Written and Art by: Alex Robinson
Comics have long been a refuge for those of the geeky and unpopular mindset. However, true to life stories are becoming more and more frequent. It seems the reader wants a story they can relate to beyond superheroic allegory. Thankfully, Alex Robinson delivers with Too Cool to be Forgotten.
Too Cool to be Forgotten finds a 40 something man named Andy Wicks wanting to quite smoking. Since everything else has failed Andy, he gives hypnosis a try. Already scared of the idea, Andy wakes up in the year 1985, his high school years. Like most geeks (yep I’m certainly one), high school was a mixture of pain and ridicule mixed with sexual and social frustration. The same can be said of Andy’s formative years. Now imagine this period with the mindset of a 40 year old. This is Andy’s hell.
Alex Robinson does a great job of linking the thoughts of an adult with the ideas and feelings of a teenager. It’s as though Robinson lived this himself. As the audience, we feel and remember Andy’s awkward tension and sense of dread. Interestingly, Robinson fills the reader in on the reasons that Andy feels bad about his life in the past and present. I love how he doesn’t preach to the reader or tell repeatedly how we can never go back to the past. He shows it with vivid descriptions and no punches being pulled.
Robinson is a master storyteller that can mix all of the emotions of high school and middle age seamlessly. In fact, he juxtaposes the ideas throughout the entire book. Amazingly, we find out that smoking might not be the only problem that Andy is facing and trying to come to terms with. I cried reading this book because Alex Robinson even made me tap into some of my own shortcomings and feelings about my past. To me, that is the true sign of a great book, being able to spark emotion.
Since Robinson illustrates this book as well, the reader gets a seamless integration of idea and artwork. Andy looks the part of either the 40 year old or 16 year old version of himself; complete with pop culture references to keep the reader in the right mindset. The art is simple, but lends itself to the story. An overly drawn epic style would not suit this type of story.
The best part of the story is the mind exploration that is surrounded by all black to give it a flashback feel. Robinson really does know how to express himself in this story.
Overall ( Not an Average) 9.5/10
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The Story 10/10
The Artwork 9/10
Overall (Not an Average) 9.5/10