Get Over It by Corinne Mucha

Written and Illustrated by Corinne Mucha
Published by Secret Acres

Get Over It sounds like the stuff of great romantic comedy, and indeed, there is much romance and comedy to be found in this slim volume. Corinne Mucha is skillful at soul-searching, relationship-pondering, and self-mocking as she relates the roller-coaster of love and breaking-up with her longterm boyfriend. All of this is well, and good, but it’s her nervy, imaginative and just a little kooky illustrations that really make this worth a look.

You can tell right away from the cover what kind of book this is going to be -- our heroine Corinne weeping an ocean of multi-colored tears, her angry brain yelling into a brick of a cell phone, trying to get in touch with her terrified-looking heart. The cover, colored in red and blue, is illustrated in a flat-style but is also weirdly three-dimensional -- it’s like looking at a 3-D picture without those special glasses. From the get-go, you’re in for a fun and weird ride.

The book is primarily the story of the Mucha’s breakup with her boyfriend of 3 years, the catalyst of this unfortunate event being that she found out that he wasn’t interested in having kids with her sometime down the line. She wades through all the feelings of breaking up, splitting up the stuff, moving out, getting back together, wanting to get back together, trying to stay friends while starting new relationships -- the whole messy 9 yards. She circles back around to memories of their relationship, rehashes conversations and fights and feelings, goes through the stages of post-breakup grief and depression, and just generally tries to exorcise herself of the feeling of loss that the relationship has left her with - it feels a bit like a peek inside her journal, for better or worse. As a girl who’s loved and lost, and carried torches for longer than I care to admit, it worked for me.

But what should work for torch-bearers and non-sentimental folk alike is Mucha’s gleeful illustrations. She draws talking question marks with weirdo diamond eyes for Pete’s sake!

Test tubes talk to each other! Her cartoon alter-ego actually has hearts for eyes sometimes, a little sticky-outy piece of hair that gives her that wacky je ne sais quoi, a mouth full of rounded teeth when she gets worked up, and don’t even get me started on her signature triangle-nose. Her illustrations seem amateurish at first glance, but they’re actually very deliberate and stylized -- creating a fully emotional and relatable character. By depicting herself and her surroundings in this way, Mucha does a bit of gentle self-mocking while also communicating her sincerity effectively. It’s a tricky balance, but she does it.

There’s one more piece that makes Get Over It what it is -- and that’s the paneling/division of episodes. The story jumps around from incident to incident with brain-to-heart conversational interludes, a game show of “Innocent Questions”, intermissions, step-by-step guides to knowing you’re over it, and so forth -- it’s a bit jumpy and feels sort of patched together -- as though she did parts of this book as shorter pieces and brought them all together into one thing. It’s clippy and dynamic so you don’t get too mired in any one part -- at times she even does commercial breaks!, but it also feels like the book doesn’t quite come together as a whole because of it. And in the end -- does she really Get Over It? You’ll have to decide for yourself.

Mucha’s done lots of short work, including My Alaskan Summer and Freshmen, which are also both worth a look, and are very similar in style and tone. With Get Over It, it feels like she’s still experimenting with combining storytelling with her illustrational glee. I think she could do wonders with a story that was just a teensy bit more cohesively structured -- but the joy and hilarity she brings to the proceedings make Get Over It make it worth a look, or two, or three. Corinne, I’ll never get over you.