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Too Cool to Be Forgotten
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Too Cool to Be Forgotten

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  1,173 ratings  ·  138 reviews

From the critically-acclaimed cartoonist behind Box Office Poison and Tricked comes the delightful 2 Cool 2 B 4Gotten, a story of second chances.

Andy Wicks is a forty-something father of two who's making one final attempt to quit smoking: hypnosis. He's skeptical it will work, but is stunned to find that when he emerges from his trance, he's fifteen years old - and it's 19

Hardcover, 125 pages
Published July 22nd 2008 by Top Shelf Productions (first published 2008)
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A pleasant way to spend a couple hours. The art is more refined, less hurried, than Box Office Poison. There are fewer typos (man, this guy needs to practice his spelling). The story is a bit silly, especially compared to his other realist comics. It's about some guy who goes to a hypnotist to help him stop smoking, which send him back in time to his sophomore year of high school. So, you know... if you're aware of what you're getting into and don't take it too seriously, it can be fun.
Kristen Northrup
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is very insightful because of the way it pulls you into the main character’s life, it is very sophisticated and it makes you think like the character in an unusual way.
The story of middle-aged Andy Wicks’ addiction to cigarettes all started when he took one cigarrette from a group of guys after a party in high school. Although his past did affect what is now happening to him, he is determined to make things right when he is giving the chance to go back in time and realize his mistake...more
This was a surprisingly strong graphic novel. When Andy goes to a hypnotherapist to try to quit smoking, he finds himself back in his 15 year old body, re-experiencing high school. He thinks he knows what he needs to do to get back out and cure his smoking habit, but that's only peripheral to his thoughts and actions reliving his high school days for a while. The teens feel like teens, full of awkwardness and profanity and bad behavior, and the resolution of the story is very poignant. The artwo...more
A true graphic novella, and probably Alex's best book yet. Well paced mix of high school angst and examination of coming to peace with the past
Olivia Arrow
At first I thought, "here we go again...a male perspective coming of age story." There's that, as I'm finding is standard for graphic novel subject matter, but it was saved by the fun comparison of time travel, 80s nostalgia and that there was a twist! A twist can really save a story from being just another dude's tale of preadolescent hormones. It was nice that the characters were pretty believable too. Not too shabby, nice art by a good story teller. (Spoiler alert:) What got me was the ending...more
Robinson's latest was excellent and satisfying. It was also moving and i felt choked up and pained while reading it.

It's a tender tale of strife in adolescence, wrapped in reflection and healing rendered through the metaphor of time travel.

I really enjoy how with his art, most of the time he uses a straightforward and consistent style, so as to not make you conscious of story-telling, but then at key moments employs abstraction and surrealism, to raise a crescendo for emotional crises.

a perhaps...more
Chad Bearden
When reading Alex Robinson, I've found that its hard not to feel something positive toward his characters. They're always remarkably human, and he's never afraid to show you their ugly sides. Andy Wicks, the protagonist of "Too Cool To Be Forgotten" is no different on this fundamental level.

But on the broader level, he's a bit disappointing, in that, he's a bit too steeped in a gee-whiz, golly-gosh attitude toward the plot he's dutifully trudging through. The first half of this work, which follo...more
Son of Sam Quixote

I'm a bit undecided with Alex Robinson. "Box Office Poison" was really too long and rubbish while "Tricked" had at least more of a story and was about 200 pages shorter. Anyway, I read that his latest "Too Cool To Be Forgotten" was the best graphic novel of the year (2008) and saw it in the library so picked it up. It's a small book, much more so than the gargantuan paperbacks with 400-600 pages in them. It's more like 100 pages in a small hardback book with a cigarette packet cover. It...more
Matti Karjalainen
Alex Robinsonin "Tricked" ja "Box Office Poison" ovat sanalla sanoen mestarilllisia sarjakuvaromaaneja, joten tartuin myös tekijän uusimpaan albumiin "Too Cool To Be Forgotte"" (Top Shelf, 2008) suurin odotuksin. Lisäksi juonikuvio herätti etukäteen runsaasti kiinnostusta ihan henkilökohtaisista syistä; niin tupakoinnin lopettamisen sietämätön vaikeus kuin hivenen traumaattiset muistot lukioajasta ovat aiheita, joiden kanssa on joutunut painiskelemaan.

