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October 2, 2013 4:57 PM   Subscribe

The thing about being an unstoppable force is that you can really only enjoy the experience of being one when you have something to bash yourself against. Allie Brosh is in fine form in the latest Hyperbole and a Half, which is oddly appropriate for almost-Halloween. Previously. Previouslier. Previouslierer. Previousliererer.
posted by Athanassiel (65 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks for reminding me: I had to pre-order her book. Done!
posted by mykescipark at 5:03 PM on October 2, 2013


Very much reminds me of the wolf game Allie and her friends played.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:03 PM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is not directly a post about the shutdown, but when I read it, I thought it might as well be.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:05 PM on October 2, 2013 [11 favorites]


Huh. Not really up to her usual stuff, I felt. The drawings, as always, are great, but the humor felt forced.
posted by misha at 5:06 PM on October 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Every damn time I read Hyperbole I end up remembering how freaking brilliant Brosh is at vividly describing life's oddities and every time I end up worrying about her. Like, is she making enough money as an artist? How is she handling her depression? Is she eating ok? Did she return those videos too late and how much did she end up paying in fees? DOES SHE HAVE SOMEONE TO BRING HER CHICKEN SOUP BECAUSE LIFE CAN BE REALLY UNFAIR SOMETIMES AND CHICKEN SOUP MAKES THINGS A BIT BETTER RIGHT? Sigh, I can feel myself turning into my parents.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:12 PM on October 2, 2013 [45 favorites]


Huh. Not really up to her usual stuff, I felt. The drawings, as always, are great, but the humor felt forced.

Nope! Denied! It was hilarious! The sight of her in the dinosaur costume spraying the garden hose inside the house by itself shut me down laughing for 30 seconds. Eating the toothpaste a while longer.
posted by JHarris at 5:22 PM on October 2, 2013 [15 favorites]


I identify with her cartoons so much that sometimes it feels like she's been spying on me my whole life.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:22 PM on October 2, 2013 [19 favorites]


and every time I end up worrying about her.

The lady can't seem to stay out of trouble...
posted by mykescipark at 5:23 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Her art has got better, hasn't it?
posted by The River Ivel at 5:23 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


BOOK PAGE :)

Also, I notice the banner of the main page is new now. Starring the dogs and the Alot!
posted by JHarris at 5:25 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


This reminds me of one of my favorite short form videos, The Delicious. Parts 1 and 2 on youtube.
posted by funkiwan at 5:26 PM on October 2, 2013


sometimes i can't breathe when i'm done reading one her comics because i am laughing too hard.

this did feel like not some of her others but i liked it anyways. i imagine it must be really hard to produce things for an adoring fan base, you feel so much pressure to make something "good". i used to write poetry and go read it out at poetry open mics and ended up feeling very weird about the whole thing. so i try to not be too harsh on people like allie brosh and jeph jacques. it's hard.

i am very much looking forward to the book which is the first book i have ever pre-ordered.
posted by sio42 at 5:28 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Confession time. I feel like I'm engaged to an alternate reality version of Allie Brosh. My fiance and I own a brown dog, and a tri color White, black, and brown spotted dog. The Brown dog(a Golden Retriever) is very smart and well mannered. The tricolor(a Llewellyn setter) is.......special. Literally. She had a bad fever as a puppy(due to previous owners abandoning her without giving her her shots) and has slight brain damage. She is a sweetheart, but generally needs help. We have started calling them Helper dog and Special dog when they exhibit their respective tendencies (which is a lot).

The kicker is my fiance is also named Allie.

(There are others coincidences, but those primarily come to mind)

At any rate, I love love love Hyperbole and a Half and can't wait to read this.
posted by Twain Device at 5:32 PM on October 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Not here, but elsewhere, folks get a lot of flack for responding to her work with anything less than ecstatic gratitude and admiration. I find that interesting, since most writers and artists who present their work for public consumption via the internet do not receive such widespread protective treatment (save from their most die-hard fans). I wonder if the protectiveness that Brosh elicits is somehow connected to her ingenuous (sometimes almost childlike) self-presentation (in her subject matter as well as her writing voice).

