A hilarious graphic novel with takes from history, literature, and art. I laughed so hard at times I scared my dog. I learned a little something, too....moreA hilarious graphic novel with takes from history, literature, and art. I laughed so hard at times I scared my dog. I learned a little something, too. My favorites are the comics about the Edward Gorey book covers and the Nancy Drew book covers. "There I came upon an enchanted wood and the magical sluts of the forest." Context can be lost in this review which is why it's a good idea to read this book. Love. Love. LOVE. Finally, a historian who has turned history into a graphic novel and is actually funny and witty. (less)
I'm rating this book as a parent who loves reading children's books. The story and the illustrations are charming in the way children's books rarely a...moreI'm rating this book as a parent who loves reading children's books. The story and the illustrations are charming in the way children's books rarely are anymore. The story is imaginative but not too complex. My 7 yr old daughter and I read this together and we equally enjoyed it.(less)
As I was reading The Atlantic, I read the article about the Twee movement and Marc Spitz' book. The names Edward Gorey, Wes Anderson, and The Smith's...moreAs I was reading The Atlantic, I read the article about the Twee movement and Marc Spitz' book. The names Edward Gorey, Wes Anderson, and The Smith's caught my attention in the article. These names are definitive in my small existence. I knew I had to read more and I ordered the book. The book itself is twee in size. I enjoyed Spitz' way of stringing one twee element to another. It reminded me of a mixed barrel of monkeys that with care, and slight precision, are hooked and connected together to make a line. Bands, books and people that I adored growing up and have learned about as an adult were like mixed monkeys and Spitz strung them together year by year and that ended with a DING! I love me some Tarantino but in my heart of hearts it appears that I am and have always been, Twee.
The best part about this book was that Spitz not only introduced me to movies and music but also explained in reader friendly detail why these elements of pop culture would fall under the Twee category. For example, I had heard of Zooey Deshanel, but not really knowing how she fits into a beloved Twee icon. I understand now and am grateful for Spitz explaining this.
The best part I love about Twee culture is how bullying is not tolerated, small business and creativity is relished, and beauty can be found in horror. It's very difficult for some people to understand the beauty in Donny Darko or Edward Gorey's work. But there are those of us who get it. You may not like certain bands, books or icon figures of Twee. The book mentions the cartoon strip Peanuts. I have never liked Charlie Brown and the gang but it is not a pre-requisite to enjoy everything else.
Most importantly, though, is that Twee embraces the innocent elements of childhood and says it's ok to still love these as an adult. It's called whimsy. "In this way, White, Sendak, and Seuss become new romantic poets who all chose to look backward and celebrate childhood, nature, and individualism over herd think and scheming vulgarity and religious hypocrisy while remaining fully aware of how bloody and cruel things get out there." Yes! Some one else gets it, too!
The book references Roald Dahl, Weetzie Bat, Pee-wee, James Dean, Vonenegut, Joy Division, Holden Caulfield, and Harold and the Purple Crayon. "You've got Harold, and he's just young enough to look at the world around him and say, 'Fuck this.' And he's got this crayon that enables him to draw and create whatever he imagines and it becomes real." Yes!
I had a lot of favorite lines in this book but my all time favorite was: "You don't outgrow the Smiths any more than you outgrow your favorite organs. They are unrenounceable, and as long as they never reunite." How perfectly true!