Booklist reviews Spent

“Booklist Review - Spent” / Booklist / Booklist Staff / February 14, 2007

Autobiographical-comics creators are a brutally honest breed, and Matt might be the most unflinching of them all. Little has changed in his pathetic life since Fair Weather (2002). He still lives alone in a rooming house, surrounded by his comic-book collection and childhood toys, and spends hours meticulously dubbing the “best parts” off borrowed porn tapes. His only friends are fellow cartoonists Seth and Chester Brown, who have his number and somehow tolerate his self-centered penny-pinching. Most pitiful of all, perhaps, Matt is painfully aware of the pathetic vacuity of his situation and of the aimlessness of the comics he draws. His simple, rubbery drawing style hasn’t changed in 15 years; nor has his navel-gazing, warts-and-all presentation progressed much. Should his self-depiction here be genuine, his emotional health may have actually regressed. If his work ultimately seems somewhat masturbatory, that is somehow appropriate. It is like a car wreck you can’t stop gaping at—a car wreck, however, that is both hilariously exaggerated and cruelly humiliating. ––Gordon Flagg

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