Anyway, this one wasn't particularly funny/amusing to me, but it also felt thoughtful and meaningful in a way that most of her hilarious stuff doesn't. That suggests to me that she's got more than one strength on which to trade -- which can only be a good thing!
posted by artemisia at 5:50 PM on October 2, 2013 [10 favorites]


I agree with misha that I didn't love this one as much as I usually like her stuff (and I really do just look at my FPPs).

I laughed at the crayon costume but not so much after that.

That's not a bad thing, everyone has an off day/MS Paint comic. Just happy to have new stuff!
posted by sweetkid at 6:02 PM on October 2, 2013


FUUUCK do I want a dinosaur costume now.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 6:03 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Every Marvel hero has at least one villain with this same origin.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:07 PM on October 2, 2013 [4 favorites]



But since I don't actually own a dinosaur costume, I think I'm just going to spend the evening listening to Finntroll, which is probably the aural equivalent.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 6:10 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


For me Brosh is never about the "funny HA HA" but more about "Yes, you are causing the story to appear in my head in largely the same manner it's appearing in your head, even though the presentation is so minimal, and it's a good story and you are talented and I'm feeling you do your art to me, and I enjoy that feeling."

I feel like with this one, it seems like she's pushing herself. There's always a cinematic quality to them but this one felt even more so. I think this is a good thing.
posted by bleep at 6:15 PM on October 2, 2013 [12 favorites]


I kind of agree that this isn't at her usual level writing-wise, but I think this is some of the best drawing she's ever done. For some reason I cannot stop laughing at this panel where she's just nonchalantly walking around the corner in her costume.
posted by invitapriore at 6:35 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


This drawing by itself is just fantastic. Also if you like Allie Brosh you might like moosekleenex.
posted by oulipian at 6:41 PM on October 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


I finally understand the appeal of all those adult-sized animal onesies.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:44 PM on October 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


I saw someone on FB criticize one of Allie's posts about depression as not being funny and I thought of freaking out at this person that Allie is not a circus clown but a real person. So yeah, I don't know why I feel protective of her - maybe because I can relate to her - but I've got her back and probably her front, too.
posted by kat518 at 6:48 PM on October 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


Not everyone is going to get her humor or empathize with her depression or her expression of it. I don't think that diminishes her or her work in any way and I think, like most artists, she's probably not broken up about the occasional haters.
posted by sweetkid at 6:54 PM on October 2, 2013


I end up worrying about her.

I do too, I really fucking do. After her first post on depression I spent a few weeks in an acute state of anxiety over a total stranger's mental health and wellbeing and if anyone knows me at all they know that this is weird because I only care about me me me. ME.

I just want her to do well and be happy and to always wear a dinosaur costume, whether it's on the inside or on the outside.
posted by elizardbits at 6:55 PM on October 2, 2013 [38 favorites]


Palmcorder (and really anybody who wants a dinosaur suit of their own): if you're serious about dinosaur-suit-envy I have a friend who can help. Years ago I talked her into making me a Dinosaur Neil suit (inspired by the Tick) and that got her on the path to an etsy store where she's made sloths, owls, loch ness monsters, bigfoots, a lobster, a raptor and a little bit of everything. Her store is here. I'm not sure what all is listed on the store page right now, but she'll custom make just about any order you can think of - including most recently a buffalo?

(If there aren't any photos of the sloth up then I'm going to have to apologize to you. It was tailored to look like something Klaus Nomi would wear, plus it had a tongue sewed on just below the face-hole and it was amazing.)

