Best Semi-Autobiographical Book I Have Read to Date!
Some weeks ago when I first saw this comic on the upcoming releases list G-Man posted, I jokingly recommended it to Inferiorego (he's one of those cool staff guys you may see roaming around) for well...obvious reasons. But to be honest, back then I knew nothing about this original graphic novel except it had already been released in hardcover in 2008 and this was just its first trade paperback release. That and I knew it was Vertigo.
Well, sometime after that I happened to be at the store to kill some time and surprise, surprise, I meander over to the graphic novels. But the comic I was looking for wasn't there, and I'm not one to make a trip for nothing...so I begin to browse starting with the A's...and that's how me and The Alcoholic first met. And oh what a memorable meeting it was, this has to be the most riveting "autobiography" I've ever read (and possibly the only one).
Now, okay, I'll admit Jonathan Ames says it's got a lot of fiction involved, but the point is you can't really discern which parts are his life and which are just made up...which only succeeds in making the story more interesting. Either way it is wonderful writing on Jonathan's part and Haspiel's artwork is superb. It's very different from your typical superhero comic, there's nothing, well...super about any of it...it's just real people, real life, not the kid-friendly take on life either.
Although the underlying story seems to be one man's fight with alcoholism, there is so much more to it then that, friendship, lost love, a miserable tale at times, yes, but there is a little hope in it too. I honestly don't know how many people would be fans of this comic, but if you want to try something different, something "real" (I know people say Spider-Man is relatable but that's a complete load, can you shoot webs? do you fight super-villains all the time? I didn't think so...) Not everyone will have gone through all these experiences, or at least I hope not, but there's always lessons to be learned from a story about addiction since it's a trial every human faces. My only complaint...the dimensions of this trade make it a little shorter and wider then my other trades and it looks out of place :(
Note: I actually wrote this review for an article on the site in December of '09 but when I saw there was no review attached to the page I decided I'd add it here. To see the article this came from, go here.