Big Mushy Happy Lump

July 29, 2017
Big Mushy Happy Lump Book Cover Big Mushy Happy Lump
Sarah Scribbles, #2
Sarah Andersen
Comic
Andrews McMeel Publishing
March 7th, 2017
eARC
132
NetGalley
Sarah Andersen

Sarah Andersen's hugely popular, world-famous Sarah's Scribbles comics are for those of us who boast bookstore-ready bodies and Netflix-ready hair, who are always down for all-night reading-in-bed parties and extremely exclusive after-hour one-person music festivals. 

In addition to the most recent Sarah's Scribbles fan favorites and dozens of all-new comics, this volume contains illustrated personal essays on Sarah's real-life experiences with anxiety, career, relationships and other adulthood challenges that will remind readers of Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half and Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened. The same uniquely frank, real, yet humorous and uplifting tone that makes Sarah's Scribbles so relatable blooms beautifully in this new longer form.

(via Goodreads)

 

I love Sarah’s Scribbles.

Sarah Andersen has been doodling the thoughts of everyone maturing as a late Gen-X’er/early-millennial since 2011. Starting as a web comic, Andersen captures vignettes of life focused around a singular female protagonist who more-or-less wakes up one day to realize she needs to Adult. Properly Adult. And she just is NOT prepared for this. Not only is she clueless as to how adulting happens, but she suffers from social anxiety, body image issues, and sloth. Through a series of comics where Andersen compares our protagonist’s experiences to the expectations of others, we get to watch her grow, develop, and attempt to cope with what life throws at her. I have constantly found myself returning to Andersen’s works in times of emotional strife. Because, as you’ll see shortly, they help me realize that I am not alone. I was never alone.

Sarah Andersen’s comics have been produced since 2011, but only published as a web comic since 2013. Big Mushy Happy Lump is Andersen’s second published collection. Her first collection, Adulthood is a Myth follows a similar structure. Both books feature predominantly single comics per page. Each comic is easy to follow and is well drawn black and white in Anderson’s unique and strangely adorable style. This makes them easy to consume and I flew through the 132 pages of Big Mushy Happy Lump.

I can relate to a TON of these comics. Specifically, every single one focused on reading, such as How I Spend My Money:

…or experiencing my period, such as:

 

…or focused on relationships, such as Alternative Boyfriend Uses:

 

…or focused on self-esteem, such as Why Female Friendships are Important:

 

But the cool thing about Big Mushy Happy Lump is that there is also a collection of illustrated personal essays. This is a direction I haven’t seen Andersen take before. And I’ve been following her for years! In these, Andersen reveals a bit more of the experiences in her life which influence and inspire her comics. While I always assumed that she based these comics on her own personal experiences, I’ve never seen Andersen be so open about the anxieties which really plague her life. Andersen reveals a lot of personal situations; I am so proud of her strength, and how she uses humor to explain and share these situations. Mental struggles have been taboo for so long, it’s always refreshing to see an author put themselves out there to share and let the world know: This okay. This is who I am. And while it can be hard, that’s totally normal. It provides me an avenue to develop empathy for others suffering in similar situations.

Even without the illustrated essays, Big Mushy Happy Lump is a wonderful collection of self-deprecating joy coupled with life lessons. No longer do you have to suffer your humiliations or awkward moments alone. Now, with Sarah Andersen’s wonderful comics, you too can laugh at how we all really just feel the same inside. If you are unfamiliar with Sarah Andersen’s works, I strongly encourage you to check them all out.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinions of this book. Check out Andrews McMeel Publishing and Sarah Andersen on their respective websites for more information. 


What do you think?

  • Are you familiar with Sarah Amderson’s works? What about her comics do you like/not like?
  • Do you like to read comics? In what format do you prefer to read them?
  • Do you enjoy personal essays? What about illustrated personal essays?

25 Comments

  • KrystiYAandWine July 29, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I’ve never seen these before, but they’re hilarious! I am definitely going to have to check this out!

    • Jackie B July 31, 2017 at 10:43 am

      I would encourage you to check out both Sarah’s website and her published collections. The collections tell some good stories, but the one-off comics are also amazing.

  • Grab the Lapels July 29, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Loved this one and was happy I included it in my #20BooksofSummer to balance out some of the denser reading. I haven’t read Adulthood is Myth yet, though!

    • Jackie B July 31, 2017 at 9:12 am

      I’ll have to check out your review, too, then! What perfect timing. 😀 I enjoyed Adulthood is a Myth, but it didn’t make me think as much as this book did. Totally worth the read just for the comics.

      • Grab the Lapels July 31, 2017 at 9:31 am

        Cool, I’ll check out the first book, then. My library has a copy.

        • Jackie B July 31, 2017 at 10:40 am

          Gosh I adore libraries. What would we do without them?

  • theorangutanlibrarian August 1, 2017 at 8:09 am

    hahaha that how I spend my money thing was spot on!! And the female friends one was perfect! Love the look (and sound) of this! It really does look like a refreshing take on this subject. Great review!!

    • Jackie B August 1, 2017 at 11:34 am

      Plus it reminds me of all the amazing and important things in life. I often take for granted. Like my female friends– they are a brilliant support group. <3

  • Shouni August 1, 2017 at 10:13 am

    I see her work around everywhere but this is the first I’m hearing about a book. This is getting me so excited! I will definitely be buying this at some point. I think her comics are hilarious (that first one especially, I spend 80% of my money on books 😀 ).

