I think this book was going to receive a high rating from the start. I try to keep my expectations in a normal range, but Allie from Hyperbole and a Half has never failed to dazzle me. I've waited for this book like a kid waits for Christmas. I worried myself silly when Allie disappeared and the news of her book slipped away. I got the notion that Allie was in a very bad place. When this book finally hit the shelves, I was overjoyed and relieved.
This is going to sound very corny, but I feel a deep connection to the author and her comics. I am glad to know that someone came from a totally dysfunctional family and lived to tell the tale. I wish I had her gift with words, and her comics just amaze me. Her depression comic is nothing less than brilliant and painful, and the gratitude I felt for her writing an amazing and very realistic comic about the struggle against depression is out of this world.
Allie's book is a wonderful compilation of old material and new stories. I love her art work and the drawings of Simple dog drew me in right away when I stumbled over her website. I'm not sure if I can put this into the proper wording, but I love to see the talent under the "crappy-style." It might look like an elementary Microsoft paint job, but when you study the art, it is nothing less than impressive to notice the small and wonderful details. The stories and the writer's tone of voice combines brilliantly. The age of the web comic is far from dead, and Brosh's own personal touch is a welcome addition.
On a deeper level, I appreciate that this web comic comes from a female. I don't want to come across as a man-hating ice devil, however, it becomes slightly depressing to see that most graphic art and blogs are a male-dominated field. I stopped reading published comics, such as DC, when I got the notion that a female demographic was not welcome in the field. I love The Oatmeal and sometimes I get a kick out of Penny Arcade, but I sometimes miss that connection. I'm also not the most feminine thing on the face of the Earth, but I do have a large quantity of female traits. I found the happy medium when I discovered Allie's own website. She was a girl who dared to be funny and honest in a place where most females are treated like an unfortunate side effect.
If you are a fan of Hyperbole and a Half, then you need this book. The additional material is wonderful. The art is great, and the first story about time traveling will soon become a classic. If you never heard of the website, or if you are a sad person who does not read the blog, then this is a great starting place.