Just wanted to talk about two great autobio books by creators that'll be at next week's San Diego convention. For anyone new to autobiographical comics, Stop Forgetting To Remember by Peter Kuper and We Are On Our Own by Miriam Katin, are great examples of a storytelling genre that I think when done well can speak to the reader with a power that other writing styles can't match. I believe this is because via autobiography the author is examining themselves and their experiences through a very personal process, thus causing the reader to reflect on themselves and the world outside their frame of reference in a different context.
Stop Forgetting To Remember is Peter Kuper's brand spanking new autobiographical graphic novel and it is EXCELLENT (anyone familiar with his previous comic work knows to expect nothing less). This has been one of the books I've been most eager to read from the time I first heard about this project. I'm happy to report that Stop Forgetting To Remember exceeded my expectations and is one of my favorite books I've read this year (neck and neck with Alice In Sunderland by Bryan Talbot). With Stop Forgetting To Remember, Kuper uses the graphic novel medium to its fullest potential, accompanied by production values that compliment the contents beautifully (especially the use of duotone, design of the book, and heavy paper stock). This book has it all: humor (I love the way he breaks the fourth wall and directly talks to the reader), drama, political commentary, and homages / name dropping of great comic book artists. This is a book that'll have the reader experiencing a range of emotions and you'll want to share Stop Forgettting To Remember with others.
We Are On Our Own by Miriam Katin came out last year from Drawn & Quarterly, and is her autobiography of how she and her mother had to flee Budapest to escape the Jewish persecution during World War II. We Are On Our Own is also an examination / questioning of God that Katin has had throughout her life. Sadly, some of the best examples of people (especially Jewish people) having to resort to taking desperate actions to survive desperate situations were abundant during WWII and Katin, in We Are On Our Own, vividly revisits some of her and her mother's experiences during that time. Katin's pencil art, which is not inked, but has color that is just used sparingly, serves to powerfully punctuate her story. We Are On Our Own is a story that will stay with the reader long after they've read this book.
If you're going to the San Diego convention next week, look up Kuper and Katin (she'll probably be at the Drawn & Quarterly booth and I'm sure she'll be on at least one panel), look through their books and you'll see two of the best examples of autobio comics (or visit their websites).
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