Chris Reilly finds a kindred spirit, and a moral dilemma, in Joe Matt's tale of his own amoral 1970's childhood.
Joe Matt is somewhat infamous for autobiographical comics that portray him as a cheap, antisocial, eremitic, reserved, solitary, standoff-ish porno-nut. As sympathetic characters go, "Joe Matt" probably falls somewhere between Liberty Valence and Emperor Ming. And it's not just Matt. The protagonists of autobiographical comics generally tend to come across as boring, joyless creeps. But Matt's Fair Weather from Drawn & Quarterly (available in hardcover for quite some time, released in paperback last month) isn't about the misanthropic "Joe Matt" that his readers love to hate; it's about the frightened boy who will become the "Joe Matt" we all love to hate.
Briefly noted this week: "It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken" by Seth (reviewed by John Barber) and "The Birth Caul" by Moore and Campbell (reviewed by Joe Zabel).
Graphic Novel Review is a weekly editorial feature of Modern Tales, available on all four Modern Tales webcomics anthology sites as a sort of "insert" (think New York Times Magazine). The latest installment of the feature, like the latest installments of the comics on Modern Tales' sites, will always be free. Archives require a subscription to at least one of the Modern Tales sites.
To read the "Fair Weather" review, visit one of the following URL's this week (each one goes to the same review, on a different website): http://www.serializer.net/series.php?name=gnr&view=current http://www.moderntales.com/series.php?name=gnr&view=current http://www.graphicsmash.com/series.php?name=gnr&view=current http://www.girlamatic.com/series.php?name=gnr&view=current
GNR may spin off into its own website, or even a print magazine, someday. Or maybe not.