Monday, September 9, 2013

A Couple of Winos

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.

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