Inside 'I Am Not Okay With This' by Charles Forsman
Forsman's latest continues to show his ability to craft intimate tales of love, loss, confusion and violence.
The diary-driven coming of age tale of Syd is tragic, but Forsman's humor always finds a way to shine through the sadness of his comics. As evidenced in past work like Celebrated Summer and The End of the Fucking World, Forsman somehow is able to intermingle teenage awkwardness, familial humor and self-deprecation with incredible jaunts of violence and sadness. As the protagonist, Syd guides the story and the story is very much hers: trouble at home, trouble at school, trouble inside her own head. She's surrounded by a strong supporting cast including her friends, family and people who occupy her world. Both the cool punk convenience store clerk and the nerdy dweeb friend both allow Syd to explore her blossoming and endlessly confusing sexuality in incredibly different ways. Combined with the onslaught of sexual frustration and teenage boredom, Syd has abilities that are manifesting that are only partially under her own control. More like a curse, Syd can hurt people --- badly. The arc of the story explores Syd's triumphs and downfalls. While you can see the conclusion coming from a mile away, it implores you to question what you would do given the same incredibly difficult circumstances as Syd. The homelife situation that builds and bubbles, the drama with friends and potential love interests, the feelings of being that outcast who will never be able to break in. Forsman's tale of hopelessness, loss and violence is absolutely worth the read and continues his streak of formidable and somehow indescribable teenage dramas.