The Alcoholic, a Vertigo (DC Comics) graphic novel is a semi-autobiography of the writer Jonathan Ames. The book follows a writer (Jonathan A.) as he tells his story of ascents and descents into alcoholism, relationships and a slew of misadventures along the way.
Stylistically the illustrations (Illustrator Dean Haspiel) are black and white, simple characters with a reminiscent feel of a 50’s billboard advertisement. In other words very artistic and easy on the eyes. The book itself is set up nicely and has easy to follow panels with little to no confusion on where to draw your eyes next.
As far as the story goes, be prepared for a roller coaster of ups and downs. By this I in no way mean the book has good points and bad points, more so highs and lows. You’ll be taken from Jonathan’s teen years, his first humorous and sometimes shocking sexual experiences to his later years as a balding middle aged man. The protagonist narrates the story telling about his past, whilst making brief stops back to the present to simply explain why he is where he is. The Alcoholic seems to plateau at the events of September 11th where Jonathan's life changes (he even receives advice from a previously unfaithful US president).
All in all you’re basically reading a story about a writer’s adventure. Finding himself, the people and relationships he experiences along the way and the emotional struggles he endures. It’s a moving story with some intelligent humor and beautiful visuals. This book definitely shows that the industry is really evolving in to a collection of literary pieces of art and expression.