by Joe Decie
I didn't know Joe Decie's work before this year's TCAF, but he was kind enough to give copies of his newest book, There's No Bath in This Bathroom away for free. Flipping through it, I liked what I saw, and felt compelled (and perhaps a little obligated) to pick up the other book he had on offer, Pocket Full of Coffee.
Both of these books are slice-of-life books, where Decie takes the everyday and turns it into a book. There may be some greater profundity hidden within the story, but it seems like he's really just keeping a bit of a journal, and elevating the mundane into art.
Pocket covers a very ordinary Wednesday for Decie. He worries about marks on his arm, gets his young son ready for the day, hangs out with him for a bit, has dinner with his wife, and paints for a bit before going to bed.
No Bath is a story about last year's TCAF, and hanging out with comics folks after the show. Decie and his friends end up at a fictional pizza shop with a dirty bathroom. That's about it.
These books reminded me a lot of Nicholson Baker's writing, with the focus on minutiae becoming the point of the story. I like stuff like that, so it works very well for me.
Decie's art is very nice. It looks like he uses watercolours to shade his black-and-white art, and sticks to a pretty realistic style.
Both of these books are very straight-foward, but deceptively so.