October 3, 2015

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Halloween Horror/Graphic Nonfiction: Allie Brosh on Halloween

Pictures of ghosts and goblins and horrors so menacing only comics could contain them will haunt you all month long with our annual Halloween Horror feature. Join us as we try to scare you with posts relating to our favorite comics designed to put a chill up your spine or scratch that itch you get whenever someone mentions Boris Karloff! We'll be at this all month with a variety of posts. You can find them all--along with entries from past years--at this link. But don't blame us if you can't sleep after reading them....

Graphic Nonfiction returns from the grave in the first of a series of posts relating to Halloween with one of my spouse Erica's favorite creators, Allie Brosh, who worked on Hyperbole and a Half for a long time, including the publication of a successful book. She's mostly retired these days, so it's possible she might even be new to you. Brosh's work is known for its comedic, but honest, takes on her life, drawn via Paintbrush, a clone of Microsoft Paint. It gives the illustrations a distinctive look, as Brosh uses the program in a way that it wasn't quite meant for, but makes the most of its limitations.

This entry is titled "Menace" and involves the feeling of power Brosh had when she donned a dinosaur costume at a young age and felt as though she had become a dinosaur--and therefore, didn't need to act like she should. The rebellions mount, and while the illustrations of this are funny, Brosh's commentary between illustrations is deadly serious, as she discusses the real problems this situation caused. The feeling of change based on dress isn't something that's exclusive to children, either, and even if you don't think this happens to you as an adult (Spoiler: I bet it does!), there's a lot I think anyone can relate to, if they had a vivid imagination growing up.

Here's the costume in question:



You can read the full story, which I encourage you to do, at Brosh's site. There's plenty of other articles to read, and of course, Brosh's book is still available, too, if you'd like to read a print edition.