonderful things. However, I feel that their recommendation on the front of Elaine M. Will's graphic novel Look Straight Ahead works against the book.

Now that I've read it, I understand why they'd offer up the blurb. Will does a tremendous job exploring mental illness in this book. It's sensitive and informative. But none of this, nor the CMHA logo on the front, makes the book sound particularly compelling. It's sounds "important" and unfortunately such books tend to be dull and/or poorly done.

Make no mistake, Look Straight Ahead is first and foremost a wonderful story. Jeremy Knowles is a believable, complex character trying to overcome a mental health tragedy. I choked up a few times, I admit. Peripheral characters are also interesting. The art is engaging and creative and it reminded me somewhat of Charles Burns' work in Black Hole or perhaps David B's Epileptic.

So, feel free to forget the importance, just read it if you're looking for an engaging, well crafted story.

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