Disclaimer: The editors of weirderary know Jarod Roselló personally and so would feel biased to review his recently released graphic novel, The Well-Dressed Bear Will (Never) Be Found. However, it is their unbiased opinion that, had they not been biased, they would have still found it to be quite amazing.
Fortunately, in the weeks leading up to the release of the first issue of weirderary, our mail carrier became increasingly interested in the surge of correspondence sent to our address. He asked to be involved in some way and so we decided that he could review Jarod’s book. He was reluctant to write the review himself because of his unfamiliarity with grammar and computers, so we had him look at the book and we transcribed his impressions below:
My name is Gary and welcome to “Gary’s Corner.” Hopefully this will be a regular thing and I can come in here and just answer questions or look at books and tell people about them or whatever you guys need me to do.
Okay. Today I’m reviewing a book with a title of The Well-Dressed Bear Will (Never) Be Found by J. Roselló.
It’s got a nice cover, and the binding is pretty sturdy. You’d have a hard time ripping this thing apart, I’ll tell you that. [At this point, Gary tried to pull the book apart but was unable to do so.]
Should I just start reading it aloud, then? Is that what people usually do?
I guess I’ll just start reading some of it.
“The Well-Dressed Bear has been receiving a lot of misdialed calls lately.”
I feel like I shouldn’t just be reading the book out loud like this. And besides, people won’t be able to see the drawings in here.
[At this point, we prompted Gary to tell us if he thought highly of the book.]
Do you mean, do I like it? I mean, sure. It’s a good book. The drawings look good. Is it normal for someone to draw in a book? I already talked about the cover and the binding. As a mailman, I guess I should mention that it seems like it could fit in a lot of different kinds of boxes for shipping, right? If you were just sending one, I’d probably recommend putting it in a ReadyPost 8 ½ x 12 inch Cushion Mailer. Of course, if you’re sending more copies, you’re gonna want… [we’d heard this spiel before, so we interrupted Gary and asked him to focus back on the book].
Oh yeah, I’d tell people to read it. Do you think this one guy wrote the words and drew all these pictures in here? Seems like that’d take a long time.
What else, what else?
[Gary muttered to himself as he read the back of the book.]
Well, it’s certainly about a bear in a city.
[At this point we pointed out that the book is about the author’s feelings of displacement and that the Well-Dressed Bear is a metaphor for that.]
[The bear has issues with his identity, from the phone calls asking for Jonathan, to the mask he wears to fit in, even to the fact that it’s a bear dressed and trying to act like a person (a concept we take for granted from the start because it fits traditions of anthropomorphic creatures in comics, but which underlies the narrative with meta-tension).]
[Don’t you think it’s a complex, darkly humorous story told with bold art and words?]
Yeah, definitely. And you know what? You might fit two of these into a ReadyPost 8 ½ x 12 inch Cushion Mailer.
Gary Cunningham is a mailman and model train enthusiast from outside of Richmond, Virginia. He will answer any post office-related inquiries through his gmail account at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s not married anymore, but he and his wife are amicable. He has four children, of whom he is extremely proud.