Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Alex Robinson from Too Cool to be Forgotten at the Midtown Comics Book Club

Midtown Comics Book Club was last week, and Thor & Zoe brought us a really good one: Too Cool To Be Forgotten by Alex Robinson.

In case you haven't read this awesome book from Top Shelf, here are the basics.  The story follows Andy Wicks on his quest to quit smoking. As a last ditch effort, his wife takes him to a hypnotist to help him stop. From there, Andy falls back in time to the '80's when he was in high school. He quickly realizes that here he can finally get to redo everything he regretted, including smoking.  Through his journey, he gets to the true root of his problem and it's not what he thinks.  

In this book, I love that he keeps remarking how he forgot how difficult it was to be a teen.  I think that every parent should read this just so they get the slap in the face about the horrors of high school.

This post contains face-melting spoilers.
Read at your face’s risk.
If symptoms continue for more than 4 hours, contact [insertgeekhere].

At the Q&A, Alex Robinson talked about how this book came to be. Surprisingly, this came about because his 20th High School reunion was happening. Even though he didn't attend, this book helped him deal with feelings that came up.

Thor asked about how the 1980's genre fit into the story.  Robinson said that he tried to avoid the classic characters that you see in every 80's movie that are too cool. He decided to go look at his own high school yearbook for inspiration and write more realistic teenagers.   The base style of the characters are based on his former classmates.  He even used some of his lunchroom conversations from school, just for realism.  One of the ways Robinson tried to convey realism is in the scene where Andy reaches out to one of the loners.  The loner kid ends up being mad at Andy for talking to him.  Robinson wanted to show that sometimes loners are anti-social for a reason.

Despite how Andy resembled Alex Robinson, there were differences.  Robinson had to make Andy more social, but he didn't go to parties as a kid.  He tended to stay home and draw a lot!  Robinson also never smoked; this was just used a device to send Andy back in time without too much tech.  Also, Robinson never lost his dad.  His father is still alive and well but because of this book, many fans go up to Robinson and tell him their own heart-wrenching tale.  However, Robinson didn't have the best relationship with his dad.  His parents did divorce and he had a rocky relationship for a while.

This is a fantastic book with so many great feelings wrapped up in it.  At first glance, I really had no idea the wild ride it would take me on.  I am not the only one that felt this way; Thor also remarked that in rereading this, he felt overwhelmed with all of the emotions that it brought on.  Robinson let it spill that it has been optioned for a live-action movie, so I can only hope that they do it true justice.

The June book is Northlanders Vol. 1 with writer Brian Wood.   I highly recommend that you read this.  When I picked this up, I couldn't put it down!   Make sure that you join us!

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