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One Dirty Tree h/c

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One Dirty Tree h/c back

Noah Van Sciver


Page 45 Review by Jonathan

"So, Noah, Gwen tells me you're a... what, a cartoonist?"
"Yeah, I'm a cartoonist."
"What does that mean? You draw animations like on TV or something."
"No, I draw comics, but not superheroes. Usually about life and stuff like that."
"Your life?"
"Sometimes. Not always. I write a lot of fiction..."
"You make money doing this?"
"Yeah and I'm published in MAD magazine and I do graphic novels... I work at Panera bread downtown too."
"Oh! I love Panera bread!"
"AND he works at his friend's bookshop on Sundays."
"That's a lot of lot of jobs! Are you in school or something?"
"No, I'm a cartoonist."
"He didn't graduate. He's a dropout."
"Hm. So what happens when you're a cartoonist? Do cartoonists eventually make a lot of money?"
"Um... well... no I guess not..."

No, but they do have the undying love and profound respect of people from all walks of life the world over, most of which they will never meet, but all of whom are sincerely grateful that these unsung heroes make the sacrifices they do in order to make their comics for us. Bless you, Noah Van Sciver and all your comics colleagues past, present and future!

Yes, the man with the self-professed fourth best moustache in comics is back in fine fettle, as is apparently the moustache judging from recent Facebook posts after a brief bare-lipped patch, regaling us with domestic horror stories from his youth, mixed in with more than a little modern-day maudlin regarding his romantic relationship with the <ahem> delightful Gwen and his car-crash of a career choice. Still, it's all grist for the comics' mill!

Here is the book of uncivilised woe as handed down by the publisher...

"In Noah Van Sciver's new funny and heartfelt memoir, he is haunted by memories of growing up in a big, poor, Mormon family.

Noah Van Sciver is haunted by the house at 133 ***** Street, or as his brothers rechristened it "One Dirty Tree." This sprawling, dilapidated New Jersey house was his first home and the site of formative experiences. Growing up in a big, poor, Mormon family-surrounded by comic-books, eight siblings, bathtubs full of dirty dishes Noah's childhood exerts a powerful force on his present day relationship."

And his comics! Much like in detailing his very first dating disaster for us in MY HOT DATE, Noah lays his soul bare about his chaotic upbringing and its moderately challenging consequences for him as an adult. The fact that he manages to make it so wryly humorous for us is testament to his talent as a story-teller.

Much like his hilariously mean FANTE BUKOWSKI material where the point is to provoke laughter at the poor protagonist, you may, if you're a half-decent human being (heh heh), find yourself feeling more than a little unkind for chortling at Noah's testing childhood circumstances and the situations he finds himself in. Well, getting himself into mostly, but you know what I mean.

The skipping back and forth between the days of high-hair (what a bush he had!), full of care-free skateboarding, plus clips round the ear from his older brothers with unfortunately also some right old beltings from his mentally melting-down dad... and the modern day somewhat wiser but riddled with self-doubts adult Noah are well-handled and combine very insightfully. An autobiographical triumph! I personally believe Noah will come to be regarded as one of the 21st Century's great North American 'cartoonists' and I for one will be able to say I was there laughing at him, I mean lauding him, right from the start!