REVIEW: The Man With No Libido
Written by: Jason Browne
Drawn and Inked by: Stephen Kearney
Lettered by: Billy Browne
Published by: Quiet Hell Comics
Price £8.44 (available from amazon.co.uk)
The Man With No Libido is an original graphic novel from Quiet Hell comics, a collaboration between Jason Browne and artist Stephen Kearney. The story follows put-upon protagonist Mitch Daily, suffering through a string of failed romances. Tired of being the ‘nice guy’, and ‘just friends’ he has enough and decides to end his constant romantic suffering. Not by jumping from a bridge, but by undergoing a new procedure to completely remove his libido. The idea behind the procedure being the Buddhist belief that all life is suffering, and all suffering comes from desire. So to end suffering one must simply snip desire, so to speak. Obvious, really. Thankfully for the squeamish, the procedure is not a physical surgery, rather a process that removes the sex drive, leaving all the actual man bits intact. The story then follows the fallout in Mitch’s personal life, which is obviously more complicated than he expected, and once news of the procedure spreads, the wider effect of a large chunk of the population taking themselves permanently out of the dating game through the same procedure.
Equal parts Scott Pilgrim and cartoonist Jeffrey Brown’s earlier, autobiographical work in the ‘awful hell of romance’ vein. The Jeffrey Brown elements of the story are worn on its sleeve. Anyone familiar with his work will recognise the hopeless romanticism juxtaposed with the harsh, and often cruel, realities of love. While obviously not autobiographical, it’s hard to imagine such a story coming from an author who was unfamiliar with love’s cruel sting. In fact, the dedication is to: ‘All the women who screwed me over’.
The Bryan Lee O’ Malley influence is welcome then, brightening the tone, and preventing it from ever getting too maudlin or downbeat. The story itself is lightened by a fun supporting cast; an animated bunch that serve to lift the mood and provide some nice running gags throughout the book. Stephen Kearney’s artwork is fun and expressive, and the story is well structured, and punctuated with a great sense of humour.
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