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OT Review: Ariel Schrag

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  • Jen
    Just finished Ariel Schrag s DEFINITION, and the sequel POTENTIAL. These are auto-biographical comics of Ariel s experiences in school as an omigod I lust
    Message 1 of 9 , May 2, 2007
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      Just finished Ariel Schrag's DEFINITION, and the sequel POTENTIAL.

      These are auto-biographical comics of Ariel's experiences in school as
      an "omigod I lust after girls YAY ME!" lesbian. On the plus side; she
      wrote, drew and published at such a young age. Attended comic cons to
      sell her wares, too. I am quite impressed.

      On the negative... well there's a few, but it's probably just me.
      Firstly, book #1 was mostly recurring tales of problematic family
      life, disturbing teen experiences and "let's get drunk and see what
      really horrible things can happen to me and my girlfriends" type
      stories. These were her "Gee I must be bi" years, so she's still
      actively seeking a boyfriend.

      This mostly continues into POTENTIAL, where despite the "Yes I am in
      fact gay and it's time to DO something about it" proclamation in the
      opening chapter, her strategy remains drinking heavily/doing drugs and
      then hoping something real good happens (guess the odds). It's hard
      to emphasize with someone who keeps doing that to herself (even though
      all her friends think this plan is a winner... and hey, "that's what
      you do in school, right?").

      That brings me to my problem with most "comix", that being they're not
      fiction. Fictional yuri stories *can* be created with in-depth
      characters and a story structure with a satisfying ending. With real
      life you get recurring awkward experiences with real people possessing
      frustrating/unexplainable behaviours that just leave you unsatisfied.
      Add to the fact that the story is told quite blatantly and raw, and
      there's a sharp sense of voyeurism I got from this. I didn't get that
      with Alison Bechdel's FUN HOME, but then that's in NO way a fair
      comparison. Arial is chronicling her romantic/sexual encounters (not
      what you'd call happy nor enjoyable), coupled with her family life
      (ditto) in real-time with no real retrospective narrative. It's not a
      comfortable read in any way.

      My opinions on comix in general notwithstanding, I still wanna meet
      her and have her sign the books. That'd be awesome.

      A quick visit to her website tells us that these and other works are
      currently being adapted into a movie, and that when not storywriting
      for THE L WORD, she's working on more self-publishing and is one year
      younger than me.

      ...excuse me while I wallow in a quick Marimite/chocolate combo before
      sleeping it off and enjoying another day of admin at a job I hate. -__-

      Kisses XXOOXX
      Jen
    • Ellen Kuhfeld
      Ahh, autobiography! I was doing comics myself, when younger; but stopped after my sister looked at them, and named all the people I thought I d fictionalized.
      Message 2 of 9 , May 2, 2007
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        Ahh, autobiography!
         
        I was doing comics myself, when younger; but stopped after my sister looked at them, and named all the people I thought I'd fictionalized. Pity, really, but I'd learned early-on that holding on to my secrets was much safer than openness. It's different now as I'm older, and away from most external control.
         
        Ellen Rose
         
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Yuricon@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Jen
        Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2007 8:33 AM
        To: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Yuricon] OT Review: Ariel Schrag

        Just finished Ariel Schrag's DEFINITION, and the sequel POTENTIAL.

        These are auto-biographical comics of Ariel's experiences in school as
        an "omigod I lust after girls YAY ME!" lesbian. On the plus side; she
        wrote, drew and published at such a young age. Attended comic cons to
        sell her wares, too. I am quite impressed.

        On the negative... well there's a few, but it's probably just me.
        Firstly, book #1 was mostly recurring tales of problematic family
        life, disturbing teen experiences and "let's get drunk and see what
        really horrible things can happen to me and my girlfriends" type
        stories. These were her "Gee I must be bi" years, so she's still
        actively seeking a boyfriend.

        This mostly continues into POTENTIAL, where despite the "Yes I am in
        fact gay and it's time to DO something about it" proclamation in the
        opening chapter, her strategy remains drinking heavily/doing drugs and
        then hoping something real good happens (guess the odds). It's hard
        to emphasize with someone who keeps doing that to herself (even though
        all her friends think this plan is a winner... and hey, "that's what
        you do in school, right?").

