Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Great American Review Week - "Too Cool To Be Forgotten" by Alex Robinson (Top Shelf)

Too Cool To Be Forgotten is the latest original graphic novel from one of my all-time favorite creators, Alex Robinson (Box Office Poison, Tricked). The story is about a guy named Andrew Wicks who allows himself to go under hypnosis in order to quit his addictive nicotine habit. While in his hyopnotic state, Wicks "travels" back to 1985 and his junior year in high school so he can stop himself from taking his first drag on a cigarette butt. But as the former Rosanne Arnold can tell you, there are some things that hypnosis uncovers that you may not want to remember. Thank goodness this book does not go down that same abusive road.

Robinson does a great job of mixing the all-too-familiar feelings of social awkwardness and poignant pain that comes with being a teenager. Characters are more than just stereotypes and the dialogue steers clear of using the dated pop-culture references or teenage-speak cliches. the pace of the book was quick and even at a shade under 130 pages, it was a relatively quick read.

The art is Robinson's forte. For those who only read the superhero books, Robinson's style may be considered odd. All of the characters look different (in a good way) and there are some layouts that could only be in the comic book medium. The splash pages are non-existant and the flow of the art from panel to panel and page to page makes reading the book almost effortless. A big plus is the cover of this hardcover, which is a sweet design marriage of the very familiar cigarrette soft pack of Kools and the overly trite yearbook signing phrase 2 Cool 2 B Forgotten.

If you're new to comics, a veteran of multiple Earth crisises or somewhere inbetween, you should read this book. Too Cool To Be Forgotten is an ideal piece of comic fiction with its compelling story and easy-to-follow layout Capes and tights stories can take a hike when compared to this book.

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