My Brain is Hanging Upside Down

Published By: Pantheon

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Comics & Graphic Novels

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Reviewed by Alex McGilvery

This graphic autobiography is a collection of David Heatley’s comics that are darkly and explicitly funny. He leaves very little to the imagination as he takes us through his sex life (and eventually his love life), his relationships, good and bad, with people of other races, and his relationship with his parents and family.

As an autobiography, the book gives us rare insight into the feelings and experience of another human being. It doesn’t hold anything back, and doesn’t let us as readers, either. You might put the book down in disgust after the first couple of pages, or read in mesmerized fascination as David alternately destroys and rebuilds his life. In neither case, will you be entirely comfortable. That is good. What David does brilliantly here is hold up the weakness and frailty of the human condition, then show us that it is possible to overcome it to be something more than what we were.

The book is graphic in more than one sense. It is as much about the drawings as the text. They are simple but effective, but in many cases the subject matter is very sexually graphic–about what you would expect in a book in which one section is titled “Sex.” He draws his characters as real human beings with or without their clothes. This is one comic book that you don’t leave out for the children to see.

As I read through My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down, a theme emerged of needing to ask ourselves the tough questions. What is sex? What is love? Why are they different? Am I a racist? Do I really know my Mom or Dad, or even myself?

For those with an open mind, this book will help you ask these questions of yourself.

Armchair Interviews says: Thought-provoking read.

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