Written by Daren Write
Illustrated by Eddie Campbell
Published by Top Shelf
It’s nice to end the year with a review of one of 2010′s best comics. If I were compiling a “best of” list, rest assured, The Playwright would rank high on it.
The back cover of Daren White and Eddie Campbell’s latest, The Playwright, describes the book as “a dark comedy about the sex life of a celibate middle-aged man.” If that sounds awesome to you, as it does to me, let me assure you, The Playwright actually exceeds its promise.
White and Campbell structure the story, for most of its duration, with three panels per page, each accompanied by a caption box. The delivery, dry and sardonic, captures the timidity and bleakness of the titular writer’s life, while the illustrations move back and forth between his lusty ambitions and his staid actions. If you like Campbell’s strong pen and ink and watercolor artwork or appreciate seeing your own follies reflected back at you, The Playwright’s one of the best books in recent memory, darkly funny, insightful, and quite unforgettable.