Joe Matt’s series Peepshow is an autobiographical account of his life and troubles, that never varies from its self-deprecating nature, telling one of the more honest accounts of life that is visible in modern comics/ fiction.
Spent collects issues #11-14 and deals largely with the author’s addiction to porn, and the knock on affects it has on his creativity and his attempts to develop a relationship. Each of the books four sections tell another segment of his life, dealing with his friendships with fellow comic book authors Chester Brown and Seth, and also his time spent alone in the bedroom of the house he shares, editing down porn videos (removing the faces of the men, leaving only the bits he enjoys) and quite often masturbating to them! He bemoans his own inability to form a lasting relationship with a woman, while realising that any relationship would require him having to give up his porn collection, something he would not be prepared to do!
While the Joe Matt character in the comic is not appealing or attractive, he does paint the picture of a loveable lost soul, and is very humorous with a number of laugh out loud sequences along the way (don’t read it on public transport for many reasons!). The book focuses on the negative elements of his personality in a very detailed fashion, and he also portrays himself as cheap and somewhat two faced, regardless of this he is a very appealing, realistic character and draws you into his vivid and bizarre world.
Available from the quite wonderful publisher Drawn and Quarterly.
Joe Matt on his favourite comics/ dvds for Ameoba records.