Last night i finished reading "The Poor Bastard", Joe Matt's first collection of autobiographical stories centered around his life, his failed relationships with women, porn addiction, and his general neurotic selfish dickheadedness. It was the first comic (i waffle on the term graphic novel... only because i don't think Comic book is bad word.) I've read in a while, the last one being Blankets, more than a year ago - no, that's not true i also read "Every girl is the end of the world for me" while i was waiting for my clothes to dry at the laundromat, i got it as a gift for someone... Also Palestine, and Allison Bechdel's absolutely amazing Fun house. Actually i also read most of "I shall destroy all civilized Planets" A collection of some of the most early and original super hero comics ever created... but Herb's currently holding that one hostage.
I could go on about how this medium, with it's use of images and text create an emotional pull that i find enthralling, but it's probably just as much that i think I'm mildly dyslexic and reading as much as I've always loved it, takes me alot longer than everyone i know... a 150 page book, will take me a solid month. Comic format allows my brain to follow a narrative, without the bottleneck it experiences with pure text. It could also be that My summer reading choice of Cormack McCarthy's "The Road" isn't all that. Or it could be that I'm a sub-mental that likes reading comic books. Either way, I'm glad someone out there somewhere decided that comic books were a valid artistic medium.
Anyway - The Poor Bastard, is fantastic, if you're a fan of autobiographical comics you know the score, painful candid moments timed just so for maximum impact and self reflection... If you're not a fan, than well - you know how annoying these sad bastards can be. I for one, love them - beyond the artistry of combining self reflection with storytelling and visual flair - there's that warm feeling i get when i see someone having a harder time than i am making it through the day to day. schadenfreude? Either way - I'm looking forward to reading the next two collected books, one focusing on his Catholic upbringing in Philadelphia (Fair Weather) and his ongoing addiction to pornography (Spent).
Oh yeah i also read "David Boring" and various issues of Black Hole. Not to mention i read a ton of x-men and Ghostrider comics when i was a kid... and i used to oggle the Gen 13 comic covers but was always too embarrassed to buy them.
The Poor Bastard can be read online here