Today I decided to review something a little bit lighter than usual and landed on Hillary Fitzgerald Campbell’s ‘Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could Have Done Better’. This collection of nonfiction, and anonymous, break up stories is quirky, funny, and sure to get a laugh out of just about anyone.
Title: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.. But You Could’ve Done Better
Author: Hillary Fitzgerald Campbell
Publisher: Animal Media Group
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Genre: Nonfiction, Humour
Themes: Relationships, Breakups
My Rating: 3/ 5
Anonymous break up stories from men and women, old and young, serious and silly and the cartoons that inspired them. Author and artist Hilary Campbell turns the painful into the hilarious, validating emotions from forgotten middle school tragedies to relationships that ended only hours ago.
Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and cartoonist. Her films have won top prizes at Slamdance, SF IndieFest, and more. She was the co-illustrator of Jessica Bennett’s critically acclaimed Feminist Fight Club.Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, But You Could’ve Done Better is her first book of cartoons.
I was drawn to this book after having read Daniel Handler’s Why We Broke Up a little while back, and thought ‘hey, why not?’ This collection of anonymous stories made me giggle and guffaw more than a few times, as it took on the form of those ridiculous whisper confessions, and the illustrations that accompanied each story were just as cute.
My main complaint with this title is that while it is listed under comics and graphic novels, or as sequential art, the illustrations are neither sequential nor do they form a graphic novel. When I first selected the title I was expecting the stories to be completely translated into comic form (which would have been hilarious) rather than being accompanied by a single vignette. Don’t get me wrong, the stories were funny and the artwork spot on – but I would have preferred something that strayed a bit further away from single pane/ editorial comics. Was if fun? Sure! But there was way more that could have been done with these stories for them to be marketed as genuine comics and the collection as a graphic novel.
Would I recommend this book? Of course! It’s funny, relatable, and the perfect little book to leave places where it can be picked up and put down in a short amount of time. Campbell’s comic interpretation really adds to the experience, and reminded me more than a little of Bizzaro and Off the Mark. And, to be quite honest, it could easily be compared to the Bro Code bathroom readers in terms of humour and application.
Many thanks to Hillary Fitzgerald Campbell and Animal Media Group for providing an advanced copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.