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My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down    by David Heatley order for
My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down
by David Heatley
Order:  USA  Can
Pantheon, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

David Heatley's My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down is touted as a 'Graphic Memoir. Adults Only!' It is just that. Very graphic. And definitely a memoir. Done as a series of cartoons. The publisher tells us that 'Every inch of My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down is filled with visceral art and emotionally resonant storytelling at once stunning, truthful, and uncomfortably hilarious.'

Five chapters of Heatley's life cover: Sex History; Black History; Portrait of My Mom; Portrait of My Dad; and, lastly, Family History. The first chapter speaks for itself. I'm sure it will appeal to the more prurient among us. I don't think I'm a prude, but these pages held no appeal for me at all. As a reviewer, I feel I have to give an honest opinion on what I review.

The amount of work that went into My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down is prodigious. I have to admire the author for his perseverance. And for laying his life out for the world to see. I would imagine a therapist would have a field day with this book. If a story told graphically (I have no objection to this) is your bag, then you will probably enjoy My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down. If you like being titillated, this again is the book for you.

To give the author his due, his work has appeared in The New York Times as well as The New Yorker, known for its cutting edge cartoons. It has also appeared in McSweeney's and in the 2006 and 2007 editions of The Best American Comics.

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