I Am Not Okay With This
Sydney seems like a normal 15-year-old freshman. She hangs out underneath the bleachers, listens to music in her friend’s car, and gets into arguments with her annoying little brother — but she also has a few secrets she’s only shared in her diary. Like how she’s in love with her best friend Dina, the bizarreness of her father's death, and those painful telekinetic powers that keep popping up at the most inopportune times. In this collection of the self-published minicomic series, Forsman expertly channels the teenage ethos in a style that evokes classic comic strips while telling a powerful story about the intense, and sometimes violent, tug of war between trauma and control.

I Am Not Okay With This Details

TitleI Am Not Okay With This
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 5th, 2017
PublisherFantagraphics
ISBN-139781683960621
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Fiction, Young Adult, Graphic Novels Comics, LGBT, GLBT, Queer, Fantasy, Contemporary, Comics Manga

I Am Not Okay With This Review

  • David Schaafsma
    January 1, 1970
    7/11/18: I had just read this bleak little graphic novel a couple months ago, ordered it for my summer graphic novels course with a focus on (kick ass) girls, and just read it with the class. No one liked it as much as I did. Sydney is despondent, alienated, makes bad mistakes, gets angry and takes it out on others. I used this comic to contrast a hippie/happy pastel fantasy comic such as Taproot, which is a feel-good trip, and Sydney lives in a different world, the real one, and is unhappy. I t 7/11/18: I had just read this bleak little graphic novel a couple months ago, ordered it for my summer graphic novels course with a focus on (kick ass) girls, and just read it with the class. No one liked it as much as I did. Sydney is despondent, alienated, makes bad mistakes, gets angry and takes it out on others. I used this comic to contrast a hippie/happy pastel fantasy comic such as Taproot, which is a feel-good trip, and Sydney lives in a different world, the real one, and is unhappy. I think people need to read of sad and despondent and inarticulate kids, too, and I like how the comic captures al of that. I did think on this reading that the (sad) resolution comes too quickly and that it all moves very quickly, but it is also the journal of an inarticulate and largely unreflective girl. Forman can't suddenly make her into Virginia Woolf. But I acknowledge my class disliking it and so many readers not liking it, so you have been warned. It is not escapist, it is not so pleasant, as many kids's lives are not pleasant.5/20/18: I am Not Okay With This is a comic by the guy who also did The End of the Fucking World, which maybe gets read now because it was made into a tv series. If you are looking for something raw and real, you read Forsman, who doesn’t soften his “message.” Forsman is good at communicating teen angst and trauma, I think.This pretty short story features Sydney, friends with Dina, who has a bully misogynist asshole boyfriend. Syd, a scrawny, unpopular girl, is constantly horny and at one point kisses Dina. But she is partly needy because she is traumatized; she is dealing with the loss of her Dad, who himself had Iraqi-war PTSD. Mom is also constantly sad from this loss, and of course they never talk about it. Like Dad, Syd self-medicates with pot. Most people think she is a dyke, or a witch, or just weird; she is alienated and alienating, but she does have this friend Dina, and Stuart, a friend she gets high with and has sex with that she kind of regrets. A woman from a convenience story also takes her home and “goes too far” with her, which is unhelpful to lonely Syd, and she knows it. What I like about this comic is the raw language, the honest portrayal of kid boredom, and her struggles with sexuality and loss. I especially like how inarticulate Syd and almost all of the people in the story really are. Books sometimes speak of the unspeakable, give voice to the voiceless, but sometimes, people just don’t know what to say, and are not all talkative and poetic in narrating their hard experiences. Sid, for instance, “does stuff” with Stuart. It feels like real kid talk when the kids hang out. None of them are really likable, but they seem normal. I am reminded of Noah Van Sciver's lost and depressed young people.The one thing that distinguishes this comic from other similar teen-angst stories is that Syd also has psychic powers--telekinesis--that enable her to hurt assholes like Dina's boyfriend. Like, really hurt them. Which feels a little bit empowering, I guess, even to this pacifist, but it is also disturbing, too. And finally doesn't accomplish much but release some frustration for her. And in a comic about loss, do we need her to have super powers that mainly get used for ill? Maybe the superpower is really just a metaphor for wanting to hurt people? At a glance I see some other Goodreads readers really hate this. Because they hate Syd and all her friends and the ending. Okay, I get that. But Syd is not supposed to be likable. She makes mistakes, she is inarticulate, she is lost. I found this real and haunting. Visceral. It feels like Jeffery Brown territory in its accessible, sketchy, simple drawing that conveys so much, and is relatable for the unsophisticated; it feels like Syd, not glossy or cleaned up or sanitized.
