Comic god Stan Lee says Zits is a “comedic masterpiece!” Fans of funny illustrated YA novels such as Drama by Raina Telgemeier and Teen Angst? Naaah… by Ned Vizzini will definitely want to read Zits: Chillax.
In Zits: Chillax, Jeremy Duncan, high school sophomore and future rock god, offers up a comedic outlook on teenage life, including school, parents, chores, bands, and friends.
Jeremy and his best friend, Hector Garcia, are planning to achieve a lifelong dream…going to a rock concert! Without parental supervision. But the Gingivitis concert falls on the same night their friend Tim is donating bone marrow for his mom, a cancer patient. Not a problem: Jeremy and Hector are determined to go to the show…for Tim.
Written and illustrated by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, Zits: Chillax is based on their comic strip, Zits. The book features 300 illustrations—including hilarious full-page comics.– Goodreads
While not a full length novel, I am fully in love with Zits: Chillax. It’s Jeremy’s coming of age story told much how the daily funnies are, but with a bit more substance. I also relate to Jeremy and the way that he deals with his parents. The fact that they force him to get out of bed and talk is a lot for Jeremy most days. And no matter who you are, when you’re a teen there are many days that you just want to lay in your bed and ignore the world.
This book also deals with two very important issues to Jeremy. 1) The Gingivitis concert, only the most important concert of Jeremy’s life and 2) the fact that Tim’s mom recently got cancer. The way that Scott and Borgman weave together not only the concert, but the heavy story of cancer is a testament to how a graphic novel can be. Jeremy handles cancer as well as can be expected for Jeremy. He speaks to Tim is dude code and doesn’t get why his girlfriend and her BFF are freaking out. Boys don’t show emotion, they know that! But through the girls, and growing up not only do Jeremy and Hector grow up but they learn while everything doesn’t work perfectly all the time. Life often is perfect for them in the end.
And as always, Scott and Borgman, really sell the novel and the life of a teenage boy.