GrUpSamanci s graphic novel memoir is a humorous and moving portrayal of coming of age in Turkey in the turbulent s The story makes the political personal in ways that are perfectly accessible to young teens Samanci s narrative is peppered with engaging details of her childhood experiences, including her relationships with her parents, uncle, and sister the grueling educational system and the difficult reality of growing up female in a politically and religiously polarized society Throughout it all, Samanci struggles with her conflicting desires for success, happiness, and, above all, the approval of her critical father The style of cartoon illustration combined with mixed media is used to great effect In several places, the author employs rubber stamps to create pictures of people and concepts that were important to her when she was a child The muted color scheme and stark backgrounds evoke the political and cultural tone of Turkish society While there is some violence, it is used sparingly and is presented as an integral part of the narrative VERDICT In the growing body of graphic novel memoirs, this one is a standoutMaggi Rohde, Ann Arbor Public Schools, MIHumor and youthful angst lighten this graphic memoir of life in a country pulled strongly in different directions by conflicts between Western and conservative Muslim values A bright, perceptive bildungsroman with a distinctive setting Kirkus MagazineEvery page has been expertly designed, creating a thoroughly satisfying aesthetic experience AV ClubHer art is an intriguing mix of doodle like line drawings and mixed media compositions made of paper, rocks, stamps, andto build a picture of a world where the politics might seem unfamiliar but the family dynamics and personal relationships are universally recognizable BookreviewSamanci s caricatures of herself and the people around her, often drawn wide eyed with surprise, make the sporadic episodes of political strife and urban violence oddly incongruous But they re a crucial component of the story, one that resounds with honesty and humor Publishers WeeklyLike Marjane Satrapi sPersepolisand James Kochalka sAmerican Elf,Dare to Disappointframes the epic through the intimate, offering a sterling experience of startling vulnerability and lasting impression Paste MagazineShes a gifted cartoonist with an innate sense of pacing and a seemingly inexhaustible well of ideas for presenting informationthe book bursts with maps, diagrams, pasted in leaves, doodles, and ink stamps Its remarkably energetic on the page, and combined with Samancis appealing, reflective voice, offers a perfectly satisfying memoir reading experience not just the story of someones life, but the chance to see the world through someone elses eyes Slate will surely be one of the books that we ll be talking about in many a year end list Samanci s assured command of the medium is present and brings to mind other sequential art redefining cartoonists like Emily Carroll and Jillian Tamaki This is one to be on the look out for The Beat The News Blog of Comics CultureAs she recounts her event filled, danger filled childhood, Samanci manages to convey centuries of Turkeys history as well as the political and cultural upheavals that have marked recent decades there But the focus is always on her journey of self discovery, the struggle to hear her own voice and find a place in the noisy, often brutal world she was born into The New York TimesThe work has a modest title, Dare to Disappoint, but its ambitions are large Its creator, zge Samanc, has produced a Knstlerroman that also recreates life in Turkey in the s and early s, a time when the countrys secular heritage was enforced with a severity that has come under scrutiny in the era of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Here in Turkey, where her book is topping bestseller lists, Samanc has become the years most inspiring figure among comic artists, and a subject of intrigue for Turkish magazines, newspapers, and budding artists New Republic Autobiographies often revolve around specialness, self aggrandisement camouflaged as the opposite I was always a weird kid, and so on Theres no such cloying humblebrag in Samancis affecting comic book memoir of her everyday youth in Turkey in the s and early s, of a childs fascinations with household items, with family and society, with winningly Jacques Cousteau The art is simple but never twee not least because, in occasional shocking moments, the horrifying state violence of the time is rendered in exactly the same style as the childrens games The Guardian, Kathryn BromwichIt s a really beautiful story and beautifully told Chicago PBS, Paul CaineDare to Disappoint treated many of the universal conflicts that young people face as they come of age, while also providing a window on a fascinating time in Turkish history The Comics Alternative PodcastWith loose, funny, expressive art that captures the main characters many moods and enthusiastic outlook, this autobiographical coming of age story has lots of heart and plenty of universal appeal Ozge Samancis Dare to Disappoint Growing Up in Turkey meticulously depicts a specific time and place, but it will speak to anyone who marches to the beat of a different drummer Sun Sentinel


8 thoughts on “Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey