Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
Format: Original Graphic Novel
Originally Published: 2013
Length: 384 pages
I loved this web comic, and I’m so glad she decided to turn them into a book. I will be buying any future collections that she publishes.
If you’ve been around the Internet a while (and I know you have), you’ve most likely come across either her comics or the memes generated from them. This contains seven new stories, as well as some old favourites, and while the quality does jump up and down throughout, the highs in this comic are very high indeed. She has a great talent for taking those little insecurities and feelings that everyone experiences, the ones we think we’re unique in having, and describing them in a way that is so brilliant and so hilarious.
It’s different from most comics in that it’s more of an essay with illustrations than it is a traditional comic. She will write a story, usually about her childhood, and punctuate it with crudely drawn images. They look as though a kid drew them with MS Paint, and they are perfect in every way.
What’s also great about this, just to gush a little more, is that she tackles real issues. There are two comics that she wrote that became extremely popular, and she’s included them in this collection. They’re about her struggle with depression, and they are incredibly insightful descriptions of the disorder. She was able to succinctly explain something that is so difficult to explain, and she did it in a way that was entertaining and funny while still raising awareness.
Thankfully, her old comics are still available to read, so even if you don’t rush out and buy this now, it’s worth checking them out on her old blog. Some favourites are:
- Depression 1 and 2 – the depression posts that became popular.
- God of Cake – possibly my favourite.
- This is Why I’ll Never be an Adult – describes me perfectly.
- The Alot – bad grammar coping mechanism!
It was a blast to revisit old favourites and a pleasure to get several new comics as part of it. I hoping she’ll come out with another book, even though it’s been a couple of years now. She must be keeping the Alot for the sequel. It’s the only explanation for it not being in this collection.