by Rob Maisch (Author), Bo Hampton (Illustrator), Scott Hampton (Illustrator)
Publisher: Nbm Pub Co (February 1, 1996)
Hardcover, 64 pages
This is an unusual book. People seem to either love it or hate it, depending on how close in age and economic situation they are to the author. This is a collection of five autobiographical tales of varying success, detailing the misspent youth - more or less - of the author. The stories range from when he was very young, to early middle age. The stories of early age and high school are the best, ones which everyone can relate to easily. However, he shows himself to be sexually repressed, socially awkward, and kind of a jerk as he grows older. One who still has passions for the joys of his youth, but can’t emotionally handle adult situations and setbacks without childish explosions or sulking.
Each story is drawn by a different artist, but there is a consistency in look and tone running across all of the stories, and remains one of the strongest reasons to read the book. The first story, “Slow Dance” deals with the author’s tribulations at a middle school dance where he’s bullied by jerks, turned down by girls, but eventually the miracle of a first kiss occurs. In “Mean Old Man” the author and some of his buddies take on the neighborhood crank and eventually do enough to run him out of town.
The next tale, “Griffin Love and the Hooker” is a hearsay story about how a pal of the author claims he lost his virginity. A time jump happens in the next story, “Klingon Battle Helmet”, where the writer is in his 20s. He and a friend rip-off a kid with a fake Star Trek collectible. Finally the last one, “Back in the Saddle” is a retread of the old homily “never meet your heroes.” As the author, now manager of a plaza, brings the star of an old Western TV show to promote it and deals with all normal problems surrounding an alcoholic washed-up celebrity. A decent read for the right price.