Chester Brown’s ‘Paying For It’ due Spring 2011

with a tip of the hat to Tom Spurgeon.

D+Q announces the long awaited Chester Brown book Paying For It will be released Spring 2011. The follow-up to 2003’s wonderful book Louis Riel, Paying For It is a “200-page chronicle of his experiences paying for sexual services, which was produced with the assistance of a $16,000 grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.”1

Brown has been quite open about his life, as his back and forth with Dave Sim in the letter column of Cerebus shows, and I believe this work will be a revelation on a number of levels.

The work will surely intrigue many, and likely repulse as well. Knowing nothing of the work, but having great expectations due to the skill and nuance Brown brings to the page, I’m certain many facets of prostitution will be explored through Brown’s lengthy involvement/interaction with prostitution.

An interesting aspect would be the exploration of legality, as Brown most recently made news in 2008’s Federal Election, running as a member of the Libertarian party.

“Politically, maybe I’d have considered myself among the NDP types, although I wasn’t really all that interested,” he says. “Yes, it was a nice thing that there’s money distributed to poor people. Their stance on social issues or drug laws is something that generally fit my own.

“Becoming a Libertarian wasn’t the easiest thing for me. At first, I thought, aren’t those just a bunch of right-wing assholes? But when I met other party members I discovered there was a lot for me to agree with.”1

We are glad to see an upcoming release date for what will surely be one of the most talked about books of 2011. Look for it in winner’s circles come 2012 awards season.

Paying For It will be published by Drawn + Quarterly, a three time winner of the Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Publisher, who acknowledge “the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP), the Supply Chain Initiative, and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing activities.”


1. Eye Weekly


2 thoughts on “Chester Brown’s ‘Paying For It’ due Spring 2011

  1. There can be no doubt the “spring 2011 release date” means that this will be a key release for D+Q at TCAF 2011 in early May. I will definitely be pre-ordering a copy from my favourite Canadian comic book retailer.


    Drawn & Quarterly will be publishing the all new original graphic memoir, PAYING FOR IT, by the legendary cartoonist Chester Brown in the Spring of 2011, it was announced today by Editor-In-Chief and Publisher Chris Oliveros. PAYING FOR IT chronicles Brown’s break up with a long time girlfriend and his subsequent search and examination of the need for companionship, love, and sex and whether they are inescapably intertwined.

    “To any follower of Chester Brown’s career, PAYING FOR IT is classic Chester,” said Oliveros. “It is unabashedly frank in his depiction of his sex life while coolly asserting his view of a controversial topic. It is safe to say that there has never been a graphic novel like PAYING FOR IT before and it will be the most talked about book of 2011.”

    Brown has never shied away from tackling controversial subjects in his work. In his 1992 book, THE PLAYBOY, he explored his personal history with pornography. His bestselling 2003 graphic novel, LOUIS RIEL, was a biographical examination of an extreme political figure. The book won wide acclaim and cemented Brown’s reputation as a true innovator. PAYING FOR IT is a natural progression for Brown as it combines the personal and the sexual aspects of his autobiographical work with the polemical drive of LOUIS RIEL. Brown calmly lays out the facts for us of how he became, not only a willing participant, but a vocal proponent of one of the world’s most hot button topics —prostitution. While this may appear overtly sensational and just plain implausible to some, Brown’s story stands for itself. PAYING FOR IT offers an entirely contemporary exploration of sex work from the timid john who rides his bike to his escorts, wonders how to tip so as not to offend, and reads Dan Savage for advice, to the modern day transactions complete with online reviews, seemingly willing participants, and clean apartments devoid of cliché depictions of street corners, drugs, or pimps.

    PAYING FOR IT will be distributed in the U.S. by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and in Canada by Raincoast Books. International rights will be represented by Samantha Haywood of the Transatlantic Literary Agency.

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