Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 76

How To Talk To Girls At Parties

by Neil Gaiman, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon
Genre notes: nostlagia, slice-of-life
64 pages
ISBN: 1616559551 (Amazon)

HTTTGAP is gorgeously illustrated and is an adaptation of a Neil Gaiman short story. It's basically this guy talking about a night he had at a party 30 years earlier as indicative of how tough a time he had talking with the opposite sex. His narration portrays them as alien creatures, lighting upon the earth as a kind of vacation from their celestial travels. It's amusing. Some people have read the story and interpreted in some sort of twist where the girls being talked to at parties are not actually human girls. I would encourage the reader away from these interpretations because ....

You know what, skip the rest if you haven't read the book and are averse to SPOILERS (even though it's not the kind of book that can really be spoiled).

The point of the story is to show how alien girls are to this kid. He doesn't understand them or how to talk to them, but he realizes this so that's why even though they're telling him all this crazy stuff, he doesn't bat an eye. The neat thing about the story is that aurally and visually, everything points to the girls being aliens but all that is just to help the narrator explain how he felt about girls 30 years ago. The idea of the story isn't that they *are* aliens but that they might as well be aliens.

That reading was basically the only way the story worked for me.

1) There didn't seem to be any other reason to reveal the alien nature of the girls in the very first conversation save to later turn that on its heads.

2) There didn't seem to be any other explanation for why narrator was so completely cool with them being aliens.

3) This is a guy thirty years later telling a story and making something mundane seem fantastic; he's heightening all the right elements apocalyptically to underscore his thesis.

4) It's a much much much more interesting story if the girls are normal human girls and it's just the telling of the story that makes them into aliens. Much more thematically rich.

5) If the girls are just girls, everything becomes relateable. If they're aliens, everything is unconnected to reality and especially Vic's terror and flight doesn't really matter at all.

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