This review originally appeared in ICv2 Guide to Graphic Novels #55, published in May 2008.
Too Cool to Be Forgotten
(Top Shelf Productions) $14.95
Release date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Alex Robinson
Age Rating: 16+
ICv2 Stars: 4 Stars out of 5)
The story is emotionally gripping and more approachable than Robinson’s award-winning (but very long) Box Office Poison. Too Cool to Be Forgotten starts with a simple trip to a hypnotherapist, with protagonist Andy desperately trying to break a longtime addiction to cigarettes. Instead, the therapy session turns into regression, or even time travel in the Somewhere in Time sense. Andy finds himself reliving the point in his life when he started smoking, but as a teen with the insights of a forty-year-old man. As he relives school, teen social life and the struggles of his family while they deal with personal grief, Andy learns more about himself. Instead of a simple “there and back again” story, it becomes more.
The characters, some sketchy and some developed, all come across as believable, even the ones you wouldn’t like in person. The story and the characters will resonate with anyone who has gone through high school and its social anxieties. Some readers still in their teens may also appreciate the story, but the intended readers are those who can look back on their teen years with both fondness and horror.
For adults and older teens, due to alcohol, language and sexual references.
Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.