Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
Today we look at birthday boy JT Yost’s Losers Weepers #1.
The concept of Losers Weepers is a strong one, if not one that might rub some people the wrong way. Yost takes found documents and uses them as the basis of a fictional story starring the characters in the found documents. Is there a definite level of voyeurism involved in using a stranger’s journal as the basis of a story? Sure, but once you get past that, you can see how Yost uses these documents to formulate a wonderfully detailed, if deeply depressing, tale.
Losers Weepers #1 uses the concept beautifully. You could argue that this is because Yost has journal pages to work with, so that gives you a great deal of detail to begin to riff with, but I think it is more than that. I think the story felt like it was really using the found documents to inspire the story, and not just as a gimmick (like, “okay, this comic is about found documents, so time for Document #2 to be used…wait a few pages…time for Document #3”).
In issue #1, the journal entries give us deep details upon a woman’s life, but when we meet her, Yost lets the entries just settle in as background information. When we see her with her boyfriend, there is nothing evident about her issues that we know because of the journal – it is just an extra piece of information. Likewise, when her mentally ill ex-boyfriend goes off on her and new boyfriend with a spoken word performance, it totally fits the story. Yes, it is from a poem/song/whatever that Yost found on the back of an envelope, but it seemed extremely real, like an organic extension of the story.
The third document Yost uses when we see the ex-boyfriend living out on the street, that, too, flows perfectly with the story.
Here are a couple of sample pages from this part of the book…
What really impressed me most about the issue was the dialogue Yost wrote between the ex-boyfriend and a “friend” of his out on the streets. The extremely uneasy camaraderie between two people living out on the streets is an intriguing interpersonal relationship, and Yost milks it for all that it is worth – how someone can be your only friend one minute and literally your mortal enemy the next minute…it’s a depressing situation, but it is one that Yost captures well.
Probably the best thing that I can say about Losers Weepers #1 is that if you completely removed the found documents angle from the comic you would still have a very strong comic book experience (albeit a very depressing one) – everything you need to understand the story is in the comic itself. That it is based on three found documents is just an extra piece of information to be intrigued by.
I would highly recommend Losers Weepers #1. You can order a copy at JT’s comic website here.