Confessions of a Blabbermouth

I had high hopes due to the premise — teenage blogger can’t cope with mom’s new boyfriend — and the co-writer, Louise Carey, who is an actual 15-year-old girl and daughter of established writer Mike Carey. I was sadly disappointed. And to tell you why, I have to spoil the book, so if you don’t wanna, skip to the next post.

Confessions of a Blabbermouth cover
Confessions of a Blabbermouth
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The book starts in a very cartoony fashion, with Tasha, our Teenage Heroine, throwing an iron around in frustration at her mother, who runs an online underwear business, because Mom’s going to bring the new boyfriend home. Goofy, right? Sitcom-like? Except the plot turns on hints of father/daughter incest. Which is a bit heavy for this kind of intended comedy. Especially given the twisted way it’s handled.

It turns out that the incest is all a misunderstanding, which makes it worse, to use this not as a plot point but a feint to mislead the reader. The real secret is that Dad is writing his daughter’s column for her. She doesn’t want to be a writer, but he forces her to front for him so he can talk about the real youth of today.

Let’s look again at those creator credits, shall we? Daddy and daughter are co-writing a book about a modern girl. Creeped out much now? Especially when you read the “about the authors” blips and see that Ms. Carey is listed as writing a journalistic column. Just how much is fictionalized here?

Then there are the little inconsistencies, like: Do a lot of teens blog from an internet cafe? Don’t most have their own computers? (At the end we find that she does, so why does she pay for access?) Why does Tasha get so upset at a pretty innocuous column about bloggers in the paper? (I’ve seen a lot worse from comic writers ranting about review blogs.) Why does she hate the idea of other people praising her writing skills so much when she’s obviously looking for attention or she wouldn’t be blogging?

In short, the personalities didn’t ring true for me. The book was drawn by Aaron Alexovich, about which more tomorrow. His style is very much love it or hate it, lots of black, lots of scratchy, gnome-like characters. He previously did Serenity Rose, about a goth witch, where it fit more organically.

Jeff Lester uses his dislike of elements of the title to talk about problems with the Minx line overall.


7 Responses to “Confessions of a Blabbermouth”

  1. Jennifer de Guzman Says:

    The parallels between the writing team and the characters struck me as odd as well. But I can imagine how it came about without thinking that Confessions isn’t fiction.

    Why does Tasha get so upset at a pretty innocuous column about bloggers in the paper?

    I think I remember being a teenager well enough to answer this: Because Tasha’s a teenager, and she takes things that are general personally, especially since it was written by one of her peers whom she happens not to like already. When I was fifteen, a columnist in the local paper wrote something denigrating about teenagers, and I got kind of pissed. I even wrote a letter to the editor in response and got annoyed that the editor turned an exclamation point into a period when they printed it.

  2. Johanna Says:

    That’s a great point, and I’m afraid I may not have made my point there clearly: it’s easy to write good venom about blogging. Why is this supposed attack example so toothless?

  3. John Says:

    I enjoyed Confessions for the most part, though didn’t love it or anything – see http://shuffleboil.com/2007/11/17/review-minx-books/ for shameless self promotion of my opinions about it (actually, now that I look back on it, I don’t really have much to say about it, but still) – but your points about its weak points are well taken and I mostly agree. The tone of the book is so over the top and cartoonish, though, that I just took it as an amusing but ultimately unimportant and quick diversion.

    What struck me about it for the most part is that despite the involvement of an actual teenage girl, the characterizations of the teenagers in it seemed no more or less genuine than the titles written by grown-up guys (The Plain Janes remains the most realistic to me in that area, but that was written by a grown-up lady). I dunno, seemed like it should’ve been a revelation because of that, but it was just another book.

  4. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Nov. 29, 2007: A midwinter night’s Dullsville Says:

    [...] Johanna Draper Carlson on Mike Carey, Louise Carey and Aaron Alexovich’s Confessions of a [...]

  5. Kimmie66 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] distinctive look works better for me here than in Confessions of a Blabbermouth, since most of the settings are artificial. His exaggerations fit better in such an environment, [...]

  6. Minx Now and Future » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] Confessions of a Blabbermouth [...]

  7. Claudia Says:

    whoa…I loved it.




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