Graffiti Kitchen is a mad romp through the young, carefree days of Eddie Campbell, told on the shoulders of his alter ego, Alec MacGarry. It's a love story, in the vein of Lolita and The Graduate, and you'll either come away thinking Campbell's a fearless genius or that he's completely lost his mind. Either way, Kitchen is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining, poignant, and spontaneous works in autobiographical comics. I came away with only one thought, though.
Rounding out the trilogy of graphic novellas in ALEC: THREE PIECE SUIT are Little Italy and The Dance of Lifey Death. The first is a series of short pieces that Campbell created while isolated in North Australia. These are charming, insightful works that might teach a life lesson or two. And with titles as "The Author Is Coerced Into Doing 'Real' Work, Like They Used To Do In Olden Times" and "The Pyjama Girl's Big Night Out", you know you're in for a genuine treat.
The Dance of Lifey Death is an excellent contrast to Graffiti Kitchen. Here we have the older Campbell, a little bit wiser, now with a family, a new home, and the newfound responsibilities that accompany both. But don't worry -- the mischievous MacGarry that we've all come to know and love is still lurking around. Just watch him try to bum a bottle of '68 Grange from his eccentric neighbor.
He's shameless, really.
Peter Aaron Rose is a writer, producer and technologist who lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Under the pseudonym "Peter Siegel", he recently authored Killing Demons, a graphic novel available from Engine Press and Platinum Studios.