And speaking of long awaited graphic novels, Chester Brown, another indie comics genius long silent, has finally announced a new graphic novel for 2011. It’s called PAYING FOR IT, and it deals with his ongoing experiences with prostitutes.
Following months of flashes and brief mentions that Chester Brown was working on a comics memoir about his experiences as a customer for prostitution, Drawn & Quarterly announced today that the book in question will come out in Spring 2011 and will be called Paying For It. Its publisher promising a mix of the personal and the polemical combining the issues explored in 1992’s The Playboy with the political awareness suffusing 2003’s Louis Riel, Paying For It will be Brown’s first major stand-alone graphic novel, published without the benefit of serialization in a comic book series.
On D&Q’s official Twitter, someone (presumably Tom Devlin) wrote:
We haven’t done a panel count but he does appear “in the act” numerous times.
Brown is a true comics original whose work encompasses the devastatingly personal — I NEVER LIKED YOU, THE PLAYBOY — and what is now considered am important biography of Canadian rebel Louis Riel. The attitudes towards sex in his work were always a bit unusual, and PAYING FOR IT sounds like more of the same. In a 2004 interview on The Pulse Brown perhaps shed some light on the contents…
THE PULSE: I understand that after you finish the new ED THE HAPPY CLOWN You’re going back to autobiography and, as opposed to all that other stuff, this will be the real tell all.
BROWN: Yes it’s about my sex life.
THE PULSE: Why?
BROWN: Because it’s interesting.
THE PULSE: To play devil’s advocate how do you make it interesting to other people?
BROWN: I think I have a different take on sex and sexual attraction, certain ideas that I don’t think are part of the mainstream. Do you know who Rene Girard is?
THE PULSE: No.
BROWN: He’s a French literary critic who has a lot of theories about the origins of desire and I think he’s right about a lot of things. This explores some of his theories.
Rene Girard, eh? Girard came up with the idea of “mimetic desire” and thought that violence came about through competition for the desirable, i.e. beautiful, and that desirability was increased by competition. And so on.
MORE at the D&Q Blog!
Brown has never shied away from tackling controversial subjects in his work. In his 1992 book, THE PLAYBOY, he explored his personal history with pornography. His bestselling 2003 graphic novel, LOUIS RIEL, was a biographical examination of an extreme political figure. The book won wide acclaim and cemented Brown’s reputation as a true innovator. PAYING FOR IT is a natural progression for Brown as it combines the personal and the sexual aspects of his autobiographical work with the polemical drive of LOUIS RIEL. Brown calmly lays out the facts for us of how he became, not only a willing participant, but a vocal proponent of one of the world’s most hot button topics —prostitution. While this may appear overtly sensational and just plain implausible to some, Brown’s story stands for itself. PAYING FOR IT offers an entirely contemporary exploration of sex work from the timid john who rides his bike to his escorts, wonders how to tip so as not to offend, and reads Dan Savage for advice, to the modern day transactions complete with online reviews, seemingly willing participants, and clean apartments devoid of cliché depictions of street corners, drugs, or pimps.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.