While David Gordon may be better known for being an underground artist in the UK comic scene but he turns the focus firmly on himself for this autobiography release.
Gordon lays out one of the most honest accounts of growing up that I’ve ever read in any medium as he tells of his adoption, his unhappy family life, his tortured school days and the relationships that plagued his later years while trying to sustain some sort of job and find a place to belong in the world. A theme that plays a big part in his life as we see every possible feeling pour out across the pages and while there are a number of elements we may all recognize the combination Dave encounters is far more than we may well have expected anyone to survive.
It’s laid out as if he’s standing telling you it face to face and the mix of illustrated novel, graphic novel and cartoony world blend well as we flashback through the depths of despair that he’s laid out for us all to see. Brutally honest in the truest sense of those words, we see Dave struggle to cope with life and all it’s pitfalls. The feelings of being an outsider and the loneliness contrasts with a series of sexual awakening but ultimately ending with destructive relationships that only compound his already growing level of self-doubt.
Full with frank accounts of virtually every aspect in his life Gordon manages to make the most mundane parts of his existence interesting as his journey brings him to a point where he tracks down his birth mother but leaves us hanging on those last few pages as he makes his move to try to find out more about her and the reasons behind how he came to be where he is now.
Life’s a tricky thing to be so completely open about and even more so when it comes to the most personal of those things that make us who we are but Dave captures that and then some as a full spectrum of feelings are explored. The funny side of life is in there too but the uphill struggle & difficulties thrust upon him take their toll and leave their mark but there was something positive about the whole book. As big an escape from the six-panelled pages of a superhero comic as you can get but then Indie comics are always a great place to escape into and can offer any type of story you want to explore…..be that all-out fantasy or harsh reality like this.