This coming-of-age graphic memoir is a relentless and exhilarating journey to the depths of the human condition, rendered with precision and verve by one of the world's greatest living cartoonists.
"You've always got to laugh at tragedy. That's why I laugh about my ailment. Ailments. About being a sexual spastic. About my perennial, cowardly, tantalizing desire to die. You can laugh about anything. Almost." Spoken by his self-depiction, these bitter words set the tone for Gipi's pitch-black humor in this unvarnished and uncompromising autobiographical tale. A young adult adrift in the world, Gipi's stand-in grapples with sexuality, insecurity, deception, depression, drug use, fading friendships, and the capricious cruelties of the world as he struggles to determine whether his life is worth living.
Drawn in Gipi's signature elegantly scribbled ink style and punctuated by vivid watercolor splashes, My Badly Drawn Life weaves through the past and present, through narratives both real and imagined, to create an impressionistic account of his complex inner life. In this kaleidoscopic journey into the depths of his psyche, Gipi processes the shadowy traumas of his upbringing; in doing so, he produces a gripping work of utter cartooning mastery.
About the Author
Gipi (Gianni Pacinotti) is an Italian cartoonist whose graphic novel Notes for a War Story won “Best Book” at the Angouleme International Comics Festival. He also teaches and has directed a film, 2011’s The Last Man on Earth. He lives in Pisa, Italy.
Jamie Richards is an Italian-to-English translator from Southern California currently based in Milan, Italy. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Oregon and an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Iowa.
The Italian graphic novelist who uses a combination of scratchy pen and splashy watercolor explores all the challenges of growing up, with detours into drugs and depression. — The New York Times
Reading these pages is like being invited into someone’s private dream journal, all their worst fears vividly described. It’s not a life badly drawn, but the bad things drawn out of the life. — New York Review of Books
Gipi masters the accidents that have left a scar in his life with verve. And the drawings, as quick as they are precise, become an echo of this tormented journey that never forgets to be caustic in every page. My Badly Drawn Life is a precious work, as generous in disenchantment as it is in love.
— Emmanuel Posnic - Paris-Art
Dancing between disappointment and depression with an occasional unexpected humor that demonstrates the astonishing elegance of despair, Gipi scores with a magnificent, beautiful book. — Télérama
The masterful work of an author whose talent no longer needs to be proved. Gipi leads us into the depths of the human soul through his own experience. A great autobiographical tale free of taboos, oscillating between cruelty and grace. — Krinein BD
Readers beloved of antiheroes will appreciate Gipi’s insights, though they do not come easy. — Publishers Weekly
Continually thought-provoking, beautifully illustrated in a variety of styles, and heartbreakingly revelatory. — Slings & Arrows Graphic Novel Guide