Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Chester Brown - Paying for It

This new book by Chester Brown is very interesting. It's about his many years paying for sex with prostitutes in Toronto. The drawings are a bit like 'Louis Riel' but even more stripped down to the basics. He draws a lot of those black circles round the action, I don't know what they are called, where they are made up of little black lines. The people have very little in the way of expressions and incredibly simple faces. He never shows the prostitutes faces, often covering them with word balloons. It's a long book but only little sized which I thought worked really well.
Here's where he first goes looking for prostitutes, riding around on his bike, and worrying. I found a lot of the bits in this book very funny. I'm not sure what I think from a moral prespective, but it did make me laugh out loud a bunch of times, which is rare from a comic. There are some gross bits where he starts going on prostitute review internet sites, and leaving reviews. Those seemed really weird to me, a bit like leaving reviews on Amazon or something.
This also made me laugh as he works out his accounts. He is so logical.

After the cartooning there are a load of appendixes and notes where he sets out his ideas that prostitution is great and romantic love is bad. I liked the notes from Seth (who is a character in the book, along with Joe Matt) who says 'I can't resist noting that the idea of Chester Brown and Joe Matt discussing the nature of romantic love is not unlike two blind men painting a sunset'.

Highly recommended. Even if you hate the whole idea it is very interesting as autobiography.

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