(I realize that shilling for a friend is kind of tacky, but honestly owning a dinosaur suit has made every birthday I've had since at least 100% better and I'm just trying to share the love)
posted by Kiablokirk at 7:04 PM on October 2, 2013 [15 favorites]


I don't think Allie is a one-trick pony, or that her work is all funny all the time. Even the posts that aren't about depression. The one about the fish that almost destroyed her childhood, for example, or the kids being wolves at a birthday party - those were funny in bits but also kind of creepy and thought-provoking. I think this one isn't one of her funniest, but it's sticking with me. And also things that others think are hilarious (that whole Spaghetta Nadle series, for example) leave me cold. YMMV, especially on the humour front.

I am also one of those people who wants to give her hugs and ponies and Tim Tams and look after her. Even when she's not funny.
posted by Athanassiel at 7:10 PM on October 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


always wear a dinosaur costume, whether it's on the inside or on the outside

I want to make a cross-stitch sampler that says this.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:18 PM on October 2, 2013 [19 favorites]


I mean, if you don't laugh until you are choking at God of Cake, I'm not sure I want to know you.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:43 PM on October 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Via the comic's Facebook, UNLIMITED POWER.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:47 PM on October 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


I love how furiously she plays with her toys in God of Cake.
posted by sweetkid at 7:50 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think the thing is about her childhood posts is she captures childhood exactly. Like part of why God of Cake was so funny to me was because I was that spiteful and inventive as a little kid and I would've totally done the same thing. Likewise tearing shit up because I had a dinosaur costume, well, my dinosaur costume got taken away for the same reason.

Actually I'm still pretty spiteful. I made pumpkin bread out of spite once. AND IT TASTED DELICIOUS.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:51 PM on October 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


this was the most depressing one yet
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:04 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


in a good way, i guess
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:05 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't help but place this in the same universe as "Letter From God to Man."

To what end, I do not know, and yet here we are.
posted by sonascope at 8:07 PM on October 2, 2013


Ya know, it's got to be tough hanging it all out there with your depresssion, and it's got to be even tougher to grab on with both hands and get yourself writing and drawing again, knowing that people will be comparing the pre/post depression Brosh.

Whether you think it's funny or not, kudos to Allie for gutting up, writing it out, and posting.

I heart Brosh.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:58 PM on October 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


I thought the panel of it dawning on her mum that she was always wearing the dinosuit when havoc ensued was brilliant. The montagey effect was lovely.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:59 PM on October 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


So, there is an id.

And it wears a dinosaur costume.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:17 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but it's so much more than that, really. The whole "by doing the thing the most powerful people in my life have forbidden I BECOME MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE" thing is pretty classic disordered thinking for people who feel totally out of control of their lives and it is something that I personally (and apparently lots of others here i guess) feel very familiar with.
posted by elizardbits at 9:24 PM on October 2, 2013 [24 favorites]


Sidhedevil: "I thought the panel of it dawning on her mum that she was always wearing the dinosuit when havoc ensued was brilliant. The montagey effect was lovely."

Now I am totally imagining a gauzy cinematic montage of her reign of dinosaur destruction set to this song and laughing maniacally.
posted by invitapriore at 9:25 PM on October 2, 2013


Maybe preceded by a suiting up montage during the intro vamp.
posted by invitapriore at 9:26 PM on October 2, 2013


I love this panel because it's exactly the sort of "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THAT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE AS A THING TO DO WHAT THE HELL" mischief that everybody who's ever parented recognizes.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:01 PM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Actually a lot of these scenes are straight out of the dog owner's handbook if you replace the child in a dinosaur suit with an over-eager puppy.
posted by invitapriore at 10:03 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just figured out what I'm going to do with the dinosaur onesie I'm going to get because of this strip.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:18 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah! lovely.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:19 PM on October 2, 2013


I love this panel because it's exactly the sort of "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THAT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE AS A THING TO DO WHAT THE HELL" mischief that everybody who's ever parented recognizes.