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  • Sam Quixote
    January 1, 1970
    15 year old Sydney explores her burgeoning sexuality against a typical high school and home life background. But Syd is extraordinary in one way: she gots the telekinesis! Chuck Forsman returns to what he does best: teenage angst. And, like in Celebrated Summer and The End of the Fucking World, I Am Not Okay With This is a compelling character portrait of contemporary American adolescence. Forsman convincingly explores the inner life of a gay teen girl, slowly revealing the story behind her fath 15 year old Sydney explores her burgeoning sexuality against a typical high school and home life background. But Syd is extraordinary in one way: she gots the telekinesis! Chuck Forsman returns to what he does best: teenage angst. And, like in Celebrated Summer and The End of the Fucking World, I Am Not Okay With This is a compelling character portrait of contemporary American adolescence. Forsman convincingly explores the inner life of a gay teen girl, slowly revealing the story behind her father’s absence and her part in it, as well as her superpower. That said, I felt that her superpower was a misstep - the narrative didn’t need a fantastical element to it; the realism of Syd’s life was more than enough for this book. All the superpower provides are the two stupidest scenes in this book, one of which was the ending. And the ending was the only part of the book I really disliked. It was needlessly nihilistic, unimaginative, hopeless, and too easy. Besides being uninspired and abrupt, what a negative message it sends to gay kids dealing with their sexuality! It might’ve worked if it had been metaphorical telekinesis – a symbolic representation of her outsider status/alienation/frustration - except the other stupid scene removes any ambiguity. The art style is effectively minimalist, appropriately reflecting the bleak tone of the story. Though many of the characters are drawn cartoonishly, it somehow works and adds to the surrealism. I wonder if Syd being drawn like Popeye’s Olive Oyl was a visual pun on the name of Chuck’s imprint, Oily Comics? Unnecessary characteristics and terrible ending aside, I Am Not Okay With This is an effortlessly compelling and enjoyable read. If you like indie comics, check out anything with Chuck Forsman’s name on the cover – dude is a brilliant creator!
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    I am so disturbed. I don’t even know how to rate this...All I can say is this was super fucked up. I can see why this is one of the worst rated books on my TBR.
  • Peter Landau
    January 1, 1970
    I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS by Charles Forsman is the most realistic superhero comic I’ve read, and I’ve read a lot of superhero comics. In short episodic chapters we’re introduced to Sydney, a sad teen, whose dad is dead and her best friend is in love with an asshole. The simple drawings and angsty story captures the restless questioning of adolescence, while the superpower gives the comic what would be called magic realism in literature, but is cape crusades in comic books. All that’s missing is t I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS by Charles Forsman is the most realistic superhero comic I’ve read, and I’ve read a lot of superhero comics. In short episodic chapters we’re introduced to Sydney, a sad teen, whose dad is dead and her best friend is in love with an asshole. The simple drawings and angsty story captures the restless questioning of adolescence, while the superpower gives the comic what would be called magic realism in literature, but is cape crusades in comic books. All that’s missing is the cape and the super-villain foil. But there is an antagonist and she’s the same person as the protagonist. Instead of the cliched with great power, comes great responsibility motif, Forsman asks, What if we were our own worst enemy?
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  • Cole Schoolland
    January 1, 1970
    Much teen angst. Thought this was a wonderful look into the frustration of adolescence. So much feels but so little words. Compounded by trauma this can be a deep, dark, confusing, and lonely time for a person. I think Charles Forsman has done a wonderful job capturing that struggle. This is a very short story about a girl in her teens who has "issues" and she is being made to write about them. Her father killed himself (maybe she helped). Her mom is a wreck who she cant relate to. She is scared Much teen angst. Thought this was a wonderful look into the frustration of adolescence. So much feels but so little words. Compounded by trauma this can be a deep, dark, confusing, and lonely time for a person. I think Charles Forsman has done a wonderful job capturing that struggle. This is a very short story about a girl in her teens who has "issues" and she is being made to write about them. Her father killed himself (maybe she helped). Her mom is a wreck who she cant relate to. She is scared of herself. She wants something so bad. She tried drugs. She explores her sexuality. The drugs seem like a safe escape whereas sexual bliss seems to push her somewhere she is afraid of. She loves but she is afraid of what that means. And it ends poorly. Where this fell short for me was the fizzled tragic ending. The story had enough mystery and thematic elements that I would have accepted it if there was some kind of big thematic purpose to the whole exercise. I was expecting the message to be "its gonna be ok" because thats the message I desperately wanted to hear at this stage in my life. And if tragedy is the end, I was expecting to have to question what was real and what wasnt and if, again, there was some kind of thematic or allegorical message. Nope. Instead we are left with a rather abrupt conclusion.
