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Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoirby Ellen Forney
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014 list * Texas Library Association (TLA) Maverick Graphic Novels List 2015 * YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2015 nomination * Amelia Bloomer Project 2015 nomination * YALSA Quick Picks 2015 nomination * Cybils Awards 2014 nomination * Teen Choice Book of the Year Awards nomination * Broken Frontier Awards nomination
*Starred Review* “Prince explores what it means to be a tomboy in a magnificently evocative graphic memoir. ...Simple, line-based art provides a perfect complement to her keen narration, giving this an indie, intimate feel and leaving readers feeling like they really know her. Liz’s story, captured with wry humor and a deft, visceral eye, is a must-read for fans who fell for Raina Telgemeier’s work in middle school. Spectacular; a book to make anyone think seriously about society’s preordained gender roles.” - Kirkus Reviews
*Young Adult Lit-Pick* "The heroine of this charming, gently subversive graphic memoir loves Little League and hates dresses, so what does she grow up to be? Gloriously herself." - People Magazine
“Prince’s tongue-in-cheek black-and-white line drawings, in a charming style reminiscent of Jeffrey Brown’s autobiographical comics, pack a punch in this empowering memoir that should have ample appeal for any kid who feels like an outsider.” - Booklist
"A great read for those who were tomboys and those who simply love great graphic novel memoirs." - The Hub, Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)
"Any girl who grew up with big love for sports, skate shoes, and/or giant, shape-obscuring T-shirts will know how contentious it is when you don’t fit the flawlessly feminine formula of the “average teen girl.” This is why Liz Prince’s latest graphic novel, Tomboy, is a fantastic primer on gender politics. Through a series of hilarious and heartbreaking episodes from her youth, Prince examines just why being comfortable in her own skin—and sweatpants—made everyone around her so freaking uncomfortable. It makes being a tomboy a political statement." - Rookie
"Liz Prince has been a cult and beloved figure in the world of comics for awhile, and in her autobiographical book Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir, she discusses the subject of growing up, in her inimitable, honest and simple style ... makes for a fascinating look at what “identity” means in the process of growing up." - Flavorwire
"At its core, Tomboy is a book about the often painful consequences of finding and expressing one’s individuality despite the pressure to conform. What makes this memoir stand out is Liz’s brave and humorous outlook—her refusal to capitulate in even the most distressing of situations." - The Book Trib
"Prince’s art takes this book from good to knock-out. Where a memoir about gender expression and identity is always welcome, the way Prince uses illustrations to really showcase those feelings and experiences visually takes this to an entirely new and memorable level. Buy this one. Read it, then reread it, then pass it along to teens and adults who are interested in discussing or who have experienced the challenges of our society’s deep-seeded beliefs in gender." - Book Riot
"One of the reasons Tomboy works so well is that it is done in comic form. It is one thing to read a story and to follow dialogue, but it is another thing to actually get to see the small triumphs and daily challenges and indignities depicted visually, and that is something that Prince drawings skillfully capture." - About.com
"The triumph of her story, and of Liz herself, is that she was always strong enough to be who she was even when it might have been easier to just play a part. It’s an enjoyable and even comforting read as you find yourself rooting for Liz to find the acceptance you know a smart, funny, confident person like her will eventually find. ….A lot of younger readers could benefit from reading the book’s lessons about self acceptance and what it means to be a girl." - Mental Floss
"In her new graphic memoir (think comic book meets autobiography), Tomboy, Prince details her early years in words and pictures--and the result is both bleakly funny and achingly relatable. ...Prince’s simple pen-and-ink drawings perfectly exemplify her plucky nature and slyly complement her feminist message: When we propagate the notion that there’s only one version of “womanhood,” we limit the creative potential of girls everywhere." - PureWow
"Relatable, hilarious, and insightful, Tomboy is a must-read for anyone who feels like a square peg in a round hole." - Bookish
