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Too Cool to be Forgotten Review

The new Alex Robinson book is out!

Is it good?

(click to enlarge)

Yeah, it was a good book, although one of the down sides of Robinson’s “only graphic novels” release schedules is that I hype up each release so much in my mind that it can’t possibly live up to the hype.

Still, Too Cool to be Forgotten achieves 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 hwo 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.


BTW, there’s a GREAT text piece at the end regarding a seeming typo (amusingly enough, the “typo” did stand out a bit for me). Very interesting/funny.


I just read Box Office Poison and Tricked within the last few weeks, and was very impressed. So I’d probably check this out even if it didn’t have such a great hook (and it IS a great hook).


July 23, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Well, I’ve read this and Box Office Poison, but can’t find Tricked at my local stores!

Maybe a good thing though, if it takes me a while to find it, it’ll be less of a wait between Robinson books!

How long was the wait from Tricked to this one?

[…] Matthew Brady and Brian Cronin on Alex Robinson’s Too Cool to Be Forgotten. (Above: sequence from the book, ©2008 Alex […]

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