Re/Read: Charles Forsman’s Celebrated Summer


Re/Read is an occasional column by Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid examining backlist books you may have missed or merit another look. With Charles Forsman’s The End of the Fucking World soon to be released as a Netflix original series, it’s a good time to look back at his graphic novella Celebrated Summer.

In Celebrated Summer, Forsman follows the drug-induced adventures of two friends at the conclusion of their high school years. The transitional period from adolescence to adulthood provides fertile ground for contemporary cartoonists. I couldn’t help but consider this work in terms of the Daniel Clowes classic Ghost World, with alienated male protagonists Mike and Wolf in the place of Enid and Rebecca. Their awkward encounters with authority figures serve as a perfect metaphor for the uncertainty of the future – at once liberating and frightening. Forsman successfully renders the meandering psychedelic road trip that might be familiar to many readers. A wonderfully engaging book.

Located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle’s lively Georgetown arts community, Fantagraphics Bookstore features a comprehensive selection of classic, alternative, and underground comix. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206-557-4910.