Fitzpatrick, Neil – Jerry’s Journal #3



Jerry’s Journal #3

I can already tell that this review is going to be confusing, which is probably because I’m of two minds on this comic. See, a few years back Neil and his girlfriend had an exceedingly unpleasant breakup. I know this because a couple of his comics dealt with it in the modern comic tradition of being vague about everything because EVERYTHING that is said about anybody anywhere gets back to them through some form of social media. But it was clear that he was profoundly hurt, and working through it at least partly through his comics, which is also a traditional form of therapy among cartoonists. Well, about half of the strips in this one are also about that breakup, and at some point such strips stop being therapy and start being self-indulgent and more about wallowing in misery than working through it. This is not the case if he’s had another breakup since then, or if this comic (that came out in 2014) was from the early part of that year. But (and speaking as a champion person who wallows in bad breakups) you just have to move on eventually. I said I’m of two minds about this comic, which is because the other half of this book was hilarious, insightful, depressing, or some magical combination of all three. In other words, the exact type of stuff that has made Neil one of the greats in the mini comics world for more than a decade now. Subjects in those strips include God taking an honest look at his creation, Jerry’s constant hijinx (which have moved more to mental pain than physical pain), and ruminations on life and what about it is worth living. Maybe your tolerance for wallowing in every aspect of a failed relationship is higher than mine, or maybe you’re going through one yourself right now, in which case I’d recommend this unreservedly. If not I’d still recommend this for the other half of the strips and because those solid black eyes will never be anything but mesmerizing. As for Neil and relationships, sometimes the cliches work: getting back on the horse (so to speak) is key, as is the realization that anybody capable of causing you that much harm is not worth dwelling on, as that’s exactly what they want, assuming that they’re as terrible as you’ve come to believe. $5


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