Review: Escape From Special

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Escape From Special
Miss Lasko-Gross

Fantagraphic Books
Street: 03.14

We have all been there and done that concerning our high school days; we hated them and they hated us and to have another coming-of-age book of any kind rehashing that theme of “growing up” and toughing it seems like one too many. But what we have here with Escape From Special (and what I think is so great about it) is not your typical view of the growing up process. First, it ends right before Miss Lasko Gross gets to high school. Second, they are vignettes of a semi-autobiographical nature that show (not tell) the story of a precocious young girl who is different and isn’t trying to cash-in the chip on her shoulder. Instead, she shows, sometimes rather awkwardly, those true moments of growing up. All this is told in an abrupt fashion revealing her love of horror films, not believing in God and having hippie-dippie parents who make her go to a psychiatrist. Her style is confessional and diaristic without being “dashboard confessional” and her colors and tones are dark (as in humor). Fantagraphics can do no wrong. –Erik Lopez