Money makes the world go round, as they say. And around. And around.
Eddie Campbell is an award-winning graphic novelist (Alec, From Hell) whose work defies categorization. His latest book is a dizzying autobiographical investigation into MONEY. It's a voyage that takes him all the way from the imaginary wealth of Ponzi schemes to the real hard stuff on an obscure South Sea tropical island where he investigates the history of the stone money. This is no dry and dusty treatise on finance; any complexities are pleasingly reduced to the level of bubblegum trading cards. In here you will hear about the corporation that Campbell keeps under his bed; you will meet colorful historical characters and be taken on dangerous shark-infested sea adventures; and after that, we will all plunge to the depths to retrieve our loose change.
Campbell's wry eye and vivid full-color artwork imbue the proceedings with real humanity, making The Lovely Horrible Stuff an investment that's worth every penny.
Campbell is renowned for his amiable, autobiographical style that rambles off on tangents, brings in unexpected focuses, and wraps the personal inside the esoteric all consistent with a night of conversation over many beers with a charming man. In this new graphic novel, Campbell mixes bits of his own life with wider history around the topic of money for an examination of what it means and how we can focus on it so much without really understanding its nature at all. For this journey, the specifics of writerly finances especially in regard to entertainment industry misadventures are addressed, alongside amusing diatribes about his father-in-law and an extensive, fascinating travelogue to the Pacific island of Yap, renowned for having the world's largest stone coins. Campbell is one graphic novelist who has the potential both creative and intellectual to reach beyond the typical audience and into the wider world of essayists traditionally inhabited by the likes of Bill Bryson or Christopher Hitchens. Coupled with personable artwork that often seems like it's torn straight out of a sketchbook, Campbell's erudition comes off as comforting and familiar, with a conversational presentation of heady topics that brings it all down to earth.