The Poor Bastard by Joe Matt

A relatively unfunny story being told and re-told

Book Review by Campbell Miller | 08 Oct 2007
  • The Poor Bastard
Book title: The Poor Bastard
Author: Joe Matt

It's not often that you come across an autobiographical comic book, especially not one where the author paints himself as an utter degenerate, the person none of us want to be; the skinflint, the lech; The Poor Bastard. The book follows Matt's relationships as they crumble around him, due to his selfish nature and ridiculously high standards when it comes to women, not to mention an addiction to pornography. The title tries to evoke some pity for our protagonist but since his problems are of his own doing, it's hard to care. Of course there's hope that he will eventually repent, but he's the sort of character to whom that's never going to happen, because his severe personality flaws will continue to dominate his life and prevent him from maintaining any kind of meaningful relationship. The art is fairly simple, at its best conveying Matt as a pathetic waster, sweaty and insecure and although it's not particularly compelling reading, merely a relatively unfunny story being told and re-told, it's hard to criticise the real Joe Matt. He's exploited his reader's voyeurism in conjunction with his considerable flaws and that'll keep him in Kleenex, so fair play, you Poor Bastard. [Campbell Miller]

Out Now. Published by Jonathan Cape. Cover price £12.99