Comic Book as Memoir

Reading comic books can make me sad when I feel like diverging from usual superhero canon of work, moving into the more emotional genre of “comic book as memoir.” A cathartic kind of sad. I wanted something highbrow. Jeffrey Brown’s “Unlikely,” chronicles the loss of his virginity and first major heartbreak as a 24-year-old art student in Chicago. Profoundly depressing, paradox? Pseudo sadness. The style of drawing is appropriately crude, delicate or overtly complex drawings would not have served the purpose of a book such as this. Loss of virginity is wholly individual, but the stories normally the same; it’s not what anyone expected. The book comprises of two page strips that document episodes in the relationship, some are obvious, others – you have to read between the lines. I didn’t cry much. It served as a powerful reminder of how much baggage we all bring to the plate when involved with another. A plate full of baggage, emotional, OCD, habitual habits, weird food stuff, you hide it at first but not for long when they find your tinned secrets, tuna and mushy peas, but he cant eat off blue plates. His emotional baggage plate is the colour of boys clothing. He wants boys, I want girls, but we still have time. I need proper insurance first. I would recommend it to those who like to indulge their soppier side. The serious and heartfelt nature of the topics discussed work wonderfully expressed through the medium of comics.  There is something about the words expressed by the author that can only be fully appreciated when combined with visual interpretation. It makes the text richer and makes the reader feel like a film is playing out in their head. I told him that I play films in my head when I am waiting for things, transport, bus, the hairdresser to shut up. She always talks to me about The Vampire Diaries. I won’t read sad comic books when I am happy, and I have been happy for three months. I might have been before. I can remember in three-month increments. I had a phase, hunting for autobiographical comics, soaking up as many different varieties as possible. I can’t remember any of them now. I can remember some of them, but they are vague, blurry, about childhoods and awkwardness but last page the realizations. One was about a diet, drawings of a fat girl gone thin through a food pyramid, the calorie intake expended through gardening. Don’t garden and just do Pilates, run and jump and sweat? Dig a grave or five. I thought she must spend so much time thinking about her diet, but something about the drawings of bread and hot dogs made me want some breaded hot dog. I guess she salivated onto the paper, into the bread making it disintegrate. Read something sadder, he pointed it in my direction, and I had been happy but it was about an art critic who died of a brain tumor, he left behind a wife and a child. He wants boys and I want girls, he fantasies about kindle fires with them, but I just want to maintain my health so I don’t have to get life insurance.


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