Wednesday, May 08, 2013
On the other side of things, I knew nothing about writer Jonathan Ames. Still, Brian K Vaughan gave it a glowing review, and I'm very confident in his abilities as a writer and ability to recognize the talents of other writers.
Boy, is this some piece of work. It's presented as a fictional story of Jonathan A, a writer who's a mess. Published by Vertigo in 2008, this is Ames's first foray into a comics format, or graphic novel as it's called in this higher brow presentation. Whether it's in any way an accurate depiction of his life isn't relevant. It's a hell of a story.
By the time he's 15 the writer is an alcholic. He's a binge alcoholic,
Jonathan A is not just an alcoholic, though. He also periodically partakes of various illicit drugs, usually if someone else invites him, rather than at his own instigation. He's also pretty sad in his relationships. He's largely heterosexual but has some near encounters with men that leave him confused. As with the drugs he doesn't instigate these encounters but goes along with other people's suggestions.
Despite, or maybe because of, his weakness, Jonathan A is a very interesting character to follow. He's a lesson in how not to live a life happily, and it has nothing to do with some abuse in his childhood. He just makes bad decisions or no decisions at all. Ames doesn't shy away from that. There's no happy ending. Jonathan A is still on the cusp of a bad decsion even as we leave him after having gone to some deep depths and rising out of them, at least to some degree.