Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Our pal Seth Hahne, of GoodOKBad fame, came up with this 31 Days of Comics challenge, one of those things where each day of the month you’re given a different category that you then make a choice of a comic to fill that category. I figured it would be a fun bit to do, so here we are! Click here to see each of the categories so far!
We continue with Day 17, which is A Comic That Reminds You of Someone.
Read on for my pick and then you can share yours!
I am going to go with Raina Telgemeier’s Smile.
Smile is based on Telgemeier’s dental problems that lasted from her pre-adolescent years all the way through graduation from high school.
Here is the incident that caused all of the problems…
Now you might not think a comic book about a girl’s dental problems would be all that interesting, however, Telgemeier uses the dental problems only as the framework of an auto-biographical look back at her life from middle school through high school. You literally see her grow from a kid until a young woman – it’s quite an endearing look at a “typical” person’s life – all the foibles and fears, but also all the fun and friendships.
A particularly interesting aspect of the story is how Telgemeir uses certain popular culture references to connect the story to a certain time. Like her first time seeing the film The Little Mermaid (and how that made an impact upon her desire to become an artist) or her sister playing Super Mario Brothers. These little bits of nostalgia add an interesting piece of lightness to the proceedings (the best is the girl who has a picture of Joey McIntyre on her retainer).
Anyhow, Telgemeier is the same age as my wife, and she and Telgemeier both lived around San Francisco during their teen years (Telgemier lived in San Francisco proper while my wife lived in the suburbs of San Francisco) so I always think about my wife when I read about Telgemeir’s life (amusingly enough, my wife and Telgemeier STILL live in the same area, only now it is on the other side of the United States – Astoria, New York).
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