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  • Jenna
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. Not what I had anticipated at all. The summary on the book doesn’t mention anything about superpowers / psychic abilities. I don’t know if her reaction to the power is supposed to be symbolic of something. If so, I missed it. Her father had the ability as well? I just wish that we had left out that fantastic element completely, as Syd herself was much more intriguing than her Eleven-esque psychic capabilities. Seeing Syd dealing with her sexuality amidst the trauma of her father, who had PT Wow. Not what I had anticipated at all. The summary on the book doesn’t mention anything about superpowers / psychic abilities. I don’t know if her reaction to the power is supposed to be symbolic of something. If so, I missed it. Her father had the ability as well? I just wish that we had left out that fantastic element completely, as Syd herself was much more intriguing than her Eleven-esque psychic capabilities. Seeing Syd dealing with her sexuality amidst the trauma of her father, who had PTSD, her detached mother, etc would have been enough for me.And the ending. Ugh. Reminded me of Adrian and the Tree of Secrets.
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  • kirsten
    January 1, 1970
    Yeah, not a fan of books that make suicide seem as an easy option.
  • Adam Stone
    January 1, 1970
    There has been some discussion in various writing circles, and online about whether it's okay to write a story from the perspective of someone from a different race or gender or gender-attraction. I have yet to see anyone on either side of the argument reach an understanding with someone on the other side.I have read some books by male-identified writers, in the voice of female-identified characters that I have loved, and thoroughly believed in the characters presented.This was not one of those There has been some discussion in various writing circles, and online about whether it's okay to write a story from the perspective of someone from a different race or gender or gender-attraction. I have yet to see anyone on either side of the argument reach an understanding with someone on the other side.I have read some books by male-identified writers, in the voice of female-identified characters that I have loved, and thoroughly believed in the characters presented.This was not one of those books.I think you can tell from page one that this wasn't written by a girl or woman. This reads as being written by a man who watched a bunch of movies about women that were also written by men, and maybe also read some books by actual women. But, if so, he didn't really get them. The voice of the narrator is entirely how certain men imagine certain women see themselves. And while I can't and won't say that there aren't a few women who've ever thought/behaved like the narrator of this story, I am confident that they're in the minority.The fantasy of the queer girl with the power to asplode dudes with her mind is either a story for a female-identified person, or a men's right's activist to tell, and Charles Forsman is neither of those things. I don't think this book is something to apologize for or that its existence is offensive, but it's poorly thought out, not well constructed, and it's a bummer to read.I don't recommend it. And between this and "The End Of The Fucking World", I don't think I'm likely to pick up any of his books in the future.
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  • CJ
    January 1, 1970
    *Warning* This review contains spoilers!I'm not exactly experienced with leaving reviews, but feel the need to say a little something about this book. I think I understand what the author was trying to do, which was communicate a message in regards to trauma and how it is dealt with in the angsty teenage mind. I get that it was probably supposed to feel "raw," and blunt. However, as an adult that has Complex PTSD, which was developed around the age of 15 (the age of the protagonist), I found thi *Warning* This review contains spoilers!I'm not exactly experienced with leaving reviews, but feel the need to say a little something about this book. I think I understand what the author was trying to do, which was communicate a message in regards to trauma and how it is dealt with in the angsty teenage mind. I get that it was probably supposed to feel "raw," and blunt. However, as an adult that has Complex PTSD, which was developed around the age of 15 (the age of the protagonist), I found this story a bit on the irresponsible side. It is essentially a graphic novel for teens. Teens aren't always going to understand the message here that is lurking underneath what looks at first sight like a 15-year-old girl killing herself on the last page of the book. I related to certain parts of the book in a painful and almost uncomfortable way, and was really hoping that it would be handled well at the end. I had some hope for it. Ultimately, I just find it more irresponsible than presenting any meaningful message to a teenager on how harmful these intense feelings can be for them if kept inside. I even had to reach to find such a message in it. I am left with a very uneasy feeling that is reflective of my own teen experiences and what *could* have happened to me. This graphic novel comes off as yet another story about trauma written by someone that has not experienced such complexities in their teens. I do not know if that's the case or not, however.