Yeah, her expression is a perfect rendition of a little kid/dog's "I have no idea why I am even doing this stupid shit but alas I am caught" face.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:24 PM on October 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


elizardbits: "I just want her to do well and be happy and to always wear a dinosaur costume, whether it's on the inside or on the outside."

This. I finished reading the comic and just felt sad. As much as I look in terror at the destruction wrought by dino!Allie it just made me sad.

BRB BUYING A DINO COSTUME FOR MY 4 YEAR OLD
posted by geek anachronism at 10:43 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


On finishing it, I thought "Wow so what she's been doing during this hiatus was honing her writing skills to Eisner-winning levels." Seriously, I think she's been funny and awesome for a while, but this is formally on a whole other level of great.

I mean... So when she tries to distract herself from the costume's siren song by drawing, she finds that formerly safe activity irresistibly turning into a drawing of the costume. The adult Allie Brosch draws (from memory?) the picture she drew on that day, and then two panels and a whole lot of life experience later, the adult artist has drawn her child self in the costume. It stares out of the panel borders as though this drawing could make eye contact with her as she creates it.

Oh god and!!! that sequence of her mother figuring out it's the costume is just so, so good, such a little masterpiece of repition and layout and... Ach! So smart!

It's like a perfect ode to / demonstration of the power of drawing to transform the self. It's the next evolutionary step from the long-stagnant autobiographical comix genre. It's the next "Binky Brown Meets The Virgin Mary".
So great.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:48 PM on October 2, 2013 [11 favorites]


Very engaging post from Allie as usual.

Our five-year old got the cape his mother made for him confiscated in kindergarden for the same reasons (although he didn't freak out that hard...)

His teacher handed it back to us at the end of the day, saying deadpan "We feel that this cape granted him too many superpowers."
posted by Harald74 at 4:38 AM on October 3, 2013 [25 favorites]


The repercussions were also exactly the same as they were before I became a dinosaur.

I don't know what people are talking about - I laughed until I cried just like always.

Maybe you have to have been the sort of child who would have made their dinosaur costume into a fetish of power.
posted by winna at 5:07 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is awesome, and an excellent description of the current model for the current model for explaining why kids seem to go crazy when they get sugar.

There is currently no reason to think that sugar does any of the things that parents tend to think it does to the behavior of children. If you load up kids with sugar they don't know they're eating and ask parents to report on their behavior from behind a one way mirror they'll either tell you that their kids are behaving normally or that they are perhaps a bit groggy. If you tell those same parents that you loaded their kids up they'll get flustered and embarrassed about how poorly their kids are behaving even though there is nothing actually different about the scenario - actual behavior is irrelevant to the perception. The same thing is true for the kids, as they will actually go crazy if they think they consumed sugar - even if they actually didn't. Researchers have to be especially careful about testing scenarios where both the parent and child can see each other and both think the kid took sugar, because they will both go bananas and start behaving poorly, regardless of the child's true consumption. Whether sugar really has zero effect on behavior is still a topic of significant debate, but it is clear that if there are any true effects they are too small to be easily detected.

The strange power over parents that sugar genuinely does give to children is however very real and trivially detectable - and can come with dinosaur suits.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:11 AM on October 3, 2013 [17 favorites]


Interesting stuff, Blasdelb!

I just reserved Brosh's book at Toronto library. It inexplicably only has nine holds, I was sure I was going to be number 150 or something.
posted by jamesonandwater at 5:29 AM on October 3, 2013


I have a 4 year old.

He specifically requested a dinosaur costume for Halloween.

My wife purchased said costume.

Am I fucked? I think I am fucked.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:23 AM on October 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


My son used to wear his batman cape to day care, and the teacher reported that he was more adventurous when wearing. Capes for everyone!
posted by theora55 at 7:30 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, I loved this one. The panel with mom with all the dinosaurs behind her as she puts it together? GOLD.


Whether sugar really has zero effect on behavior is still a topic of significant debate, but it is clear that if there are any true effects they are too small to be easily detected.

