Written by Jonathon Ames
Illustrated by Dean Haspiel
Graphic novel published by Vertigo
The Alcoholic has sat on my shelf for three years, bought for a book club I never attended (in my defence I was preoccupied with being newly married to an incredibly beautiful and fascinating woman). Every few weeks I would look at it and lie to myself that it would be my next read, but by the time I finished whatever it was I was reading at the time I would already be balls deep into the next book that caught my eye. So there it sat, for three long years collecting dust as it waited patiently; neglected and unopened. Finally, a few days ago I found myself without a book to embark on and there it was, waiting silently for me to pluck it from its idle state on the wall. I hate myself for not reading it sooner.
The Alcoholic is an autobiography (or not, I really am unsure) by Ames about his journey of alcoholism. It’s glorious black and white imagery tells a tale that does not distract from the sublime text that accompanies it. Haspiel, a true master of his craft, lays out the story simply but spectacularly. He draws you in and tickles your balls as he leads you from panel to panel. Ames’ words make you laugh, weep and rejoice as they tell the tragic tale of lost soul “John A”. This obtuse chronicling is either the greatest faux-memoir ever printed or it is the most honest, emasculating autobiography ever written. Either way, and I do not want to know which it is, this book is a triumphant masterpiece that expertly explores and deciphers the mind of a struggling addict and artist. If you have this book on your shelf, I beg you not to neglect it like I did for so long. Read it. Read it now. If it is not, get out and buy it.