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  • lucy black
    January 1, 1970
    This is a complicated little yellow book. It’s the story of Sydney a working class 15 year old grieving her dad and coming to terms with her sexuality. It was written with tenderness, insight and humour. I really love that this shows what life is like for average teenagers, smoking weed, hating school. There’s a lot of authenticity in the dialogue and atmosphere. I guess the things that I made it not 5 stars for me were the clunky supernatural aspect, which I thought was unnecessary and the draw This is a complicated little yellow book. It’s the story of Sydney a working class 15 year old grieving her dad and coming to terms with her sexuality. It was written with tenderness, insight and humour. I really love that this shows what life is like for average teenagers, smoking weed, hating school. There’s a lot of authenticity in the dialogue and atmosphere. I guess the things that I made it not 5 stars for me were the clunky supernatural aspect, which I thought was unnecessary and the drawing style which doesn’t do much for the story. I think these would be better if he collaborated with another artist. The other thing I’m not sure about is that these are written by a man in his mid 30s. Why is he writing about teenage girls and their orgasms? Like, I’m not a prude but I’m a bit suss of it. Is he throwing the sex in there for the wrong reasons? I don’t want 15 year old girls who are feeling fucked up to be objectified by adult men.
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  • Vince
    January 1, 1970
    Hated this, I went in knowing the author also wrote a graphic novel that formed the basis for a popular Netflix series and figured it might be good. All I knew going in was it's a diary of a teen girl who harbors a secret and some telekinetic powers, sounds good right? What I got was a (pardon my french) masturbatory exercise in how a guy would write an angsty teen coming to terms with who she is. I'd maybe like this more if the telekinetic powers were just a metaphor, but really who gives a shi Hated this, I went in knowing the author also wrote a graphic novel that formed the basis for a popular Netflix series and figured it might be good. All I knew going in was it's a diary of a teen girl who harbors a secret and some telekinetic powers, sounds good right? What I got was a (pardon my french) masturbatory exercise in how a guy would write an angsty teen coming to terms with who she is. I'd maybe like this more if the telekinetic powers were just a metaphor, but really who gives a shit, SPOILERS she gives kills her PTSD riddled father because it's what she knows he wants. Also she has this awful hatred of her mom because of how much her mom works to provide for her family...? Oh and there's lots of shitty treatment of women by men to help further her plot. I'm not sorry for a messy and poorly written review, but I just don't care and I don't use the word hate but boy howdy do I want to do that with this book.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    Probably more of a 2.5. I really wanted to like this. I saw short haired angsty queer teen lady and I was like damn does this dude know me. I liked the diary entry format and the cartoonish style mixed with the dark plot but I felt like there are so many better representations of angsty queer ladies, especially ones where they don’t end up dead at the end. And I know this isn’t a realistic story as she had special powers and killed two people but I just think it could have had a more effective e Probably more of a 2.5. I really wanted to like this. I saw short haired angsty queer teen lady and I was like damn does this dude know me. I liked the diary entry format and the cartoonish style mixed with the dark plot but I felt like there are so many better representations of angsty queer ladies, especially ones where they don’t end up dead at the end. And I know this isn’t a realistic story as she had special powers and killed two people but I just think it could have had a more effective ending where she learns something instead of taking her own life. I thought her powers were just going to be a metaphor for her anxiety and I think making them real made it harder to focus on her sexuality and emotions especially in such a short book. Idk, it just makes me want to go replay Life is Strange.
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    whAT THE FRICK???? I am so SAD!!
  • Molly
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked TEOTFW, so I was excited to pick this up. It captures the feeling of despondent adolescence perfectly - the protagonist is struggling with the death of her father and not quite fitting in at school or anywhere else. The ending is somewhat ambiguous, but not at all what I expected. It's one I am going to have to revisit to see just how I really feel about it (and, for me, that's the mark of a good story).