    • Jackie B August 1, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Haha– right? It’s like “Oh, I just got paid. Bills? Check. Food? I guess I’ll get a few small things… Books? ALL THE REST.” Oops. 😉

      You should totally check out the links above. Andersen’s works are all lovely.

  • Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks August 1, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Everyone loves Sarah’s Scribbles! I didn’t even know things like that were on NetGalley though! Somehow I always only think of “proper texty books” being on there xD

    Hahaha on all of those xD except for bug killer. Guess who is the bug killer in this family ://// rather, I’m too pacifist to kill them. So I run around with a jar and… yeah. Let them live. GOD HELP ME. (you must have realized how I feel about bugs by now)

    That “I feel ugly” thing though xD my boyfriend does that for me. Girls kind of :/ don’t do that :/ wish they did ;_; (not that I’d believe them xDDDD)

    This sounds like such a great book <3

    • Jackie B August 1, 2017 at 11:40 am

      There are quite a few graphic novels/comics on NetGalley. That’s usually where I go wrong with my NetGalley requests, though… almost all of them come in the Adobe Digital Editions format. And I’m not great about staying on top of my requests, so I lose them more of than not. Oops. Silly expiration!

      I am conflicted about bugs. If they are inside the house I believe in firebombing them (from afar)– this is my space, they shouldn’t be here. I SUCK at getting near them. Their texture freaks me out! So, the Better Half is responsible for that. But outdoors? Outdoors is the bugs world. You are not allowed to kill them in their own house. Unacceptable. Very complicated feelings.

      I wish you lived anywhere remotely near me. I’d always tell you how amazing and wonderful you are. It’s hard to find a solid reliable set of girlfriends, honestly. But as long as someone is telling you that you are beautiful and amazing, that is what matters. Because you are. Duh. Don’t let the mean demon in your head tell you otherwise.

      It’s a fun read– I strongly recommend both of the published Sarah Scribbles collections, honestly.

      • Evelina August 8, 2017 at 9:10 am

        I absolutely know what you mean – my only expired AND GONE request is precisely a graphic novel, back from in the day when I wasn’t aware of the system NetGalley uses too much.

        Very complicated indeed! But hey, I saved a beautiful butterfly yesterday! So there’s that.

        Aww, you are so sweet ;_; I keep hoping you’ll be able to come visit someday! If you’re ever in Europe, plan to pass by Lithuania 😀

        • Jackie B August 9, 2017 at 10:07 am

          It’s frustrating since I am such a mood reader. I let far too many books expire because of this. I’ve really got to learn… Hopefully I’ll get there someday.

          I’m so proud of you for saving a butterfly! Was this at camp? That’s goes back to the whole their space vs. my space concept.

          I hope I will be able to visit someday! I’d love to see Lithuania. 😀

  • morethangeekylove August 3, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    This is awesome!!
    I have been wanting to read Sarah’s comics? I guess because looks more like comics than a graphic novel for a long time now. But I cannot find any where I live so I have to get her books online I guess (one dayyy when I have enough money to buy all the books over the net ahaha)

    It is so relatable and soo funny and the art style is soo cute I love itt and I am soo happy that you loved and enjoyed its too 🙂

    Living in a country where the books costs more than your monthly rent is ridiculous lol -.-

    Anywaysss thank you for the lovely review and sneak peaks <3

    • Jackie B August 4, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      There are some eBook versions of both the Sarash Scribbles published work if that’s something you’re interested in. I’m all about the physical copies of the books, though. These are great coffee table books and for guests to entertain themselves with! Stupid international shipping is far too expensive, isn’t it?

      • morethangeekylove August 7, 2017 at 5:12 pm

        Yes me too I prefer the hard copy of a book to hold it to smell it to feel it to annotate it just normal stuff we book lovers do o.o
        Yes the shipping is as much as the book itself lol I wanted to get myself How Dimple met Rishi the shipping was £11.95 and the book was £9.95… like thanks but no thanks I’d rather wait it to come to Bulgaria and buy it from a store

        • Jackie B August 10, 2017 at 10:37 am

          Ugh. That’s the worst. I’ve definitely been in that situation before– but sometimes it’s totally work it. 😉

  • whatthelog August 6, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Aaah, this sounds brilliant!!

    • Jackie B August 7, 2017 at 8:41 am

      It’s a really fun way to address mental health concerns. I was thinking about you when I was writing this review– are you familiar with the Sarah Scribbles comic?

  • Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity August 8, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    I see people posting these comics on Twitter a lot, and I can always laugh and relate to them so much! I had no idea that they were published in collections, and I think I might just have to try and find myself a copy. I really love comics and stories that are relatable, in both a serious and humorous way, and it looks like this book captures those elements perfectly. I’m so glad that you enjoyed this one so much, Jackie! I can’t wait to read it for myself 🙂

    • Jackie B August 9, 2017 at 8:02 am

      It never occurred to me to follow Sarah Andersen on Twitter! *Goes to Twitter and follows her immediately* Whew. Close one. 😀 But seriously, these comics never fail to make me smile. Strongly recommended. I look forward to hearing what you think about them!

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