Written by Charles Bukowski
Adapted by Matthias Schultheiss
I came across this single issue from 1991 recently, having never been aware of the fact that German cartoonist Matthias Schultheiss had adapted some stories by Charles Bukowski. I snatched this up right away, not sure of what to expect from it.
The story is set in the California desert, perhaps in the forties. The narrator is a wandering alcoholic who is picked up one day to work a manual labour job in the middle of nowhere alongside an older wino. The two men struggle through their job before moving on in life. That's about all there is, plot-wise.
Schultheiss's sparse style fits with Bukowski's bleak prose. We don't learn much about the narrator - and we only know a little more about his companion. The landscape is as barren as the art, and the protagonists' hopes for their futures.
There are a few odd things about this book. To begin with, Schultheiss portrays the vehicles as having right-hand drive, which threw me out of the story. I also don't understand what the cover, which is a little more explicit than one would normally expect on a comics shelf, has to do with the story. Still, I'm now on the hunt for any other Bukowski adaptations like this, and would gladly pick up a collection of them. This was a good find.