“The Alcoholic” by Jonathan Ames

Though published as fiction, the graphic “novel” The Alcoholic by Jonathan Ames reads more like real life. Whatever its blend might be, it’s an engaging, brutal, funny, tragic story.

My name is Jonathan A. and I’m an alcoholic. I have a lot of problems. Not more than the average person, really, but I have a propensity for getting into trouble, especially when I’ve been drinking. This one night, I came out of a blackout and I was with this old, exceedingly tiny lady in a station wagon.

Illustrated in moody black and white by Dean Haspiel, the tale charms and horrifies by turns. But because of its honesty, it’s never less than enthralling, even when Jonathan is at his most pathetic. For fans of other messed-up memoir authors, like David Sedaris and Alison Bechdel.

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