TEOTFW" for short. Originally released as a series of micro-comics through writer/artist Charles Forsman's "Oily Comix" mini-publishing line, I picked up the book which collects all the segments and was recently published by Fantagraphics. This is best described as a twisted, "coming of age tale," that focuses primarily on a young boy who is a borderline (if not complete) sociopath named James, and his girlfriend who desperately wants to understand him, Alyssa. Two youth mad at the world going around America, what could go wrong?
This is an interesting story with 16 parts, half of which are from James point of view, and another half are narrated by Alyssa. "TEOTFW" shows James and Alyssa going on a road-trip of sorts in an effort to both help James get away from his horrendous father and to help Alyssa potentially find her estranged one. Along the way various people are met, some surprisingly nice but most out to hurt or take advantage of our young couple.
Despite the story being quite dark, the art often has a nice light and clean feel. Forsman draws in a minimalist style where every line and dab of ink seem purposeful and never overstated. The often carefully-constructed geometric panels that make up the pages cause the comic to often feel like one of those daily strips you could find in the newspaper--albeit a very tragic one. Despite almost sometimes seeming a little too cute, in the end it works wonderfully for the story.
4 out of 5 stars.