Trashed

Derf Backderf. Abrams ComicArts, $24.95 ISBN 978-1-4197-1454-2
After the gut-wrenching psychological investigation/memoir My Friend Dahmer, indie comic stalwart Backderf returns to the scabrous humor and pointed commentary of his earlier work with a loose scattering of stories about the garbage men in a small, decaying Ohio town. A onetime garbage man himself, Backderf has a clear affinity for these hardworking stiffs and their travails. If they’re not getting hassled by their uptight boss, they’re dealing with the daily challenges of the sanitation business: liquefied garbage frozen solid in their cans, swarms of maggots, corpse-waking smells, biblical weather, the puzzle of how to get an upright piano weighing several hundred pounds into a garbage truck. The blocky grotesquerie of Backderf’s art is well-suited to the material, and the episodic, slackerish narrative is spiked here and there by brief lessons on the history of the garbage truck, the ecology of the landfill, and an answer to the question of whether rich or poor neighborhoods generate the most trash (hint: it’s not the poor). A downbeat but entertaining ode to the odiferous realities of getting by. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 06/29/2015
Release date: 11/03/2015
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-1-4197-1453-5
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