Ten years ago, it seemed like everyone on the internet was in love with the art and storytelling of Allie Brosh. I certainly was. Like so many others, I was a faithful reader of her blog, Hyperbole and a Half, where she wrote of growing up as a weird kid obsessed with cake, taking care of two very weird dogs, and managing a sometimes debilitating depression. Her stories combined seemingly crude drawings (she always looks rather like a googly-eyed worm with wire hanger appendages) and ridiculous but relatable scenarios (who hasn’t tried to figure out just what their oddball pets are thinking?) to create magic.
She published a collection of stories from the blog in 2013 to great acclaim, even outside the internet. And then she more or less disappeared from her blog, not updating it until this year, when she announced a new collection, Solutions and Other Problems. However, the library hold list for that book is long, so I figured I might as well read her first book, since I didn’t actually read it at the time, knowing that most of it had already appeared on her website. It is just as good as I remembered.
I read the entire collection in an evening, in the midst of a stressful week, and I don’t know when I’ve laughed so hard. I remembered her God of Cake story well, and I couldn’t possibly forget Simple Dog and Helper Dog, but it was fun to revisit them. I didn’t remember the goose getting into the house; although she had written about it on her blog, the story in the book is more elaborate, and the version in the book was unbearably funny. Now I’m looking forward to the new book even more.