Nelikymppinen Andy Wicks yrittää lopettaa po...more
Tom Waters
The Mulligan Life: Too Cool To Be Forgotten (Top Shelf Productions) by Alex Robinson

High school reunions have a way of bringing out a grand mal mid-life crisis that makes all of the other introspective bumps in the road seem laughable. With his own 20-year reunion looming in a year, Alex Robinson headed his teenage years off at the pass with a fictional blast to the past. Andy Wicks (the central character in Too Cool) finds himself trapped in his former 15 year old body after a visit to a hypno...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Like all of Robinson's work this book is heart felt and brutally honest. However is so mired in it's Quantum Leap conceit that it fails to be interesting at all. I've seen Back to the Future and Peggy Sue Got Married... Robinson is above this kind of storytelling (you can see this in the party scene and the final scene with Andy's father), why can't this just be happening? I would have found the purpose, or content of the story more effective. Instead I'm still thinking about old Andy trying to...more
I picked up this latest graphic novel by Robinson for 50% off during the last hours of the San Deigo Comic-Con this last Sunday. Considering that it was just released in time for the Con – as many a graphic novelist and artist do these days – that was a pretty purchase. (And in hardback, to boot.) Like Alan Moore and Frank Miller, Robinson’s infrequent output never ceases to amaze. Nor does his story-telling fail to astonish and remind you that he’s still in his prime after a decade in comics.

Mark Desrosiers
A 40-year-old heavy smoker signs up for some couch therapy, and thereby gets hypnotized back to his high school days. The Back to the Future premise seemed promising, and occasionally Robinson goes somewhere new with it. When our protagonist views his "high school" mom as looking the same age in 1985 as in 2010, for example. Or the fact that his 15-year-old self is now preternaturally horny, yet totally freaked out by the jailbait all around him. Through it all, the idea that geek-time-traveling...more
I bought this book today at the MoCCA Festival ( and read it on the train on the way home...and was BAWLING by the end. I'm a huge fan of Alex Robinson's other slice-of-life graphic novels (Box Office Poison, Tricked), so I knew this was gonna be a good read when I picked it up. But I wasn't prepared for how truly moving it would be. It has all the humor and humanity I've come to love in Robinson's work, and all the quirky pop culture-y smirks as well. An...more
A middle-aged guy named Andy tries to stop smoking by seeing a hypnotist, who sends his mind back to his high school days. So it's Big or 13 Going on 30 in reverse. Andy realizes that he's sent back to the very week he started smoking, so he resolves to alter that part of his past, as well as a few other peer pressure-induced behaviors.
It's a decent, not ridiculously original idea for a story, but Robinson relies a bit too much on adolescent cliches, thought balloons, and an unsurprising twist e...more
Susan Rose
As someone who lost a parent in their teens this book hit me way harder than I thought it would. I'd really recommend it to anyone who enjoys graphic novels and coming of age stories.

