May 25, 2004 | Comics


Jeffrey Brown
Top Shelf Comix
$10 US (Paperback)
**** (out of five)

Jeffrey Brown is a dangerously honest man.
He has a skill for telling autobiographical tales which are so unrelenting in their candour that it can start to make a reader uncomfortable.
His debut graphic novel, Clumsy, is an unabashed look at love, romance, sex, relationships and the demise of the same.
In a mildly confusing, non-linear fashion, Brown puts together a collection of remembrances of his relationship with former girlfriend Theresa — from how they met to their first sexual encounter to mundane phone conversations and shared meals.
What makes this book such a compelling read is how Brown deals with these subjects — with no holds barred. He admits to being needy, dependent, moody, whiny and occasionally overbearing — all while portraying himself as ponch-laden with a hairy butt.
Anyone who has gone through a relationship — and particularly those who were sent packing in the end — will likely cringe and wince their way through this book, but it is hard to argue that it isn’t thoroughly engrossing.
The art could be considered the weak point of the book: it is crude and often unflattering to the tenderness of the tale being told. But as you read you may find that the mildly haphazard nature of the art suits the subject matter to a T.

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