Trust us when we say you’ve never seen a graphic novel quite like cartoonist Chester Brown’s Paying for It: a comic-strip memoir about being a john. The book takes the reader through Brown’s escapades with more than 20 prostitutes over 12 years ending with what many may consider to be a head-scratching revelation—he does not consider the woman whom he currently pays for sex to be a prostitute because she only has sex with him. The subject matter is certainly a big switch for Brown, whose last graphic novel was the kid-friendly and award-winning Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography, about the history of the 19th-century Canadian revolutionary. In a section of appendices, Brown argues for the decriminalization of sex workers, blithely calling prostitution “just a form of dating.” He adds, “Nothing happens during paid dates that doesn’t happen in unpaid dates.” Questions, anyone? Yeah, we thought so. Bring them to the Strand tonight when he discusses his book with former call girl Tracy Quan (author of Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl).
Thu., May 12, 7 p.m., 2011