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Review: The End of the FXXXing World by Charles Forsman

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By: burgundy bug

“The End of the FXXXing World” by Charles Forsman

Source: The End of the FXXXing World by Charles Forsman | Penelope Peru Photography

Serving as the basis for the Netflix original show, “The End of the F***ing World,” the original comic by Charles Forsman is a dark-humor driven tale of James and Alyssa; young, in love, and on the run.

A Bit of Context…

Forsman is a 2008 graduate from The Center for Cartoon Studies who has won three Ignatz Awards for his work, according to the author’s website.

The End of the FXXXing World” is a coming age story that highlights the fear of emerging into adulthood through a dramatic road trip to find Alyssa’s father.

“Quickly, this somewhat familiar teenage experience takes a more nihilistic turn as James’s character exhibits a rapidly forming sociopathy that threatens both of their futures. He harbors violent fantasies and begins to act on them, while Alyssa remains as willfully ignorant for as long as she can, blinded by young love.”

The End of the FXXXing World Summary on Amazon

The series was originally published as eight page mini comics between Sept 2011 and Feb 2013 by Forsman before becoming a book in 2013. It was later adapted into a Netflix original series in 2017.

The End of the FXXXing World Review

A rich, deeply complex storyline is brought to life by simplistic illustrations, similar to the art style of “Adventure Time” or “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” in “The End of the FXXXing World.”

The story is fast paced and moves unapologetically at it’s own rhythm, often alternating between the perspectives of James and Alyssa.

Reading this book after first falling head over heels for the Netflix original show in 2017, it offers a very different perspective of the plot and characters as a whole.

While some scenes in the show are truly straight out of the comic, there are some minor alterations that help the show flow more seamlessly.

I also felt as though the Netflix series made James seem more protective, sweet, and nurturing – more romanticized, if you will.

Whereas Forsman gives us a darker, more silent James. He’s still protective and dancing on the line between sane and downright sociopathic, but he’s more stoic, less personable.

The end of the book left me somewhat torn. I was left searching for more as a I turned the final pages. It couldn’t just end like that, could it? What’s to come of Alyssa, assuming James is out of the picture – and is he really gone?

Forsman’s dark spin on a coming of age story is unique and absolutely captivating. While the character development is better executed in the Netflix adaptation of “The End of the FXXXing World,” I do feel it’s worth noting that the book was originally an eight page mini comic series.

There’s only so much you can squeeze into eight page mini comics versus a television show with 20 minute episodes, afterall.

At the end of the day, I’d say “The End of the FXXXing World” by Forsman warrants a solid four out of five. I highly recommend you give this book a read, especially if you’re a fan of the show.

“The End of the FXXXing World” by Charles Forsman

Source: The End of the FXXXing World by Charles Forsman | Penelope Peru Photography

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burgundy bug


A cynical optimist and mad scientist undercover, burgundy bug is the editor, graphic designer, webmaster, social media manager, and primary photographer for The Burgundy Zine. Entangled in a web of curiosity, burgundy bug’s work embodies a wide variety of topics including: neuroscience, psychology, ecology, biology, cannabis, reviews, fashion, entertainment, and politics. You can learn more about working with burgundy bug by visiting her portfolio website: burgundybug.com

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