You will like this work of art. Or not. There will not be an in between feeling when it comes to My Name is Jason. Mine Too.: Our Story. Our Way. Okay, maybe a little in between as you will probably like some of the poetry and some you will not. And some of the illustrations you will like the artwork of, but others you will be WTF? Or at least that was how it was with me. But for the overall package I have a “Yes, I liked it” opinion of it.
The art styles of both artists come together and are overlapping, individually presented and side-by-side. The mixed media (collages, photographs, drawings, sketches, typed words and handwritten works) has elements of ugly, beauty, and both at the same time. The poetry flows, jumps, and creates feelings that the collages and other images support. Both are separate and as one. It is a creation that cannot be rushed, must be carefully viewed and repeated. This is an artbook and poetry book. But it is also a memoir and just the feelings they have. There is a lot going on.
The best part is how it is formatted. The first part is the two Jason’s telling us a story. And there are these highlight red words or phrases. Then, you realize that the titles of the poems to come are those words. They deal with being hungry, their pants “too big,” being swallowed by the city, trying to be happy and not have things “too hard,” and how they lean on each other, even when they do not realize they need to. The final part is the short interview between the two men, by each other. The second-best part is how the font will change when the two speak allowing you to know who is speaking.
Sometimes things get horrifically muddled, images just barfed onto the page. Nothing is visible, just you look and see what you can find. Sometimes you have a smooth page, and everything falls neatly into place. Not a letter, or image out of place. The art and text can fit the page and sometimes the page is made to fit the poems and artwork (translation, you will be tilting your head a few times, turning the book on its side and at least once, upside down).
Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin might not say they are “brothers from another mother” but they are two people who are deeply connected friends who probably consider each other as close as brothers could be; and that is reflected within the work.
Best for teens (at least 13 and up) and adults.