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  • Kris
    January 1, 1970
    Strange and dark. This really is quite disturbing for such a short read, but I think that is also where it sort of succeeds. It captures the hopelessness that can come with depression and struggling to figure out who the hell you are, and how sometimes, things end badly. This is not great, but it is powerful.
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  • Edward Sullivan
    January 1, 1970
    Teenage angst and telekinetic powers. It was not a good mix for Carrie White either.
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    High school girl with sexuality problems kills some people with her mind powers then kills herself. Pretty depressing, but still a good read.
  • Matt Koester
    January 1, 1970
    This book was ok. It felt a bit incomplete, more gesturing at a larger story than actually committing to one. In some ways, that's a realist impulse, but Forsman's book still feels a bit lacking, and prone to using darkness to cover up its own lack. It's a quick, breezy read, but not one I intend on returning to any time soon.
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  • P.
    January 1, 1970
    I like the simplicity of this comic - the plain (well-designed & laid out) panels, the old school looking character design, the plot arc that could have been overwrought but is instead put forward with the (false) lucidity of depression. I don't agree with her take on the world, but when I was reading the book, I understood it, and understood how the layers of her life led to it.
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  • Rae
    January 1, 1970
    A very quick, very heavy read. I wasn't expecting the superpower element in this story, but thought it was realistically, if tragically, handled. The teen angst feels very spot on, as does the grief weighing on the whole family. Simplistic artwork, but it works with this story. Recommend only if you are someone who is able bounce back from sad things, because this is a very sad thing.
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  • Rocco Versaci
    January 1, 1970
    Pretty powerful book. Even though it was grim, the ending still caught me off guard. It’s the only thing I’ve read by Forsman, and I really appreciate his artwork; the spareness and cartoony elements were a strong complement/counterpoint to the subject matter.
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  • Felicia
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely not what I thought it was going to be. Much worse in fact. A very trigger-warning-laden book. This could have been much more for the topics it covered. Instead, it took the cheap, easy way out. Literally.
  • Chad Jordahl
    January 1, 1970
    It's hard to say why I 4-star liked this. Very quick read, slice-of-life with a twist.
  • Ari
    January 1, 1970
    At a certain point, as a lesbian, I get tired of meeting lesbian characters whose entire story builds up to a violent and tragic climax. As someone who's suffered depression, I get tired of meeting mentally ill and struggling characters whose entire story builds up to a violent and tragic climax. As an afab person, I get tired of meeting female characters whose entire story builds up to a violent and tragic climax.Pros of this book: Syd is a really charming character and Forsman used a great art At a certain point, as a lesbian, I get tired of meeting lesbian characters whose entire story builds up to a violent and tragic climax. As someone who's suffered depression, I get tired of meeting mentally ill and struggling characters whose entire story builds up to a violent and tragic climax. As an afab person, I get tired of meeting female characters whose entire story builds up to a violent and tragic climax.Pros of this book: Syd is a really charming character and Forsman used a great art style. Forsman has a good eye for design and it was nice to read a book with lesbians who looked and felt like lesbians. The book has a timeless and somewhat nostalgic feel that I also really enjoyed and the style reminded me of Popeye, which I liked.Cons of this book - THIS IS WHERE THE SPOILERS START -The mental illness and woman elements I could honestly get over, but considering just how openly the bury/kill your gays trope has been discussed lately, I was honestly shocked by the sudden and violent end to Syd's story. Every writer seems to think they're the special, beloved author who is allowed to let their LGBT+ characters die for their vision. Unless you're a lesbian, you should be very careful about having lesbian characters die in your story because two of the last three books I read had lesbians die, and the other one I specifically sought out as a happy lesbian book. There is a moment where Syd tries to hit on one of her friends and it did not feel authentic, The suicide aspect was also not well handled. Ending on a violent image of suicide feels like a cheap trick to get a reaction and, while it could be argued the diary format of the story didn't allow a chance to show subsequent events, I think all stories with a suicide benefit from showing the downsides of suicide. This is also yet another YA book that shows school counselors as actively pushing their students in need away, so... know that.Lots of reviews on here say the supernatural element wasn't necessary, but I don't think it harmed the book - I do think it could have been better used. Getting into the LGBT+ issues again, Syd's violent telekinesis is heavily linked to her sexuality and I don't really think that works, since her dad also had this incredibly painful power. This story was too short to make proper use of the metaphors, but that has an interesting implication regarding his own sexuality that isn't explored, and prompts a question about Syd and her brother's existence that isn't answered. Personally, I didn't like seeing a lesbian having sex for the first time and almost dying/killing because of it. Forsman also shies away from committing to a lesbian. Syd says they can get off on thinking about anyone, but this psychic issue only crops up around sex with women or when masturbating. They have sex with a man, with no repercussions.The story is unpredictable, but it's unpredictable because you aren't given enough to really understand it. You don't expect Syd to murder someone, because it's not built up and you don't tend to expect people to murder other people. You don't expect Syd to self harm, or commit suicide for the same reason.This book was visually enjoyable to read, but it was not emotionally or psychologically enjoyable to read, and after finishing it I experienced gay rage and irritation, not whatever profound feeling Forsman thought a teenager committing suicide would give me, and my respect for him lessened.
