Paying for It, Chester Brown’s new graphic memoir about his experience patronizing prostitutes, published in May by Drawn & Quarterly, has received a fairly high-profile endorsement from The New York Times. None other than famed former prostitute, sex educator, and performance artist Annie Sprinkle reviewed the book over the weekend, calling Brown’s honest portrayal of his experiences “groundbreaking.”
[Brown] makes as convincing a case for the decriminalization and destigmatization of prostitution as anyone I’ve ever come across in the prostitutes’ rights movement. This will be a welcome book to prostitutes everywhere, especially those who have been raped, robbed, or busted in places where laws and stigmas against the business make such experiences all the more traumatizing. It is also a valuable resource for academics, a challenge to law enforcement and politicians, and a boon to johns the world over.
The review also highlights the social advantages that accrue (for the time being, at least) to writing and publishing such a boundary-pushing work south of the 49th parallel:
[Brown] also gratefully acknowledges the Canada Council for the Arts for generously assisting me financially while I wrote and drew this work. Can you imagine the National Endowment for the Arts financing any project remotely resembling this? O Canada!
(For a dissenting opinion on Brown’s book, see Q&Q‘s own review.)