Writer: Joe Matt
Art Work: Joe Matt
Publisher: Drawn and QuarterlyThe story in Spent is very intimate and personal. I felt a strong connection when I read it because I was going through a loneliness phase in my life. In my opinion loneliness is a symptom of depression and one must lift their own spirits up in order to overcome it. If you don’t change you’re bound to end up like the main character Joe, wasting your years away in melancholy. I’m usually drawn towards books that deal with desolation and misery because I’m always looking for a clear solution out of depression. I guess you can call me an optimist for that because even in the worst situations I believe there’s always a way out.
Unfortunately I didn’t get the happy ending I wanted from Spent. This isn’t to say it was a bad book, rather it’s a book to observe from a distance and hopefully realize that you are the only person who can make yourself happy. It’s as if you’re looking at Joe’s mistakes in life, and telling yourself you’re better than that; and that the bad stuff shouldn’t weigh you down. The main problem with Joe is that he’s always been lonely and believes that his one chance at love has passed him, and as such is destined to a life of solitude with his only companion being VHS porn.
Joe deals with his depression using a technique I describe as quarantine. This is where an individual that is hurt would rather stay in isolation, than face a world that will make them view themselves as losers. While I don’t believe one must live their life according to how the world judges them, I also believe one shouldn’t disregard it and punish themselves into isolation. The point being not to allow one traumatic event in life to cripple ourselves into stagnation. It’s been said numerous times over and over again, life is beautiful and things do change. While it’s not always going to be perfect, it also isn’t always going to be sad, so enjoy life because beauty is what you make it.
Drawn and Quarterly: