Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we take a look at Alex Robinson’s Too Cool to be Forgotten…
(click to enlarge)
What I can perhaps best say about Robinson’s original graphic novel, Too Cool to be Forgotten, is that it achieves exactly what it set out to do, which is to have a fairly sensitive forty-year old man go back in time to when he was 15 (to make the dates work, Robinson sets the book in 2010) and shows us how a forty-year-old man who is perfectly happy with his current life deal with life as a teenager.
Since this is Alex Robinson we’re talking about, it is extremely character-based writing with loads and loads of spot-on social interactions. Robinson clearly puts tons of thought into how people interact with each other, and it shines through in his work.
What is also notable about his work is that he manages to create so many distinct, interesting personalities.
The art is standard Robinson stuff – you can always tell if a character is a Robinson creation, because he loves to draw people as they actually are – very little romanticizing of people’s appearances occur in Robinson’s artwork. Still, he manages to make it so that we see very ordinary looking people appear how he wants them to appear – we can see them how the other characters see them. It’s like you are intruding upon someone’s brain – it’s really nifty.
The book ends with a staggering work of emotional catharsis – really powerful stuff. In fact, I would hazard that it is the MOST powerful writing Robinson has ever done, mostly because his other work, while awesome, tends to be a bit more on the restrained side – the slow burn, as it were. Not so here, where Robinson goes all out and wrenches as much of your heart as he can. Very powerful work.
On the whole, though, if I were to come up with any sort of downside to the book is that perhaps it is a bit TOO much of an intellectual look at what would happen if a person ended up in the past. The protagonist, Andy Wicks, seems to be a bit TOO detached at times.
But that’s a minor complaint, and for the most part, I do love how Wicks is analytical and introspective about the situation, I guess I just liked the emotion at the end so much that I would have liked to have seen more of it in other parts of the book. I get that Andy is trying NOT to explode, but I don’t think it has to be so neat as “he is either REALLY emotional or not emotional at all.”
Again, though, not a big deal.
This is a really well-written book, with fine artwork.
It also has one really stunning moment, where Andy is being hypnotized (to help quit smoking) and we see Andy attempt to clear his mind, and in the process, begin to time travel.
Robinson’s method of achieving this effect is by having Andy’s thoughts basically create himself…
Isn’t that so stunning?