Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Alone Forever: The Singles Collection by Liz Prince Review

All you need is love… right? Nah. Well, kinda, if you’re Liz Prince. Because while Alone Forever celebrates the single life and the frustrating, and sometimes funny, labyrinth that is modern dating, Prince is still in love with love. 

She’s always trying different methods to meet that someone special, whether it’s being a wingman for a mate when they hit the bars, or trying to make eye contact with cute guys on the tube or in the street, or even trying the online dating site, OK Cupid. As she puts it to those who aren’t trying to find love, she’s a hopeless romantic, you’re just hopeless! 

Which sounds like she’s a nutbag, but she’s not - she’s well aware of the person she’s presenting in the book which I’m sure is partly her real self but not entirely who she is as a person. So these strips, collected from her webcomic, centre around her foibles with love - falling for guys with beards and flannel shirts, being a part of the punk rock scene, and having disastrous first dates. 

The strips are meant to be funny but I didn’t really laugh at any of them - they’re clever funny, not laugh out loud funny, if you know what I mean, and some are just… meh. Self-deprecating autobio comics are a genre of comics I’m quite familiar with and Liz Prince, while a charming cartoonist, reminded me heavily of other artists like Julia Wertz, James Kochalka and Jeffrey Brown (the latter two I think are also with Top Shelf). 

That and all of the above artists have done comics about cats - Jeffrey Brown has published two entire books just about cats!!! - and so has Liz Prince. I get it, cats are whacky, we all love cats, but wow is it played out at this point. And to be totally honest the whole hopeless at love/neurotic girl and proud schtick gets old before the end - there are only so many strips you can read that follow along these lines before it becomes repetitive and stale. 

Alone Forever is a sweet and amusing book that’s very readable and I’m sure most people will be able to pick it up and enjoy it, even relate to some of the scenarios, but it’s generally unremarkable and too light to make much of a lasting impression.

Alone Forever: The Singles Collection

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