I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got four new comics plus a hard cover collection and a trade paperback collection:

  • Blue Beetle – 1
  • Deadman – 1
  • Batman – 1
  • Dark Horse Presents – 4
  • The New York Five
  • The Invincible Iron Man Vol 8 “Unfixable”
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

    “Paying For It” by Chester Brown

    Here we go with my second “Adult” comic review in a row. An odd coincidence. But aren’t all coincidences odd? I don’t remember. Anyway this graphic novel from Chester Brown is subtitled “A comic-strip memoir about being a John” and that pretty well sums up the book. Being a memoir it’s autobiographical in nature and takes place in the Seth-Chester-Joe-verse.

    Seth, Chester Brown, and Joe Matt all have done auto-biographical comics, lived near each other, and were friends. So they have all appeared in each others comics. It’s like a small shared universe except it’s the real world. Or the comic book version of such.

    It turns out that back in 1999 Chester Brown decided to give up on romantic love. He was tired of it an it lost its value to him. But he still wanted to have sex. Lacking the social skills to pull off any one night stands he decided to start hiring prostitutes. Except how does one go about hiring a prostitute? This is that story.

    Brown’s autobiographical comics have always been about honesty and what’s going through his mind. Even if that’s weird and impolite. And that is what this book is about. What is going through his mind. It’s interesting to see him come to grips with hiring a prostitute, going through with it, and having to figure out what it all means. Should he hire the same girl again? Try different ones? What if he is disappointed? All sorts of questions pop up. He even decides to be unashamed of his choice and discusses it with his friends.

    In the introduction he makes a point of telling us that he doesn’t want to take a chance on exposing any of the women he had hired so he changed their names and didn’t draw their faces. I found this odd because I don’t know who could recognize someone from a Chester Brown drawing. He is not a follower of realism. The result of this not showing the prostitutes faces was that he put the word balloons over them. I found this odd at first but then it began to emphasize that the book was about what was happening in Brown’s head. It took a while but it became effective.

    The only thing I didn’t like about the book was it’s size. It’s over 200 pages but the dimensions are small. Even worse it that the art is printed small on the page. There is a lot of white space around the art. They could have made the artwork bigger on the page and I don’t know why they didn’t.

    So, once again, if you don’t like to see or read about sex in your comics then stay away from this one. But if you want to read about Brown’s interesting choice in life than give this one a go. I liked it.