Joe Matt’s Fair Weather (Drawn and Quarterly) compiles four recent issues of his autobiographical comic book Peep Show. The collection details events that took place over a balmy weekend in suburban Pennsylvania in the 1970s, most involving the prepubescent Matt acting up, like an egocentric brat of the worst kind.
Young Joe’s insatiable avarice and infinite capacity for self-pity lead him to some dark places over the course of 116 pages, but the fully grown Matt has clearly developed a sense of perspective over the years. This allows him to steer clear of the sophomoric angst-letting often associated with the confessional comic strip genre and to turn an oddly fond eye toward the charmless crybaby he once was.
Fair Weather is that rarest of things—a “graphic novel” in which the content of the text and the style of the visual artwork are entirely in concordance. Both are bold and accessible, yet packed with subtle details. Clearly Matt is not the Chester Brown clone I formerly wrote him off as.