Category Archives: Graphic Novel

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by Matthew Inman (the Oatmeal)

run long

I have read The Oatmeal for years, and generally like it and sometimes adore it (the comic on loading the dishwasher, for instance, explains my relationship with my dishwasher pretty well, though I will load the thing if my husband is in France and no other options are available). But with this particular comic about running (and eating, and bees…part of what I love about this book is the tangents), I get the impression that Matthew Inman can actually see inside my mind and has written a book that says everything I have ever secretly thought and believed about running. And eating. And my own propensity to exercise only as a means to eat more fried foods. If you have ever found yourself adopting an exercise regimen only because you lack the willpower to follow a healthy diet, this book is for you.

It’s good to read it online, of course, but way better to buy the book because not only does Inman probably get paid more for his brilliance if you buy it, it comes with Blerch and 0.0 stickers. This sticker might actually break my resolve not to put bumper stickers on my car. Also, the book has the bonus tangent section about the Japanese bees that kill wasps, which makes it educational.

If you like Allie Brosch’s Hyperbole and a Half, or Randall Munroe’s XKCD, or…fill in your favorite irreverent, quirky comic here…, you might like this book. If you like running in particular, you will like it even more. Incidentally, I was unreasonably pleased that Inman mentions Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running in this book – until this book came out, Murakami’s book had been my favorite running book ever. I guess now I’ll have to have two favorites? Well, there’s also Born to Run : a Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall, which is up there, too. Maybe I should stop reading about running and go for a run or something.



Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosch


Go out right now and buy this book. Whether you are a neurotic mess like me or not, there will be at least one segment that will speak to you. When it does, it will make you laugh until you cry. Trust me. And come on, how could anyone fail to enjoy a book with the subtitle “Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened”?

Allie Brosch is a blogger who writes mostly about her odd childhood experiences, her dogs, and her various brushes with anxiety and depression. She illustrates her blog with pictures she draws using Paintbrush. If you have ever used Paintbrush, you probably know immediately that these illustrations are … well, primitive would  be the polite word. How she manages to get such expression onto the faces of what are basically fattened-up stick people and dogs I will never know.

I have been reading her blog forever, but when I heard that her book would contain FRESH NON-BLOGGED ABOUT MATERIAL, I signed right up. Yes, I bought 4 copies, because I knew some friends needed this one for Christmas (sorry if I haven’t seen you yet and just spoiled the surprise…). Partly I admit I bought the book because her blog is so funny I felt guilty reading it for free and thought I’d cough up now that some of it exists in print. Also – what if the Internet stops working? I will need this shit archived! And then I realized I hadn’t reserved one of my four copies for myself, and got one from my library until I have more book money.

To my family: you know how you’ve probably wondered all these years what is wrong with me? Read this, it will explain (nearly) everything.

Angry Little Girls in Love by Lela Lee


Go read this book right now. No, seriously. I know I shouldn’t think it’s funny and I should keep working on my meditation and anger management but every now and then IT’S JUST SO SATISFYING TO REALIZE THAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE ANGRY, TOO. 😉 Are you an Angry Little Girl at heart? Do you love one? This book will make others stare at you as you snort, guffaw, and cringe with recognition. Best of all, it’s cartoons so it’ll only waste a few minutes of your day.