        That brings me to my problem with most "comix", that being they're not
        fiction. Fictional yuri stories *can* be created with in-depth
        characters and a story structure with a satisfying ending. With real
        life you get recurring awkward experiences with real people possessing
        frustrating/ unexplainable behaviours that just leave you unsatisfied.
        Add to the fact that the story is told quite blatantly and raw, and
        there's a sharp sense of voyeurism I got from this. I didn't get that
        with Alison Bechdel's FUN HOME, but then that's in NO way a fair
        comparison. Arial is chronicling her romantic/sexual encounters (not
        what you'd call happy nor enjoyable), coupled with her family life
        (ditto) in real-time with no real retrospective narrative. It's not a
        comfortable read in any way.

        My opinions on comix in general notwithstanding, I still wanna meet
        her and have her sign the books. That'd be awesome.

        A quick visit to her website tells us that these and other works are
        currently being adapted into a movie, and that when not storywriting
        for THE L WORD, she's working on more self-publishing and is one year
        younger than me.

        ...excuse me while I wallow in a quick Marimite/chocolate combo before
        sleeping it off and enjoying another day of admin at a job I hate. -__-

        Kisses XXOOXX
        Jen

      • Erica Friedman
        From: Jen ... This is a very interesting comment, because, as you know, yesterday on Okazu I reviewed Honey & Honey which the
        Message 3 of 9 , May 2, 2007
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          From: "Jen" <puni@...>
          >Reply-To: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com
          >To: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com
          >Subject: [Yuricon] OT Review: Ariel Schrag
          >Date: Wed, 02 May 2007 13:32:37 -0000
          >
          >Just finished Ariel Schrag's DEFINITION, and the sequel POTENTIAL.
          >
          >That brings me to my problem with most "comix", that being they're not
          >fiction. Fictional yuri stories *can* be created with in-depth
          >characters and a story structure with a satisfying ending. With real
          >life you get recurring awkward experiences with real people possessing
          >frustrating/unexplainable behaviours that just leave you unsatisfied.

          This is a very interesting comment, because, as you know, yesterday on Okazu
          I reviewed "Honey & Honey" which the author refers to as a "comic essay."

          It's also biographical in nature, and a little preachy, but overall cute.

          But I think that what you're talking about, "comix" and Takeuchi's "Comic
          essay" are pretty much the same thing (I'd also put Alison Bechdel's "Fun
          Home" in the same general category) - a non-fiction graphical essay/story.

          Perhaps it's time to adopt the term "comic essay" to differentiate stories
          like these, that are meant to be read and understood to be non-fiction
          essays. And I have to agree -I find that most "comix" do fall into this
          category. They aren't "stories" so much as they are "diaries."

          In any case...can I use your post for a review on Okazu? I think people
          might be interested! You've read stuff there often enough. I'd love for this
          to be a guest review. :-)


          Cheers,

          Erica

          Yuricon - "For real women who like their women...animated."
          http://www.yuricon.org
          Hiungry for Yuri? Have some Okazu: http://okazu.blogspot.com

          "World Shaking" Fanfic - http://www.worldshaking.net
          The Fanfic Revolution - fanficrevolution.blogspot.com

          _________________________________________________________________
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          $771/month*
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        • Erica Friedman
          ... It s a terrible temptation to work out issues with people by proxy. An understandable urge, but rarely successful, as you pointed out. There s a side plot
          Message 4 of 9 , May 2, 2007
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            >From: "Ellen Kuhfeld" <ellen@...>
            >Reply-To: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com
            >To: <Yuricon@yahoogroups.com>
            >Subject: RE: [Yuricon] OT Review: Ariel Schrag
            >Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 08:59:08 -0500
            >
            >Ahh, autobiography!
            >
            >I was doing comics myself, when younger; but stopped after my sister looked
            >at them, and named all the people I thought I'd fictionalized. Pity,
            >really,
            >but I'd learned early-on that holding on to my secrets was much safer than
            >openness. It's different now as I'm older, and away from most external
            >control.

