I don’t say this lightly but I’m pretty sure Allie Brosh is some kind of genius. Brosh is creator of the insanely popular web blog/comic Hyperbole and a Half. Now in book form, Brosh’s work is a mixed-media experience of pretty well unrivalled hilarity.
Many of the blog’s best loved posts (seven and a half of which have made it into the book) are about odd events and behaviours from Brosh’s childhood, such as the dinosaur Halloween costume that gave her 4-year-old self an intensely destructive sense of power and the time a single taste drove her to devour an entire cake alone (“I had tasted cake and there was no going back. My tiny body had morphed into a writhing mass of pure tenacity encased in a layer of desperation. I would eat all of the cake or I would evaporate from the sheer power of my desire to eat it.“).
As the owner of a canine whose emotional and intellectual traits fall somewhere in the range of a combination of Brosh’s two rather troubled dogs, I’ve experienced both empathy and amusement from Brosh’s posts about her animals’ at turns perplexing, alarming and unalterable behaviour; particularly the post about how they reacted to the process of moving house.
While a sort of highbrow silliness is the bread and butter of Brosh’s work, she also knows how to use a respectful dose of levity to address serious subjects, as evidenced in the two posts about Brosh’s personal struggles with depression. Listening to Brosh interviewed by NPR’s Terry Gross, I was further impressed by her candidness and ability to use humour as a communication tool.
I can’t explain how exactly Brosh’s work strikes the balance between funniness, intelligence and a strange skill with crude MS Paint Style drawings. But, with over 50% new material, I can tell you that Brosh’s new book will have plenty of laughs for newcomers and established fans alike.