"An intriguing portrait of growing up as a gender-nonconforming girl in a world fixated on the gender binary. ...Prince’s story is a testament to the joys of finding one’s place in a world so adamant about finding that place for you. And it’s a story that, filled with self-deprecating humor and a flowing narrative, is easy to finish in one sitting. But perhaps Tomboy’s success lies most in its ability to get you to contemplate your own experiences growing up—swimming with your shirt on, searching for that special valentine, navigating social anxiety—and the ways in which we have all transgressed, and perpetuated, our society’s rigid definitions of what it means to be a girl or a boy." - Willamette Week
"Part hilarious, part heartbreaking and part hopeful, this graphic memoir covers the challenges of growing up and being different. ...Just like Liz, this novel is sure to stand out against the crowd. Tomboy is a story readers aren't likely to forget." - Teenreads.com
"Everyone is in agreement that Liz totally killed it with this book." - Atomic Books
"Liz Prince tells gender norms to eat dirt. A delightful, thoughtful, and compulsively readable memoir. And an important one." - Ariel Schrag, author of Adam and Potential
"Liz Prince may have been an uncertain, confused kid, but she’s a confident and sincerely expressive cartoonist. Tomboy is a funny and relatable look at what every child has to deal with at some point—figuring out who you really are inside, when everyone else only sees what they think you should be on the outside." - Jeffrey Brown, author of Clumsy, Jedi Academy and Darth Vader and Son
"It's hard to imagine anyone failing to be charmed by this entertaining, clever, and genuinely funny memoir of growing up with gender identity confusion. Even this pretty unconfused regular old dude found plenty to identify with in Liz Prince’s story of adolescent bafflement, exploration, and discovery—all delivered, like all the best such stories, with a light touch, wry wit, understated irony, and not one iota of preachiness. Meaning: I’m a fan. Go Liz!" - Frank Portman, author of King Dork
"Tomboy is a thoughtful, honest look into the evolution and acceptance of personal gender identity, as told by a smart-mouhed punk named Liz Prince. I wish it had existed when I was in high school." - Nicole Georges, author of Calling Dr. Laura
"Liz Prince portrays the awkwardness and humiliation of childhood with wonderful (not to mention painful) accuracy. Any kid that picks up this book is going to be privy to secrets most of us don’t learn until it’s too late, and any adult who reads it will be reminded of an essential truth: that’s it’s okay to be exactly who we want to be, no matter how weird everyone else thinks we are. Tomboy isn’t a self help book, but it should be." - Julia Wertz, author of Drinking at the Movies and The Infinite Wait
"It's not very often you read a goofy coming-of-age comic written with an astutely critical lens... and then there's Liz Prince's Tomboy. By tackling everything from Green Day to girl-hate, Prince does a kick-ass job at dissecting gender politics (and playground politics) through riotous anecdotes from her childhood, making this feminist inquiry, well, fun." - Suzy X., illustrator at Rookie Mag
"Navigating life as a young tomboy would have been a lot easier if I'd had Liz's brave, hilarious, and honest story to guide me. Reading this book will make weird kids like us feel a little less alone." - Melissa Mendes, author of Freddy Stories
In Marbles, Ellen Forney explores the relationship between mental illness and creativity. A working cartoonist in Seattle, she is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and must decide whether to accept treatment (and risk sacrificing her art) or continue self-medicating and hope for the best. Marbles is a satisfying read, both as a personal memoir and as a glimpse into the relationship between bipolar disorder and the artistic temperament.
Synopses & Reviews
Cartoonist Ellen Forney explores the relationship between "crazy" and "creative" in this graphic memoir of her bipolar disorder, woven with stories of famous bipolar artists and writers.
Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly manic and terrified that medications would cause her to lose creativity, she began a years-long struggle to find mental stability while retaining her passions and creativity.
Searching to make sense of the popular concept of the crazy artist, she finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O'Keeffe, William Styron, and Sylvia Plath. She also researches the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder, including the strengths and limitations of various treatments and medications, and what studies tell us about the conundrum of attempting to "cure" an otherwise brilliant mind.
Darkly funny and intensely personal, Forney's memoir provides a visceral glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on an artist's work, as she shares her own story through bold black-and-white images and evocative prose.