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  • Adam Witt
    January 1, 1970
    I've been a fan of Charles Forsman's work since I first ran into The End of the F///ing World in mini-comic format. When I first read it, I distinctly remembered thinking that I was reading something very special, from the mind of someone whose work I'd be paying attention to for a long time.Celebrated Summer followed that, and it's a rock-solid book. TEOTFW felt like a coronation; a huge voice coming onto the scene like OH MY GOD -- meteoric. I re-read it and get the same feeling. To say his ot I've been a fan of Charles Forsman's work since I first ran into The End of the F///ing World in mini-comic format. When I first read it, I distinctly remembered thinking that I was reading something very special, from the mind of someone whose work I'd be paying attention to for a long time.Celebrated Summer followed that, and it's a rock-solid book. TEOTFW felt like a coronation; a huge voice coming onto the scene like OH MY GOD -- meteoric. I re-read it and get the same feeling. To say his other work is inferior is a strong mistake. One thing for which Forsman is incredibly reliable is his ability to keep a reader guessing.I didn't expect Revenger or Slasher when those popped up, but Forsman's body of work isn't any the less for them: all the richer, really. The versatility he shows in being able to oscillate from (boldly) channeling Charles Schultz, to a blend of high-school street art and action comics, is dizzying. There are a lot of artists trying to do what Charles Forsman does, but none of them do it with his elegance or ease.And we come to I Am Not Okay With This. Forsman's work is a walking set of trigger warnings, and this book is no different. It follows a self-described "boring fifteen year-old white girl" named Sydney after she's given a journal and an attempted sense of direction by a counselor at her high school. She struggles with her sexuality, her fractured family, and the general malaise of being her age with her surroundings. There are underpinnings of mental illness, family instability and loss, and what happens when you're fifteen and growing up around a bunch of fellow lower-class white people. She has a secret that pushes the story along and pops up exactly when it needs to: a minor bit of magical realism.This book could very easily be labeled with adjectives like Depressing, Bleak, Joyless -- that's false. In addition to the underpinnings of these true and sad things, there's an undercurrent of hope with Sydney. She's self-absorbed but not unaware, and she's scared. The ending is polarizing. It's dark, and it's sad, but it doesn't render the book joyless, bleak, or depressing. It's a story about a fifteen year-old white girl who thinks she's boring, but doesn't understand what she has to offer the world. She does her best. We're all the better for getting to read about it.
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  • Ricky Vigil
    January 1, 1970
    I read this right after finishing Forsman's The End of the Fucking World , and it's very similar--luckily, that's a good thing. Forsman has a gift for channeling teenage ennui, and then transforming that listlessness into something bigger than his characters can handle. This book follows a lot of the same beats as TEOTFW, but having a single protagonist rather than two helps keep the narrative nice and tight. Forsman's art again channels Sunday morning comic-strips, and he takes that motif even I read this right after finishing Forsman's The End of the Fucking World , and it's very similar--luckily, that's a good thing. Forsman has a gift for channeling teenage ennui, and then transforming that listlessness into something bigger than his characters can handle. This book follows a lot of the same beats as TEOTFW, but having a single protagonist rather than two helps keep the narrative nice and tight. Forsman's art again channels Sunday morning comic-strips, and he takes that motif even further with nearly every page structured as four panels of equal size. The result is a story that begins by feeling like a slice-of-life story for a weird 15-year-old girl, but eventually turns into something much, much crazier. Whereas the characters in TEOTFW embraced nihilism (and each other), Syd is striving for a connection and meaning, even when those things might not exist for her. There's a subtle X-Men vibe going on in this book, and I really dig it. Even though it is thematically similar to some of his other work, I Am Not Okay With This offers a different side to typical indie comic coming-of-age stories.
