Synopses & Reviews
Ariel Schrag continues her tumultuous passage through high school in the second book of her acclaimed series of frank, insightful, and painfully honest autobiographical graphic novels. Written during the summer following her junior year at Berkeley High School in California, Potential recounts Ariel's first real relationship and first-time love with a girl, her quest to lose her virginity to a boy, and her parents' divorce as well as the personal and social complications of writing about her life as she lives it. Along the way she hangs out with her favorite teacher, obsesses over clothes, gets drunk, smokes pot, and tries to connect the biology she reads about in textbooks with the biology she's living.
"A memoir made while Schrag was still in high school, Potential is an honest, rambling, obsessive narrative of high school angst, with a potential of its own peeking through. The story starts as Schrag comes to terms with the fact that she 'only likes girls,' and then moves into her first failed foray at a relationship, the loss of her virginity and the ups and downs of her first serious lesbian relationship. The plot is bumpy; some segments are awkwardly inserted and lack significant resolution, such as the section focusing on Schrag's attempt to lose her virginity to a guy friend. While an important episode of her adolescence, the segment seems isolated within the larger narrative of Schrag's relationship with her girlfriend, Sally, which is well developed and poignant. The art is very impressive for a comic made by an artist still in high school and matures over the course of the book. The emotional depth of the characters is depicted through vivid and fluid expressions, and Schrag uses different styles to illustrate varying states of consciousness. Schrag's later works are more mature and better formed, but this coming-of-age story amply displays the emotional uncertainty of adolescence." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Ariel Schrag is a well-respected graphic novelist. Her series of autobiographical comics are currently being made into a major motion picture. She works as a writer for the popular Showtime program The L Word. Ariel lives in New York City