Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Alcoholic

Written by Jonathan Ames
Art by Dean Haspiel

I love Vertigo hardcovers in this format. There's something deeply satisfying about cracking open a book with these dimensions, and they are just about the perfect length.

This book is, I imagine, a highly autobiographical examination of a character named Jonathan A's descent into alcoholism. What elevates this above the purely confessional level is that Ames provides a great deal of insight into the roots and causes of his disease.

As well, the book is very funny in parts. There is a level of honesty and self-deprecation that is rare in literature, and although somewhat common in comics, is still handled uniquely throughout this book. Haspiel's art works very well with this type of story - his characters emote, and A's drunken or drugged out flights of fancy are handled as if they are common occurrences, making them stand out for their originality.

This book reminded me of MF Grimm's 'Sentences' - another Vertigo hardcover by a non-comics writer telling his life story. It's an interesting sub-genre for them to be exploring, and I hope they produce more like this.

1 comment:

Blogking said...

Alcoholism is the new death wish…..so go ahead and take another sip. we need to offer a hand to those in need of help. Help by helping, not by avoiding…come on people