Posted 20 hours ago

It's Lonely at the Centre of the Earth: This Book Is for Someone, Somewhere.

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It’s so wrapped in layers of self-criticism and sneering at itself that it’s hard to get a hold on, but I think capturing that very thing is what makes this so well done. I really loved the mixed use of styles, and the « restart » down to including the publishing credits in the restart. Smile in that silent stupid way when you’re reading on the couch and someone looks over like you’re being weird. So she decides to create animal-selves and other characters that she engages with, dialogues with, argues with. Thorogood elevates the dark material with her expressive use of the comics medium and the urgency of her voice.

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED) -- "I'm in a codependent relationship with my own work," Thorogood worries in her raw and relentlessly imaginative graphic memoir, which bristles with self-awareness of the ample pitfalls of its genre. Because it is self-conscious about that too, with Thorogood following up bold statements like ‘ Reading a book, hearing a song, observing a painting—that’s connection. I was touched by this a lot, remembering how I used to leave paintings with favorite poems written on them on trees around my town.You can always find the big, heavy quotations that attempt to maximize the beauty into a universal struggle for goodness and connectivity that improves us all, like Leo Tolstoy saying art ‘ is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity,’ but whew, if this is at a party it’ll kill the vibes pretty quickly. Thorogood is disparaging about her own early artistic forays, but by this point she's impressively adept, flipping between styles and media as moods shift, or sometimes combining them as a form of digression. there's something about thorogood's way of story telling that makes it different from other peoples, but so enjoyable.

The most helpful thing for me was reading Changing Our Minds, a lesbian feminist book critical of psychiatry and therapy. It follows the author during six months of her life as she struggles with suicidal depression, meaning that there isn’t really a storyline, as the point is to simply show what it is like in her head during that time. To say I am far more interested in Zoe Thorogood’s work when it’s her own pure and unfiltered artistic vision rather than when she’s illustrating someone else’s stories would be a somewhat entitled statement. It felt like looking into a mirror with each page I read and I got really caught up (so much so that I burned my dinner) and honestly I didn't expect to be so influenced by Zoe's story. Battling isolation and suicidal thoughts through the Covid-19 pandemic, she focuses on concrete goals: attending a comic book convention in London, meeting an online crush in the U.A burst of creative energy that gives us a remarkable piece of art with artists pieces of themselves embedded into it.

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