Graphic Novels

Review: Peepshow by Joe Matt

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Peepshow: The Cartoon Diary of Joe Matt is an autobiographical graphic novel by the artist/writer Joe Matt. This volume collects all of Matt’s comic strips from 1987 to 1992. When I first picked up this book a few years ago, I was instantly hooked. Matt’s comics have sort of an ADD feel to them. As a reader with a very small attention span, I leapt for this book like a hungry dog hurdling towards raw meat. Matt doesn’t dwell on a single topic for too long. One of my favorite pages, titled “The Pleasures of Being Human…The Pains of Being Human” is in and out in a minute tops and then we’re onto the next topic.

The focus of this volume of Peepshow highlights Matt’s past relationships; the troubles and insecurities he’s faced along the way. It all leads up to Matt meeting Trish, who quickly becomes his girlfriend. Joe then moves (illegally) from the Philly suburb of Landsdale to Canada to live with Trish. The rest of the story is filled with their journeys as a couple…and it’s a hilarious ride.

The best way I can describe Matt’s style of art is busy. The pages are loaded with lots of artistic goodies. Each panel is chocked full of action ready to burst at the seams. The page entitled “Playtime”, which acts as a sort of intermission for the book, allows Matt to roam around the page and let anything happen. And just as soon as you’ve started reading the page, you’re onto the next. The ADD feel of the book never lets up.

Yes, this is one of my favorite books of all time.

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