Back Issues: Raina Telgemeier’s Smile signaled a sea change in comics still felt today

Back Issues discusses a major comic of the past, reevaluating its strengths and weaknesses while exploring the cultural context of its creation and how it has impacted the future of the comic-book medium and industry. This week: Raina Telgemeier’s Smile, the autobiographical graphic novel that situated Telgemeier as a major force in the comics industry.

Smile summary: Raina Telgemeier’s autobiographical book may take place in the 1989, but despite the fashion choices and references to that October’s Loma Prieta earthquake, still feels fresh today. Published in 2010, Smile explores Telgemeier’s complicated relationship the world around her, following her through the end of middle school and into her first year of high school. It’s a fraught time under even the best of circumstances, but young Raina deals with more than her fair share of drama thanks to an accident that knocks out her two front teeth …

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