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‘Jennifer’s Journal: The Life of a SubUrban Girl, Volume 1’ – Graphic Novel Review

There are a lot of storytellers who like to cloak and hide their lessons in fantastical tales of might and magic, or in the actions of anthropomorphized animals who allow them to reduce complex characters to acceptable stereotypes, because they’re not human.  Jennifer Crute is NOT one of those storytellers.

Presented in a very clean, open, and honest form, she tells us her history, what her world was growing up and trying to find her place in it.  I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure of reading a more eye-opening account of another person’s journey so clearly in print before, only on the stage or in a film.  There’s very little ego in this work, not a lot of commentary on how things happened (except in the character’s reactions in those episodes, of course), just laying them out in an almost contemplative tone for us to experience with her, allowing us to come to our own conclusions on where the line of right and wrong sit.

The art helps the complexity and honesty of the characters in this book, a cartoony style in black and white, reminiscent of early Merry Melodies shorts. It engages an immediate sense of nostalgia that allows the reader to travel back in time with Jennifer and her many facets.  She has an ability topresent ideas and themes that should feel antiquated, but when we come up from the page and realize that this woman grew up in the recent past, it brings us up short to say the least.

There are a lot of things that people should read or experience in this life to connect themselves to the human condition, to further the human culture in which we all participate: watching a sunset; loving someone fully; laughing with friends.  This book should be added to this list.  It’s a singular work that is to the benefit of anyone who reads it.

Happy reading.


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