Paying for It original hardcover graphic novel
Writer/Artist/Cover artist: Chester Brown
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
Price: $24.95 US/CAN
It was my wife who made me aware of this book indirectly; she pointed out a review/feature about it in a recent issue of Macleans (basically, Canada’s answer to Time), to which we have a subscription. I’ve long been aware of cartoonist Chester Brown’s work and the recognition he’s received for it. I’ve always meant to familiarize myself with his storytelling, and this latest project seemed like a good opportunity to do so. I enjoyed what I found here, but it wasn’t at all what I expected. There’s a much more matter-of-fact, linear and detached tone to the writing. I was impressed with Brown’s honesty but also surprised by what he’s really writing about here. The subtitle for this original graphic novel is “A Comic-Strip Memoir About Being a John,” which would seem to suggest something of an education on the world of prostitution. Brown definitely shares some enlightening though simple and grounded information about how some of the business of prostitution is conducted and who the people are who find themselves performing such work. But in reality, Brown examines himself and his own emotional shortcomings… or are they his strengths?