I'd really recommend the people who like this book to check out We can fix it by Jess Fink which deals with similar themes, (time travelling back to fix something in your past), in a way that is both funny and moving.
If you could go back to your past, what would you do differently? A simple question that is repeatedly asked in various time-travel stories. Too Cool To Be Forgotten takes this idea and uses it to express our notions of the "self." By looking into our past, we can ask: What moments in our lives truly shaped who we are and what moments were rather insignificant - they may not always be the ones we expect. Alex Robinson does a fantastic and gorgeous job of uncovering these life lessons through his...more
Read this in one sitting last night. Even though you can see the "surprise ending" forming practically from page 8, it nonetheless holds an emotional punch. But really what this book is good at getting across is the futility of trying to use the knowledge and wisdom accrued from adult life to reason with the denizens of the High School Age- both teenagers and adults alike. Logic and reason don't work with any of them, and it's scary to think even if you lived your life all over again with what y...more
What a chore. The ending was moving, but that didn't make up for all those linked thought balloons I had to wade through. Sometimes up to six of them went into making one big thought cloud swirling around the protagonist's head. Getting those clouds behind me wouldn't have felt so much like work, if there was something in the depicted highschool (re-)experience that hadn't been told many times before. The reader gets bombarded with many names of school persons, as if it's the beginning of a gian...more
I thought this was well-written and made sense, and was realistic (for certain values of realistic that take time travel into account) in that going back in time to high school and trying to make different choices didn't mean that those choices would work or be any better than the original choices. I did like that he didn't go back in time for the reason he thought he did, but I did kind of figure out what was going on from clues the writer dropped. Not sure if they were supposed to be easy to f...more
Garrett Zecker
There were a few moments in this text that were memorable, but for the most part, I feel it was a formulaic and sparse visitation on the youth that we all seem to have encountered at least once in our lifetime. Ultimately, the author used a seemingly innocent plot in order to drive the conflict in the text, but the hypnosis at the beginning of the book seems as though it was used as a driving force in order to make the narrative go more smoothly - but as I approached it, it seemed as tough this...more
The story itself is not particularly imaginative, with a man who tries to stop smoking with hypnosis and instead finds himself in his high school days. However it is laid out in a nice way, and I all in all I found this book very enjoyable.
Selina Lock
Andy gives hypnosis a try as a last ditch attempt to quit smoking fro his wife and daughters. It doesn't quite work as expected as he finds himself transported back into the body of his teenage self, in high school in 1985.

On the surface this looks like a comedy time travel type story, but as with Robinson's other work it does have more going on under the surface than that. Though the comedy of a man in his forties getting another chance at enjoying being a teenager is funny as well.

Love Robinso...more
Too Cool to be Forgotten is a slender little graphic novel by Alex Robinson about Andy Wicks and his inability to quite smoking. Andy, 37, has tried everything he can think of to quit smoking. After years of failure he tries hypnosis at the urging of his wife.

Andy’s not so keen on this method, but goes for it anyway. Once the hypnosis is underway Andy finds himself transported back in time to 1985, a few days before he smoked his first cigarette. Andy, ever the smartie-pants decides that it’s hi...more
Sep 30, 2008 Rick rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
Reminiscent of Ken Grimwood's World Fantasy Award-winning novel Replay , in Too Cool to be Forgotten writer/artist Robinson relates the story of middle-aged Andy Wicks, who cannot quit smoking. Since all previous treatments failed, Andy gives hypnosis a try. Suddenly, he finds himself transported to 1985, fifteen years old and back in high school. Of course, high school sucked and Andy really doesn't want to relive it. Though the story stumbles a few times, Robinson manages to keep this engaging...more
A man gets hypnotized to quit smoking and ends up back in high school. Too Cool is about all the little human moments that make us what we are later on. It is emotionally real and I like that very much. My kind of story.
Samantha Glasser
Too Cool to Be Forgotten (a clever title which ties the look of a pack of Kool cigarettes with a often uttered phrase from high school) is a story about a middle aged man who goes to a hypnotist to cure his addiction to cigarettes. In his trance, he revisits high school and the moment he first had a cigarette at a party. He hopes that by changing the events of that night, he will also never begin smoking, thus making quitting unnecessary.

While this graphic novel was by no means a chore to read...more
Arturo Nunez
This book message was DEEP for me. And came in a critical time of my life :)
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Alex Robinson was born in the Bronx on 8 August. He grew up in Yorktown Heights, New York where he graduated high school in 1987. His first job upon graduation was washing dishes in a gourmet deli and it was while working there he decided that maybe college was a pretty good idea afterall.

He spent one year at SUNY Brockport and then transferred to an art school in New York City, where he majored...more
More about Alex Robinson...
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