            It's a terrible temptation to work out issues with people by proxy. An
            understandable urge, but rarely successful, as you pointed out.

            There's a side plot in the TV show NCIS right now, where McGee's popular
            "fiction" novel is irking the crap out of everyone who was very thinly
            fictionalized. I think that's about right. :-)

            A *large* majority of people begin writing with self-inserts. I was reading
            an article in Smithsonian about some author who gleefully mentioned that her
            first novel was (as I saw it) nothing more than a thinly fictionalized
            self-insert that included people who would immediately recognize themselves.
            There's a certain amount of "writing what you know" involved, a fair modicum
            of self-interest and self-absorption and a large amount of role-playing.
            Most of the teens I know who write and draw start with thinly fictionalized
            stuff. It's who and what they know.

            I've put exactly five real people into the sum and total of my fiction and
            fanfiction over the years. Only one of those people was presented complete
            as is, with not a single thing changed. And I told her about it. :-) She
            worked beautifully for the story, because no one would believe she was real
            anyway, unless you met her. lol Two of the real people were mentioned by
            reference, not actually in the story. And only once have I ever written
            anything remotely autobiographical. But I didn't start writing until my late
            30's - long past any need to work out any issues. And to be honest, I'm not
            sure that I, or my family, would make good copy. We're all really averagely
            dysunctional. :-)

            Cheers,

            Erica

            Hungry for Yuri? have some Okazu: http://okazu.blogspot.com

            _________________________________________________________________
            Need a break? Find your escape route with Live Search Maps.
            http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?ss=Restaurants~Hotels~Amusement%20Park&cp=33.832922~-117.915659&style=r&lvl=13&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=1118863&encType=1&FORM=MGAC01
          • Ellen Kuhfeld
            Now as I m older, I don t use that many real people. I did one roman a clef where I raked somebody over the coals, and it was -- satisfying, to say the least.
            Message 5 of 9 , May 2, 2007
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              Now as I'm older, I don't use that many real people. I did one roman a clef where I raked somebody over the coals, and it was -- satisfying, to say the least. And once, a friend was exactly the person for a character, so I used hir. (And told hir.) I do self-inserts now and then, as very minor characters - it's fun, and keeps me from the temptation of being a major character.
               
              On the other hand, some writers use real people all the time. Monica Ferris is a good example. (http://monica-ferris.com). One of her murderers asked for the role. "I'm tired of [my kind] being the victim," she said.
               
              Ellen Rose
               
              -----Original Message-----
              From: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Yuricon@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Erica Friedman
              Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2007 9:30 AM
              To: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [Yuricon] OT Review: Ariel Schrag

              >From: "Ellen Kuhfeld" <ellen@washuu. net>
              >Reply-To: Yuricon@yahoogroups .com
              >To: <Yuricon@yahoogroups .com>
              >Subject: RE: [Yuricon] OT Review: Ariel Schrag
              >Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 08:59:08 -0500
              >
              >Ahh, autobiography!
              >
              >I was doing comics myself, when younger; but stopped after my sister looked
              >at them, and named all the people I thought I'd fictionalized. Pity,
              >really,
              >but I'd learned early-on that holding on to my secrets was much safer than
              >openness. It's different now as I'm older, and away from most external
              >control.

              It's a terrible temptation to work out issues with people by proxy. An
              understandable urge, but rarely successful, as you pointed out.

              There's a side plot in the TV show NCIS right now, where McGee's popular
              "fiction" novel is irking the crap out of everyone who was very thinly
              fictionalized. I think that's about right. :-)

              A *large* majority of people begin writing with self-inserts. I was reading
              an article in Smithsonian about some author who gleefully mentioned that her
              first novel was (as I saw it) nothing more than a thinly fictionalized
              self-insert that included people who would immediately recognize themselves.
              There's a certain amount of "writing what you know" involved, a fair modicum
              of self-interest and self-absorption and a large amount of role-playing.
              Most of the teens I know who write and draw start with thinly fictionalized
              stuff. It's who and what they know.