"Eisner nominee Forney confesses her struggles with being diagnosed as bipolar in this witty and insightful memoir. Beginning with the manic episode that led to her diagnosis, Forney chronicles her journey toward reconciling the dual natures of bipolar disorder: a dangerous disease, but also a source of inspiration for many artists. The long journey of medication and therapy is kept from gloom by Forney's lively, likable cartooning. Alternating among her cartoonish panels, realistic illustrations, and photographs of the sketch pad she kept as part of her therapy, Forney allows her art to chronicle her outer life while revealing her inner state of mind. Her personal journey provides a core story that examines her mood disorders and their connection to creativity for the many 'crazy artists' she imagines as part of 'Club van Gogh.' Readers struggling with their own mania or depression will find Forney good company, and others searching for insight into the minds of troubled artists will find Forney an engaging storyteller." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Ellen Forney's memoir of her bipolar diagnosis and long pharmacopic trek toward balance is painfully honest and joyously exuberant. Her drawings evoke the neuron-crackling high of mania and the schematic bleakness of depression with deft immediacy. Forney is at the height of her powers as she explores the tenuous line between mood disorders and creativity itself." Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
"Dense with intellectual and emotional power, Forney's book is a treasure — as a memoir, as an artwork, and as a beautifully conceived and executed commentary on both mental experience and the creative life. With wit, humor, a wicked sense of the absurd, and eloquent insight into the beauty that shines through the mercurial life of the mind, this graphic memoir explores its subject with a particular precision and power. Forney should be read." Marya Hornbacher, author of Madness: A Bipolar Life
"Ellen's work has always been hilarious and sharp, but Marbles has an emotional resonance that shows new depth as an artist and a writer. This is an extremely personal, brave, and rewarding book." Dan Savage, editor of It Gets Better and author of The Kid
"I have always admired Ellen Forney's humor and honesty, but Marbles is a major leap forward. It's a hilarious memoir about mental illness, yes, but it's also an incisive study of what it means to be human and how we ache to become better humans. Amazing stuff." Sherman Alexie, bestselling author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
"Not only does her conversational intimacy draw readers in, but her drawings perfectly capture the exhilarating frenzy of mania and the dark void of depression....Forney's story should resonate with those grappling with similar issues, while her artistry should appeal to a wide readership." Kirkus Reviews, Starred Reviews
Growing up, Liz Prince wasn't a girly girl, dressing in pink tutus or playing Pretty Pretty princess like the other girls in her neighborhood. But she wasn't exactly one of the guys either, as she quickly learned when her Little League baseball coach exiled her to the outfield instead of letting her take the pitcher's mound. Liz was somewhere in the middle, and Tomboy is the story of her struggle to find the place where she belonged. Tomboy is a graphic novel about refusing gender boundaries, yet unwittingly embracing gender stereotypes at the same time, and realizing later in life that you can be just as much of a girl in jeans and a T-shirt as you can in a pink tutu. A memoir told anecdotally, Tomboy follows author and zine artist Liz Prince through her early childhood into adulthood and explores her ever-evolving struggles and wishes regarding what it means to "be a girl." From staunchly refuting anything she perceived as being "girly" to the point of misogyny, to discovering through the punk community that your identity is whatever you make of it, regardless of your gender, Tomboy is as much humorous and honest as it is at points uncomfortable and heartbreaking.
In Ghetto Klown, celebrated performer John Leguizamo lays bare his early years in blue-collar Queens, his salvation through acting and writing, and his colorful career trajectory. He brings us onto the sets of his films opposite stars such as Al Pacino and Patrick Swayze and with directors such as Baz Luhrmann and Brian De Palma, while also opening up about his offstage life in love and marriage. In this candid graphic novel memoir, Leguizamo offers a strong message of moving beyond self-doubtandmdash;and beyond the doubtersandmdash;to claim some happiness.
Originally staged on Broadway in 2011, Ghetto Klown won Leguizamo Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards before being adapted into an HBO special. Now, teaming up with artists Christa Cassano and Shamus Beyale, Leguizamo shares his life story in this vibrant, funny, and moving adaptation.
*Aand#160;New York Timesand#160;Notable Book*
and#147;Funny, painful, outrageous . . . Anya Ulinich is the David Sedaris of Russian-American cartoonists.and#8221;
Anya Ulinich turns her sharp eye toward the strange, often unmooring world of and#147;grown-upand#8221; dating in this darkly comic graphic novel. After her fifteen-year marriage ends, Lena Finkle gets an eye-opening education in love, sex, and loss when she embarks on a string of online dates, all while raising her two teenage daughters. The Vampire of Bensonhurst, the Orphan, Disaster Man, and the Diamond Psychiatrist are just a few of the unforgettable characters she meets along the way. Evoking Louis C. K.and#8217;s humor and Amy Winehouseand#8217;s longing and anguish, and paying homage to Malamud and Chekhov, Lena Finkleand#8217;s Magic Barrel is a funny and moving story, beautifully told.
About the Author
Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder shortly before her thirtieth birthday. A lifelong cartoonist, she collaborated with Sherman Alexie on National Book Award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and created Eisner Award-nominated comic books I Love Led Zeppelin and Monkey Food: The Complete "I Was Seven in '75" Collection. She teaches comics courses at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington.
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