Paying For It is full of strong writing, biting commentary, and passages that will make you reconsider your stances on relationships, love, prostitution, and sexuality... While many of us will never seek out prostitutes, the book’s broader relationship theme will resonate with anyone who’s ever tried to navigate the complicated world of love.Torontoist
The critically lauded memoir about being a john. Now in paperback!
Paying for It was easily the most talked-about and controversial graphic novel of 2011, a critical success so innovative and complex that it received two rave reviews in the New York Times, and sold out of its first print run in just six months. Chester Brown’s eloquent, spare artwork stands out in this paperback edition.
Paying for It combines the personal and sexual aspects of Brown’s autobiographical work (I Never Liked You, The Playboy) with the polemical drive of Louis Riel. Brown calmly lays out the facts of how he became not only a willing participant in, but a vocal proponent of one of the world’s most hot-button topics—prostitution. While this may appear overly 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 clichéd street corners, drugs, or pimps.
Complete with a surprise ending, Paying for It continues to provide endless debate and conversation about sex work.
Praise for Paying For It
[Brown's] carefully drawn memoir tracks his experiences in intimate detail...[Paying For It] gives a sensitive portrayal of the world of prostitution, and it also has something to say: it grapples with the moral, emotional, and theoretical arguments against prostitution.The Rumpus
Whether you agree with his suggestions that marriage is evil, romantic love an impossible dream and deregulated prostitution the way to go, [Brown's] candid account offers a revealing perspective on an industry that refuses to go away.The Guardian
In boldly direct style, [Brown's] character expounds on his reading material, inquires after his friends’ stance on the morality of sex work, and, in one sequence, simply sits around in his underwear thinking. It is a testament to Brown’s accomplishment as a cartoonist that such heady stuff remains compelling reading, each thought progressing mathematically to the next.Sean Rogers, The Walrus
There aren't many cartoonists as brave — or frankly, as strange — as this Canadian artist... [Paying For It] was one of 's best books and is definitely worth a read.Rolling Stone, 50 Best Non-Superhero Graphic Novels
Drawn in an elegantly distilled variation of the classic 1920s comic-strip style, Paying For It deserves to be celebrated as a work of art. But it's also a book with important policy and social implications.Jeet Heer, The Globe and Mail
Simply told in a deceptively straightforward manner, Paying for It is a defiant work of truth-telling and a welcome return to autobiographical comics from one of the medium's incontrovertible masters.Brad Mackay, The Globe and Mail
Paying for It: A Comic-strip Memoir about Being a John is a fantastic intervention in the ongoing and presumably endless debate around paying for sex. Honest, self-reflexive and candid, the panels... display the most personal and intimate moments of an often abstractly represented exchange.Art Threat