Graphic Novel Review 153/365: How To Be Happy

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days! Or hit up #GN365 on Twitter.

No specific theme this week…just some cool books that you should know about!

Title: How To Be Happy  

Author(s): Eleanor Davis

Publisher: Fantagraphics (2014)

Age Rating: 18+

A New York Times Best Seller, Eleanor Davis’ How To Be Happy does not, in fact, openly explore how to be happy, but it sheds light on the human condition, allowing all of us to turn a mirror onto ourselves and explore our own fears and desires.

The book is a series of short stories, many without resolution.  These short stories done through many different art mediums, from pencil on paper to colorful maker on paper to simple watercolors, work to help the reader think about what is important through discussions of the inevitable.

As I sit here in a crowded cafe writing this review, I have become completely aware that many of the themes and situations contained in the pages of this book are transpiring right here in front of me, allowing me to see the humanity of this book that I could not see as I began reading it alone in my house last night.  There is a couple, eating lunch, that has not said a word to one another the entire meal.  There is a woman eating with her elderly father.  A child running around to the chagrin of its parents.

We often turn away from those moments or realizations that show us how fragile it all really is.  Read this book in public.  Be aware of what is happening around you.  Care about it.  This book is not for the classroom…college, possibly.  This one is for you.  Enjoy it.  And when you’re done, maybe you don’t even tell anyone about it.  Leave it on a table in a crowded cafe, and let someone else discover how to be happy through the exploration of our semi-miserable reality…and I mean that in the best possible way.

Happy reading!

Eric

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