We Can Fix It!

Jess Fink’s “time travel memoir” puts to paper the classic wish-fulfillment concept of going back in time to advise your younger self.

Given Fink’s previous book of erotica, Chester 5000, it shouldn’t be surprising that this book is being promoted as a “raunchy adventure” dressed in a “sexy futuristic jumpsuit”, but that gives the potential reader entirely the wrong impression, in my opinion. Fink’s art is more in keeping with the raw autobiographical revelations of something like the books of Ariel Schrag. At times, it’s almost painful to read, particularly when it becomes a string of uncomfortable “things I wish had been different” memories.

Clearly, the moments here were significant in our protagonist’s life, but that importance and emotion didn’t always come across to me as a reader. I didn’t empathize or share the impulses Fink seems motivated by. But then, when I dreamt of meeting myself back in the day, I always wondered how I’d convince myself I was really me; Fink instead jumps straight to tongue-kissing herself (in a ludicrous panel that’s hilarious, not meaningful; you can see it in this Robot 6 review). I wanted more background to these characters so I could form some connection to them, but I thought too much was left to the reader to come up with.

There are some revelations that are tossed off but bear wisdom, such as how encounters are made more sexy in memory, when the actual interactions can be painfully uncomfortable. And how trying to fix every little thing just annoys people who need to make their own mistakes. And how focusing on what went wrong can be depressing, while it’s important not to forget about the funny and enjoyable (if stupid) things.

I wanted to like this take on something we’ve all wondered about, but I found it too unfocused. I wished for more structure to Fink’s memories in order to welcome us in. I’m guessing that the book meant more to her making it and revisiting these moments than to readers. The ultimate message, to focus on the positive, is a great one, but getting there is a meander. (The publisher provided a review copy.)

3 Responses to “We Can Fix It!”

  1. Jim Kosmicki Says:

    this is a very nice review. I had this pre-ordered because I liked Chester so much and really admire Fink’s cartooning. But, yeah, it was scattered and unfocused. I still really like her cartooning skills, but it was a lot like being around your later life friends when they tell crazy high school/college stories and they’re all laughing hysterically, but you are mainly confused because you weren’t there, and they aren’t filling in the gaps of the story for you.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Thank you. I’m glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who felt that way about it. Your comparison is a good one.

  3. dancinbojangles Says:

    Oh wow, I’ve wanted this book for ages, but could never get a handle on how to actually purchase it! Glad to know it’s out for real now.




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