The Lovely Horrible Stuff

Eddie Campbell. Top Shelf, $14.95 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-1-60309-152-7
Campbell is renowned for his amiable, autobiographical style that rambles off on tangents, brings in unexpected focuses, and wraps the personal inside the esoteric—all consistent with a night of conversation over many beers with a charming man. In this new graphic novel, Campbell mixes bits of his own life with wider history around the topic of money for an examination of what it means and how we can focus on it so much without really understanding its nature at all. For this journey, the specifics of writerly finances—especially in regard to entertainment industry misadventures—are addressed, alongside amusing diatribes about his father-in-law and an extensive, fascinating travelogue to the Pacific island of Yap, renowned for having the world’s largest stone coins. Campbell is one graphic novelist who has the potential—both creative and intellectual—to reach beyond the typical audience and into the wider world of essayists traditionally inhabited by the likes of Bill Bryson or Christopher Hitchens. Coupled with personable artwork that often seems like it’s torn straight out of a sketchbook, Campbell’s erudition comes off as comforting and familiar, with a conversational presentation of heady topics that brings it all down to earth. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/16/2012
Release date: 07/01/2012
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