It is perhaps surprising, given his huge reputation, just how slim Chester Brown’s published works are — five graphic novels and a short story collection. But given the power of the stories in THE PLAYBOY (1992) and I NEVER LIKED YOU (1994), the source of his stature is obvious. Two of the most painful, honest and haunting tales of adolescence ever put in comics, they are among the 100 best comics of all times, according to the Comics Journal.
In THE PLAYBOY, the clinically shy Brown discovers pornography, and the trauma, shame and guilt of obtaining an issue of PLAYBOY for the obvious reasons is told in a detail that is remarkable for its candor. This is also the source of the phrase “doing the Chester” for a certain masturbation position.
In I NEVER LIKED YOU we go back in time a bit to explore the young Chester’s attempts to connect with girls and his schizophrenic mother. If you were put off by the headless hookers of PAYING FOR IT, you’ll find the compassionate portrayal of the various girls who surround Chester quite rewarding — buxom Sky who he loves, skinny Carrie who has a violent crush on him; and beautiful Connie who seems as detached as he is. I NEVER LIKED YOU is the equal of any “Coming of age” movie you could name. It’s a masterpiece.
Both these books can be yours! Email your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org with CHESTER BROWN in the subject line before 5 PM EST tomorrow when our next giveaway goes live.
Winners will be chosen at random. If you don’t put in your address – you lose. Books will be mailed next week. Good luck!
PS: both books are first printings — I NEVER LOVED YOU is the original edition with the black page backgrounds — a revised edition has white pages, a revised panel layout and notes.
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.