Despite having enjoyed comic books as a child, I have a surprisingly difficult time reading graphic novels as an adult. Well, not the reading part; I can read text just fine. It's seeing and understanding everything that is happening. Because, of course, with graphic novels you can't just read the text from left to right and turn the page, you have to actually look at the pictures and establish the timing of the text and intuit all kinds of things that are going on from the artwork as well as the text.
I don't know if I would call Fatal Distraction a graphic novel, but I did have a difficult time reading it. And, I don't mean difficult in a bad sense really. This was truly a fascinating book to experience. Except for the fact that the author invites the reader to "read in a random way or front to back", which I did front to back and back to front and willy nilly all over the place, the book struck me as something of a graphic diary with each page being, possibly, the thoughts of the author as she sat down to do her daily entry.
The pages are chock full of drawings, sketches, doodles, artwork of the author and others (whom she credits in her acknowledgments). Text is by way of quotes and poems in typewriting, script and printing; in bold, in italics, underlined and struck through, large and eensy-weensy, side-wise, up right and up-side down.
Some of what the author says, especially her word play, makes me laugh out loud. Such as the sketch of the rabbit, one paw raised and toes forming a "V", labelled "HAIR PEACE".
Some pages, in particular those clearly dealing with the aftermath of a bad-relationship, have me wanting to counsel her, "You're better off without that asshole" and at times ("Is suicide genetic?") I want to call her up and ask, are you okay. But the book was published in 2004 and contains five years worth of her work, so I have to assume Ahlers is okay. And, if not, somebody probably already called.
And some pages, well,... What does that mean?
Although organized, for the most part, according to theme,there is not, that I could tell, a beginning or an end to this book. I think I could spend a life time in there marveling at/admiring/scratching my head about its contents.
A different sort of book for me, but wildly fun and creative. I'm glad to have spent time with it.
Released 12 mos ago (9/27/2016 UTC) at Little Free Library #2873 in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
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