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Monkey Food: The Complete "I Was Seven in '75" Collection
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Monkey Food: The Complete "I Was Seven in '75" Collection

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  181 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Collection from Seattle cartoonist Ellen Forney.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 17th 1999 by Fantagraphics (first published December 30th 1992)
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Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
OK, so non-mainstream, non-superhero comics were in a pretty dark place in the 90s because I think a lot of artists were overcompensating for stereotypes about cartoons. The 90s were frequently a pretty dour, humorless time for graphic novels. This was such a breath of fresh air when it was released, and I still love it. It's a very sweet and loving tribute to Ellen Forney's family, but it's also really funny and never too syrupy and sentimental. Totally underrated!
Mar 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody.
Ellen Forney is my girlfriend, kinda. Well, my myspace friend.
Andy Andreas
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious and real vignettes about childhood, filled with nostalgia of youth and trends of the time. The stories are about Forney's life, but are often relatable through those universal childhood experiences, where we might've been too curious for our own good, or tried really hard to impress our peers. It manages to both depict the perspective of a kid while incorporating the hindsight of an adult. Overall a really fun read, and I've re-read it quite a few times as Forney's illustrations and wr ...more
Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Though I was only six years old in 1975, my growing-up experience shared alot of touchstones with Ellen Forney's as seen in these 'I Was Seven in '75' comic strips, originally published in various newspapers and magazines. My own experiences were a bit darker than hers, but that's actually refreshing from a publishing period (the 1990s) when autobiographic comics tended to dwell on the darkness. These short-but-mostly-continuing tales are full of light and life, with an infectious delight for be ...more
Sarah Sammis
Jun 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Monkey Food by Ellen Forney is the omnibus of her 1990s comic, "I Was Seven in '75." As a child of the 1970s I was drawn in both by the title and the cover art.

Ellen's strips are autobiographical snippets of her very liberal childhood. Most of what she covers is a mixture of what her parents did (smoke pot), what they did as a family (go to a nudist camp), and what she did alone (read Judy Blume). There are also fashion tips and other oddities about life in the 1970s.

Although Forney was a child
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I read this because I liked her other, more recent book, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me (and the illustrations in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian). Plus, I was nine in '75.
If you carried a comb in your back pocket, know how to feather your hair back, are acquainted with Pinky Tuscadero, read "Forever" in secret with your girlfriends, you will love this. If you're too young to remember these things and are interested in the 70s (nudist colony family vacations!),
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
I was ten in 75! Although my family was (sadly) more conservative, I was able to follow the childhood angst and social trends. Wanted to give five stars, but had to mark down because of the "unevenness" of the stories/panels. Some of them might have benefitted w/ some simplification. A person's eyes and brain can only filter so much. Otherwise, totally loved. Great artwork, humor, honesty.
Jun 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who miss the 70s
I love Ellen Forney and I love this book. Her upbringing was considerably less conservative than mine was (I grew up Catholic and she grew up Unitarian, her parents smoked pot, mine derisively referred to it as "dope"), but I recognize many of the little 70s details she throws in here. This book is a great blast from my past.
I wasn't around for much of the '70s, but I remember there being a lot of weird, dopey crafts, and everybody's mom was excited to try making them. This very fun book of autobiographical cartoons captures this type of atmosphere very well. It's nice to read about a childhood that was relatively pleasant, for a change.
Rocco Versaci
Sep 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Forney's "I Was Seven in '75" has run for several years in many independent newspapers, and the entire run is collected in "Monkey Food." These hilarious stories focus on many touchstones of the Seventies, and anyone with any memories of that time will enjoy this.
Jul 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Solid gold.
Rob Salkowitz
Jan 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Charming, funny, offbeat and drawn in a pleasing, easy-to-read style. Counterintuitively affirms the 70s as a great time to grow up, and serves as a gentle criticism of current styles of parenting.
Mar 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who grew up in the 70s
Quick read, comic-book style. A few laughs. On the whole quite amusing recount of growing up 70's style.
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really loved this story of Ellen Forney's childhood, told in vignettes. Never thought what it would be like to be raised by hippies in the seventies.
Oct 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
Why am I interested in this? It is mildly entertaining- like a friend telling you stories from their childhood. I don't know. It was okay.
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Jun 04, 2011
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Feb 24, 2014
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Oct 01, 2007
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Mar 20, 2008
Germana Shanel
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Feb 24, 2013
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Jun 10, 2013
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Ellen Forney grew up in Philadelphia and has lived in Seattle since 1989. She has been a professional cartoonist/ illustrator since 1992, and also sometimes paints, and dabbles in other artsy pursuits. She teaches Comics at Seattles Cornish College of the Arts. She drives a silver 1968 Mercury Cougar.