American comedian and actress Chelsea Handler once said, “Laugh loudly, laugh often, and most important, laugh at yourself”. Australia-based award-winning author Dean Blake recently released his second book– a graphic novel—-Everyday A-holes and this book teaches us just that.
In an easily offended world, Everyday A-holes inspires people to have a laugh and take things lightly depicting fun characters inspired by real-life conversations with over 160 sketches by the author.
The book contains some of Blake’s earliest (and most popular) online works.
Early work and inspirations
Blake started drawing and writing at a very young age. He used to run a blog called “Always Eighteen”, which contained vignettes and fictional stories about his life and the people around him. Today, “Always Eighteen” has evolved to “Generation End” with a blogging site and presence on social media, where he still continues to develop narratives as well as short comics. His first book, Surface Children -a collection of short stories was also well received.
From Asia to Australia – Blake has travelled to many countries experiencing different cultures as well as meeting different types of people. However, one recurring personality among these encounters has been the everyday ‘a-hole’ type.
nteractions with these types of people is what inspired Blake to come up with his much-loved web comics. As the popularity of his illustrations grew online, he kept at it, and soon enough, one thing led to another, and Everyday A-holes— a self-published humour-packed graphic novel, was born.
Everyday A-Holes is about everyday A-Holes we all have met at least once
One of the reasons why Blake’s Everyday A-holes is so funny is the fact that it is utterly relatable. You will spot a Kiera who pretends to look at her phone while “walking past a peasant she never ever wants to talk to again,” or a Barry who uses shower water to hide his tears and a Helen who literally has a walking, talking a-hole for a boyfriend. These are real people that we see around us in day-to-day life, or maybe, sometimes, we even are them.
While Blake’s objective with this book is to simply make us laugh, he does not shy away from addressing relevant social issues. From cultural appropriation to migrant issues and casual racism to workplace gender disparity – Blake talks about important issues through his accurate, unapologetic sketches in the book. The sketches are funny because they are based on the realities of the world, and that is why they move you to take a pause and think about yourself and the people you choose to keep around.
Blake’s approach of using satire and irony helps encapsulate the essence of what an everyday a-hole is. He uses his unique style of drawing together with his quick-witted captions in order to produce quality content for the reader.
Blake has a dry sense of humour and is not afraid of speaking about things, that most people would consider “controversial or politically incorrect”. So, if you are overly sensitive and get offended at the drop of a hat, this book is not for you.
However, if you are like me and don’t take yourself or the world around you so seriously and have an open mind when it comes to humour, I strongly recommend this graphic novel. After all, in a time where we are faced by a pandemic forcing us into isolation, we all could do with a good laugh.
Priced at $18.21, the book is available at all major online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Book Depository among others. The book is also available on Dean Blake’s website https://www.everydayassholes.net/store
This review was originally published on Lifestyle Collective.