Paying for It by Chester BrownPosted: November 5, 2011
What a wholesome book. Best comic strip I’ve read this year, totally – many other contestants included. Indeed, it’s more than one book – it’s two, packed under a single cover.
The full title of this gem, which is the actual book that is being marketed and sold (D & Q remains the best publishing house for serious comic strips, every new title just proves that again and again), is Paying for it. A comic-strip memoir about being a john. Now, I realize how unbelievably dumb that sounds – but I have not given a single thought what this book was about until I started reading it. Really. Just bought Chester Brown’s new book on amazon, no thoughts ’bout it. Well, the usual me.
I should say, it takes a guy certain deal of courage to write and put out such a book. Why? Cause people are judgmental and mean, and there are not too many open-minded folks (and publishers) in this world who would want to market a book about its author’s 15-year long sexual encounters with prostitutes, chronologically described, and how now his life-long commitment is to paid sex only. Yes, I know Márquez put out Memoria de mis putas tristes – but it ain’t an autobiographic graphic novel, is it?
The comic rocks – it’s extremely sincere, open and truly libertarian in its views. But it’s just one half of the story. The other half – or the other book, whichever you call it – just adds to its glory. The comic strip ends on page 225, and on the next 40+ pages (called appendix) Brown expresses his extremely libertarian and pro-human-rights points of view, all aimed at disambiguation of prejudice related to paid sex industry and its proponents. Views so clearly elaborated that it would have made the good old Alisa Rosenbaum proud. Take this small piece on marriage and partner selection, for example – here goes Dagny, huh?
All in all, an absolute gem. Prior to that, I only read Brown’s I Never Liked You, but now I’m ordering whatever I can get my hands on to.
P.S. NY Times review about it – and a couple of pages from the book.