Friday, September 19, 2008

"Maxine'izing" Your Research

I never trained as a reporter, but I try to find the truth and adhere to it. Life is simpler that way. But I also like to add color and references to my writing. Thus, when I began my review of Marian Henley's THE SHINIEST JEWEL: A Family Love Story for The Internet Review of Books with ...


We all know about graphic novels — okay, yes, they’re the 21st century comic book equivalent to Classics Illustrated, which were the literature crib notes of my generation. But the cover of The Shiniest Jewel, “a memoir written and illustrated by Marian Henley,” announces that the genre has moved from science fiction, fantasy, and superhero heroics toward something more serious.

The author is the creator of “Maxine,” an acerbic cartoon wherein a fan might read such bons mots as “Family reunions really make you sit back and appreciate those other 51 weekends.”


One minor problem: I learned today that the "Maxine" is not the acerbic "Maxine" I quoted twice in the review.

No, Ms. Henley's "Maxine" is younger, and "different in tone and intention."

I am embarrassed. It was a stupid mistake, one made because I deliberately did not want to learn too much about cartoonist's career as a graphic artist before I undertook to read and review the memoir.

That's no justification or excuse, I know. What must be said is "I apologize."

I did. And I promised myself what must be done next time is better research.

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