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Happyfaceby Stephen Emond
Happyface is like a mature Diary of a Wimpy Kid for angsty high-schoolers. (I know, awesome! I can't believe nobody has done this before... I mean, except Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. But I digress.) This is the kind of book that sneaks up on you: I was happily reading along, thinking I knew this character, when all of a sudden, I realized that the character was so desperate to reinvent himself that he had fooled even me. With the way it's told in text, texts, comic-book panels, scribbles in the margins, and emails, you'll feel like you're actually reading this kid's diary.
Synopses & Reviews
Just put on a happy face!
Enter Happyface's journal and get a peek into the life of a shy, artistic boy who decides to reinvent himself as a happy-go-lucky guy after he moves to a new town. See the world through his hilariously self-deprecating eyes as he learns to shed his comic-book-loving, computer-game playing ways. Join him as he makes new friends, tries to hide from his past, and ultimately learns to face the world with a genuine smile. With a fresh and funny combination of text and fully integrated art, Happyface is an original storytelling experience.
"Comic artist Emond (Emo Boy) pens an endearing and self-deprecatingly witty debut novel á la illustrated diary that manifests the insecurities, longings, and trials of a recognizable brand of teenage male. The narrator — an introverted, artistically talented sophomore — is trying an 'everything goes' personality at his new school (he gets the nickname Happyface). The facade works. He makes a group of eclectic friends, including a possible love interest, but Happyface has skeletons in his closet: his parents' collapsed relationship, how his former crush broke his heart, and the reason he switched schools — a gruesome secret readers don't learn about until Happyface is emotionally able to write about it. Throughout, Happyface shares his grievances and hopes, but also feelings too scary to write about (illustrations come easier). By the time his sketchbook's full, readers will have a palpable sense of how much he's grown and how painful — but worthwhile — the process was. The illustrations range from comics to more fleshed-out drawings. Just like Happyface's writing, they can be whimsical, thoughtful, boyishly sarcastic, off-the-cuff, or achingly beautiful. The best exhibit hints of all of the above. Ages 12 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Although this is a collection of comic book episodes, it reads like a good novel, allowing the reader to identify with Emo Boy....This wonderful graphic novel will capture the attention of any young adult who picks it up. Highly recommended." Library Journal, starred review
"Steve Emond will be with us for a long while and his writing, art, letters, and perspective are enhancing the comic landscape while taking new readers by the hand." Broken Frontier
Enter Happyface's journal and get a peek into the life of a shy, artistic boy who decides to reinvent himself as a happy-go-lucky guy after he moves to a new town.
Cute girls dig him. He has his own fan club
But he wasn't always this awesome. He used to be Mr. Comic Book, a resident of Lonelyland. So when he swtiched schools, he slapped on a grin and went from big nerd to big shot.
Meet Happyface. This is his journal.This unique combination of text and fully integrated art follows the journey of a dorky, quiet, artsy kid as he reinvents himself after moving to a new town, where he's nicknamed Happyface. Peek in his journal and see the world through his hilariously self-deprecating eyes as he learns to shed his comic-book-loving, computer-game playing ways. Join him as he makes new friends, tries to hide from his messy past, forgives the people who have hurt him most, and ultimately learns to face the world with a genuine smile.
About the Author
Stephen Emond is the creator of Emo Boy, which ran for twelve issues and two collections with Slave Labor Graphics. He also won a national contest for his comic strip series Steverino, which ran for several years in his local Connecticut newspaper. You can find him at www.stephenemond.com. This is his first novel.
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