One Hundred Demons - Lynda Barry
(referenced in a NY Times Review of Books article on graphic novels by Nick Hornby)
Although the title is a little misleading (Barry actually covers 17 demons), it's still a great book. The title refers to an exercise using a Chinese ink stick and brushes to draw out your own "demons" and put them on paper. Barry's range from head lice to reading the classifieds as a child (having no books) to getting high with a boy she liked in Chinatown. She refers to her work as "autobifictionalography;" it's not entirely clear which parts are true and which parts aren't, but they all seem true. Although I haven't shared many of her experiences, I could identify with some of her feelings: Barry was able to capture the sort of thoughts you have about adults as a teenager, the awkwardness of dancing, the discovery that your dream job is more like a nightmare. Her portrayal of herself is far from flattering, but I suppose that's the point of the exercise: these are your demons, after all, not your pleasant daydreams. Read this book, laugh at her ironic humor, but be prepared to cringe when you see yourself reflected, too.