Saturday, April 01, 2006

Entertainment Weekly

I picked up this week's Entertainment Weekly (the April 7 issue with Howard Stern on the cover; on my first try, I bought the wrong one) and on Page 66 found this:

This is a very good review by Hannah Tucker. It did not escape my notice that three other graphic novels reviewed in the same issue received better grades of "A" or "A-minus." However, since those books' creators are Harvey Pekar, Julie Doucet and Jessica Abel, I'm satisfied with a "B-plus." That's a fine grade by EW standards. And I have a feeling that no one's going to base a purchase decision on my book's cumulative GPA (grade point average).


Dave said...

I think any book that gets a grade of "B-minus" or better can be safely thought of as worth reading. Especially if the book is of subject matter that a person is currently going through and interested in learning more about. It would be a nice ego boost to get "As" all the time, but what real difference is there, as you touched on in a previous post, between a book that gets an "A-minus" or a "B-plus?" It's totally subjective, based on the present usefulness of a book to its reader. Would your book merit higher scores from reviewers who have family members who are suffering from cancer?

Anyway, you've gotten a nice batch of reviews and press so far. Congrats.

Kid Sis said...

Dave's right. All that really matters is if people see the press and still want to buy the book. I don't think a B+ dissuades anyone the material attracts. It's not like there's anything else out there like it, with apologies to Pekar.

Lynda (Laurianne's Sister) said...

The books graded F barely ever make it into Entertainment Weekly.

I would have given you an A++++ though.

Sarah said...

I agree with Dave on the subjectiveness. I had a friend read your book and he thought it was 'good.' I blinked a couple of times and stared straight back at him, as if to say "WHAT? GOOD?!" He said "Sarah, you have to understand - I've never dealt with any of this before. So, in terms of portraying what it must be like, it was good. Do I really want to read about cancer, though?" Good point, I guess. As I've told you, though, I hear this story on a daily basis, and it was so refreshing to see it told in a different medium than another autobiography. Not that those are wrong. I should shut up before my foot gets in my mouth any futher.

Anyway, point being - very subjective. Clearly the people whose lives are affected by this awful disease would most likely have a different opinion.

Mr Bill said...


You (your story) and your Mom moved me greatly.

Thank you.

I will share your art and message as far as I can.


BrianFies said...

I appreciate the pep talks on the EW grade. Really, I'm not worried about it, and it's great to have such a positive high-profile review.

Sarah, I think you and Dave touch on the same point, which is that my book will really resonate for some people (who've maybe been touched by something similar) and not at all for others. I understood that from the start; it's simply not going to be everyone's cup o' tea. I don't know if it would have struck a chord with me four years ago. But I like to imagine that someone who reads "Mom's Cancer" and doesn't think much of it now might look back in a few years and realize, "Ah, now I get it."

Mr. Bill, thanks so much for the note here and on your blog at I really appreciate it.