Last year, I read and reviewed Hyperbole and a Half in anticipation of Allie Brosh’s new book. And now I’ve read the new book, which is just as delightful. Hooray!
Like the previous book, Solutions and Other Problems is a series of autobiographical stories told through words and art. Sometimes the stories are in a comic book-type format, as in a series of panels. But others include blocks of narrative text with pictures dispersed throughout. And because Brosh has not been blogging, these pieces are entirely new. She published “Richard,” about a young Allie stalking her neighbor, with hilarious results, on her blog as a book promotion, but that’s it.
“Richard” is a typical example of Brosh’s goofier and more absurd story-telling style. These are the stories that could make me laugh until my stomach hurt, although there are usually hints of darkness or, at least, introspection around the edges of these stories. Other stories gaze directly into the darkness, with bits of humor around the edges, as when Brosh writes about the death of a family member.
And the final story, all about learning to be friends with yourself, is the perfect story for the days of COVID isolation, when so many of us have to limit our human contact. The final line of story keeps occurring to me, and it feels important in these times. So I’ll leave you with that thought:
“Nobody should have to feel like a pointless little weirdo alone. Especially if they are.”