LIKEWISE: The High School Comic Chronicles of Ariel Schrag

by Jacquelyn Lewis

Ariel Schrag confesses all the dirty details of high school.

From the mighty pen of Ariel Schrag comes the fourth graphically documented (and some of it is pretty graphic—a plus in my book!) installment of her entire high school experience. While the previous three books, Awkward, Definition, and Potential, cover her freshman, sophomore, and junior years, respectively, Likewise reviews her senior year. The issues you can expect—applying to college, being a lesbian, divorced parents, sex, break-ups, fashion, awkward situations, masturbation, and many more—are all thoroughly discussed with satisfying accuracy. ‘All I ever think about are my pants,’ writes Schrag, as if she took the thoughts right out of my head. She also describes  the post-breakup emotions surrounding the end of her relationship with her girlfriend, such 
as ‘feeling sick’ whenever she thinks about her, and her honesty will make anyone who’s ever gone through something similar feel flashes of their old traumas. All the characters in Likewise are drawn ‘ugly'(uglier than they really are), a daring departure from the mainstream comic majority. At first glance, the comic seems messy, but one sees quickly that everything’s drawn with tremendous focus and care (the thin, clustered parallel lines, used to convey darkness, are amazing). As I devoured the pages, all I could think about was how difficult it would be to confess all the dirty details of high school the way Schrag does, and I can’t thank her enough for having the balls to 
do it.

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