Likewise TP Ariel Shrag Touchstone 1st print High School Comic Chronicles


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Likewise: The High School Comic Chronicles of Ariel Schrag (High School Chronicles of Ariel Schrag) Paperback
by Ariel Schrag (Author)

Ariel Schrag concludes her turbulent ride through high school in the long-awaited final volume of her acclaimed series of compelling and strikingly honest autobiographical graphic novels.

Set in Berkeley, California, Likewise takes us into the holy grail of teenagers, every bit as terrifying as it is liberating: senior year. Struggling with a major longing for her ex-girlfriend who has gone away to college, her parents’ post-divorce relationship, anxiety over the future, and all the graphic details of her complicated life, Ariel sets out to document everything and everyone. And when she discovers James Joyce, a whole new world of creativity opens up to her.

Written with unabashed honesty, insight, and humor, Likewise is a brave account of one teenage girl’s search for truth.

Delving deep into the anxious heart of a teenage girl’s quest for self, Likewise is a graphic story of high school in all its awkward, painful glory. It chronicles cartoonist Ariel Schrag’s senior year at Berkeley High School in California in the mid-90s. Discovering James Joyce’s Ulysses opens up a whole new world – and artistic style – for Ariel, and she uses the new approach to document her major longing for her ex-girlfriend (who has headed off to college), her anxiety over the college-admissions process, her parents’ post-divorce relationship, the valuable life lessons she’s learning from her beloved art teacher, and-as always-the personal and social complications of writing about her life as it happens.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Touchstone

Following Potential, Awkward and Definition, Schrag presents the final chapter of her High School Comic Chronicles. Now entering her senior year, Schrag faces a whole new set of challenges. She has to get over a breakup with last year’s girlfriend, Sally, who has left for college (and maybe for boys). She has to apply to college herself. She has to write and draw her latest comic (the ultimately well-received Potential). And for good measure, she decides to read James Joyce’s Ulysses in her spare time. By turns funny, raw and self-indulgent, Schrag perfectly captures the growing pains of a precocious high school senior. Events come and go, punctuated by her obsession with Sally, her anxieties about college and her constant wondering about how she’ll recount everything in her comic. Schrag’s figures are simple but expressive, which allows her to dig into some of the more complicated emotions her cartoon counterpart experiences. This memoir will assure the talented kid who didn’t quite fit in at high school that she’s not alone.

Painful because teenage years have so much in them that’s well worth leaving behind, but Schrag brings it all boldly to the fore. She’s brutally honest and startlingly open about the roller-coaster friendships, the amount of time spent on solo sex (“the most important year of my life, and this is what I do with my time”), pressures of school and college applicationns, and just trying to look like – well, she doesn’t seem all that sure.

This series (including Awkward Awkward/Definition and Potential) is really about Schrag’s growth, whether she intended it that way or not. There’s the physical, of course, entering high school as little more than a child and leaving as an adult, more or less. Beyond that, there’s Schrag developing confidence and maturity of outlook. Most of all, there’s her growth as an artist.

“Likewise”, even more than the others, shows the central place that comic-writing holds in Schrag’s teen life. This could have come across as self-conscious art-about-art. Instead, Schrag seems to document as a genuine part of her life, just as much as zit-popping or strained parental relationships.

The series as a whole is great, and a spectacular achievement for someone of her age when this was done – it’s a remarkable memoir of girl’s life and the time in which she lived it.

Near mint, 1st print.