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    I know a lot of people don't like stories with bad endings, but I do. In life, a lot of our stories don't end happly ever after. When a book has a bad ending it can happen in so many ways, it's unpredictable. With fairytales it's almost like it's the same story over and over. This graphic novel kind of reminds me of 13 reasons why. Syd's actions are so misunderstood by those around her that she ends up doing more harm than good. And even in the several times that she asks to talk to someone they I know a lot of people don't like stories with bad endings, but I do. In life, a lot of our stories don't end happly ever after. When a book has a bad ending it can happen in so many ways, it's unpredictable. With fairytales it's almost like it's the same story over and over. This graphic novel kind of reminds me of 13 reasons why. Syd's actions are so misunderstood by those around her that she ends up doing more harm than good. And even in the several times that she asks to talk to someone they misinterpret her as rude or haughty. I think it's a difficult reality for some people to face, but it needs to be faced so that we don't judge others at first glance. Everyone has shit going on in their life that might make them an occasional asshole. I've also seen End of The Fucking World and enjoyed it tremendously. 👍
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  • Blue
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, Sydney! A dark, downer of a tale which is very real and relatable, especially for those who had tough teenage years. I love Forsman's style and the story, told through Sydney's diary, has a very strong voice. The plot is surprising in its violence, but not really in its general course. Forsman leaves what really happens to Dina (Sydney's best friend) in the car with Dina's boyfriend a bit vague, so I wasn't sure why she was in the hospital (passage of time is not really recorded by Sydney i Wow, Sydney! A dark, downer of a tale which is very real and relatable, especially for those who had tough teenage years. I love Forsman's style and the story, told through Sydney's diary, has a very strong voice. The plot is surprising in its violence, but not really in its general course. Forsman leaves what really happens to Dina (Sydney's best friend) in the car with Dina's boyfriend a bit vague, so I wasn't sure why she was in the hospital (passage of time is not really recorded by Sydney in her diary). Was it because something bad happened and she got hurt or was it because of the pregnancy or both? Recommended for those who like hot dogs, smoking pot, and nerdy virgins.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    I have mixed feeling about this book. Plot wise I just don’t like it even if it is realistic for many people unfortunately. There are many people who experience trauma and fight for control. There are many stories that aren’t happy endings. This isn’t a happy ending. It’s a valuable story; I just don’t like it. The quality of the story is decent. I’m not an artist (or artistically inclined) so it’s hard to speak on that but I found it to be done well. The story is engaging though a weird mix of I have mixed feeling about this book. Plot wise I just don’t like it even if it is realistic for many people unfortunately. There are many people who experience trauma and fight for control. There are many stories that aren’t happy endings. This isn’t a happy ending. It’s a valuable story; I just don’t like it. The quality of the story is decent. I’m not an artist (or artistically inclined) so it’s hard to speak on that but I found it to be done well. The story is engaging though a weird mix of literal and metaphorical perhaps. Given the option I would’ve given this 3 1/2 stars. It’s worth a read but not the best thing I’ve ever read.
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  • Micah Aaron
    January 1, 1970
    I went over this book twice and found both to be completely empty. Perhaps that was the point. The art style is grossly simplistic and abused by ugly Ben-Day dot placement. The dialogue and running inner monologue are both incredibly shallow and lack any sort of charm or insight. I felt very little of anything for Sydney, our sniveling main character, and her friends and enemies are all as blandly developed as the lines that construct them.Her father's beard?! her friend's Pigpen-esque hair?! - I went over this book twice and found both to be completely empty. Perhaps that was the point. The art style is grossly simplistic and abused by ugly Ben-Day dot placement. The dialogue and running inner monologue are both incredibly shallow and lack any sort of charm or insight. I felt very little of anything for Sydney, our sniveling main character, and her friends and enemies are all as blandly developed as the lines that construct them.Her father's beard?! her friend's Pigpen-esque hair?! - are you kidding me with this art style?!
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