              I've put exactly five real people into the sum and total of my fiction and
              fanfiction over the years. Only one of those people was presented complete
              as is, with not a single thing changed. And I told her about it. :-) She
              worked beautifully for the story, because no one would believe she was real
              anyway, unless you met her. lol Two of the real people were mentioned by
              reference, not actually in the story. And only once have I ever written
              anything remotely autobiographical. But I didn't start writing until my late
              30's - long past any need to work out any issues. And to be honest, I'm not
              sure that I, or my family, would make good copy. We're all really averagely
              dysunctional. :-)

              Cheers,

              Erica

              Hungry for Yuri? have some Okazu: http://okazu. blogspot. com

              ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
              Need a break? Find your escape route with Live Search Maps.
              http://maps. live.com/ default.aspx? ss=Restaurants~ Hotels~Amusement %20Park&cp= 33.832922~ -117.915659& style=r&lvl= 13&tilt=- 90&dir=0& alt=-1000& scene=1118863& encType=1& FORM=MGAC01

            • Jen
              ... No problemo, although now I kinda regret not going back through both books and listing all the things I liked. Oh well, rants are always better left
              Message 6 of 9 , May 3, 2007
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                --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, "Erica Friedman" <alecto_fury@...> wrote:
                >
                > "...can I use your post for a review on Okazu?"

                No problemo, although now I kinda regret not going back through both
                books and listing all the things I liked. Oh well, rants are always
                better left untouched. ^__^

                If you'd like any more of my ramblings, just let me know. ( ex.
                http://tinyurl.com/22gcl7 ).

                Kisses XXOOXX
                Jen
              • Jen
                ... And to instantly contradict that (done smoothly and with style), feel free to replace emphasize with Empathize. Don t know how I missed that. Kisses
                Message 7 of 9 , May 3, 2007
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                  --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, "Jen" <puni@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > "Oh well, rants are always better left untouched."


                  And to instantly contradict that (done smoothly and with style), feel
                  free to replace "emphasize" with "Empathize."

                  Don't know how I missed that.


                  Kisses XXOOXX
                  Jen
                • atheniag
                  ... You know - feel free to rewrite it. It s a *review*, not a class assignment. lol When you ve added in the stuff you liked, give it a ratings like I do on
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 3, 2007
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                    --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, "Jen" <puni@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, "Erica Friedman" <alecto_fury@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > "...can I use your post for a review on Okazu?"
                    >
                    > No problemo, although now I kinda regret not going back through both
                    > books and listing all the things I liked. Oh well, rants are always
                    > better left untouched. ^__^


                    You know - feel free to rewrite it. It's a *review*, not a class
                    assignment. lol

                    When you've added in the stuff you liked, give it a ratings like I do
                    on Okazu and send it to me at anilesbocon01@... Also - if you
                    can scan in a pic of the cover...

                    I won't get to it for a bit anyway - the pile of stuff on my table to
                    be reviewed is disturbingly large and needs to be pared down
                    considerably. I'm having trouble seeing past it.

                    >
                    > If you'd like any more of my ramblings, just let me know. ( ex.
                    > http://tinyurl.com/22gcl7 ).

                    Will do!

                    I especially liked this one, because it ties in so nicely with my Fun
                    Home/12 Days and Honey & Honey reviews.

                    Cheers,

                    Erica
                  • Jen
                    ... large and needs to be pared down considerably. I m having trouble seeing past it. Wooo, flashback to the original ROD OVA series, specifically Yomiko s
                    Message 9 of 9 , May 4, 2007
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                      --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, "atheniag" <anilesbocon01@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > "...the pile of stuff on my table to be reviewed is disturbingly
                      large and needs to be pared down considerably. I'm having trouble
                      seeing past it."

                      Wooo, flashback to the original ROD OVA series, specifically Yomiko's
                      apartment. Ah, those were the days...

                      GAH! Cursed nostalgia. Now I have to watch the *WHOLE* OVA & TV
                      series again.

                      Digressment. Love it. Fear it.

                      Kisses XXOOXX
                      Jen
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