The Lovely Horrible StuffBook |
Going where the money takes him.
In The Lovely Horrible Stuff, author Eddie Campbell offers a highly personalized take on that most impersonal of subjects: money. Through a combination of memoir and cartoon flights of fancy, he explores how the worlds of high finance and low art interact in unforeseen ways: for example, there is a chapter on his involvement in a television series that gets derailed by a worldwide recession. Another chronicles his getting hired to write and illustrate a Batman comic, which necessitates his becoming incorporated -- a development that causes more headaches than it solves. Through it all, the author himself comes across as an intriguing figure, who despite his best efforts to keep money matters at arm's lengths, finds himself losing sleep over them. The manic quality of the artwork would seem to reflect his precarious state of mind: indeed, when Campbell gets especially harried, his orderly panel configurations start breaking apart on the page. The second half of the book takes the author to the remote island of Yap, where the natives' system of carved stones for currency originated more as a means of acquiring exciting stories than material goods. However, as Campbell tracks the history of the stone money into the present, it becomes clear that the Yapese have fallen into similar financial boondoggles as people in the larger world. Ultimately, The Lovely Horrible Stuff ends on a note of resignation about the inescapable influence of money, but the journey there is frequently absurd and occasionally profound.
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