I was gonna say, this is why I loved this one, kids are totally aware that they're "supposed to act crazy" when they get sugar, because they hear it from adults all the fucking time. She actually explained it pretty well, I think.

BTW my boyfriend's daughter does this type of stuff, she'll eat a bite of ice cream or whatever at dessert and pretend to start spinning around like the Tazmanian Devil, sometimes she even goes, "Crazy, crazy, crazy!" Just to see what our reaction is. Unfortunately her dad and I don't find this funny at all, and the response is usually something like, "If you keep acting like that, you realize we won't be having dessert tomorrow night, right?" And lo and behold, it stops. In short: kids are smart and freaking devious.
posted by polly_dactyl at 7:35 AM on October 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


The whole "by doing the thing the most powerful people in my life have forbidden I BECOME MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE" thing is pretty classic disordered thinking for people who feel totally out of control of their lives[. . .]

And suddenly I understand why I, a vocal performance major with a lot of promise, started smoking in college after I got raped.
posted by KathrynT at 9:50 AM on October 3, 2013 [13 favorites]


What I love about this comic in particular is the way that it captures *really well* how adults misunderstand causation for children. And as children, we have such different causation. Our understanding of the world is predicated on trying to fit together these puzzle pieces that just slide around and never really latch until they do and sometimes the places they latch are "I like this thing, and I like that thing, so I bet combining them would make the Best Thing" and then you have playdoh all mixed in your legos and it's horrible. But you also can't understand why it's horrible, because it was supposed to be amazing. And your adults just think you were being naughty. And then maybe later on as an older kid you try and explain it, but you can't quite lay it out well enough - what was happening in your little brain. The way things were fitting together. And so the adults hang onto this vision of you as a kid that's not right.

And this explains it perfectly! It says "This -> THAT" and it's funny, and lives inside the kid. But it's hyper-aware of the audience, which isn't really us. It's the parents and the teacher that thought SHE was the little monster. But it wasn't. It was the dinosaur. It's an apologia, but in the classical sense. Not "I'm Sorry" but "This is how it makes sense." I love it. I felt it in my bones, and wished that she would write about me as a child. Write my apologia.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:12 AM on October 3, 2013 [12 favorites]


"You need to have things trying to stop you so that you can get a better sense of how fast you are going as you smash through them."

I have a new motto, just like that.
posted by RainyJay at 12:39 PM on October 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


"The thing about being an unstoppable force is that you can really only enjoy the experience of being one when you have something to bash yourself against. "

wow. this inexplicably articulates not only certain aspects of my childhood, but the whole Heisenberg mode in Breaking Bad as well. That's... pretty fucking profound, actually.
posted by lonefrontranger at 12:52 PM on October 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


theora55: "apes for everyone!"

No capes! Do you remember what happened to Thunderhead?
posted by IAmBroom at 1:50 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


(kidding... capes make you run faster; everyone knows that)
posted by IAmBroom at 1:51 PM on October 3, 2013


Please, someone tell me that they also got a whiff of Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes when Allie-saur was forced to stand in the corner by the teacher, and we get a brief glimpse of a real dinosaur turning it's head as the teacher is walking away?
posted by FJT at 3:31 PM on October 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


In the second and third images, little Allie is looking in the mirror, at herself in the Dinosaur and Crayon costumes. Just LOOKING, puzzling out what that means.

In the last image, the Dinosaur suit has been taken away. She writes:

"And so my reign of power came to an end, and I slowly learned to live as a person again."

It shows her looking at herself in her normal clothes, but with the same look on her face.

That, I think, is profound.
posted by JHarris at 3:46 PM on October 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


"apes for everyone!"

I don't see what could possibly go wrong.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:46 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


FYI, she did (is currently doing? Not sure) an AMA (Ask Me Anything) over at Reddit.
posted by inigo2 at 2:18 PM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


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