Chester Brown slide show and signing at Strand Bookstore in NYC tonight, 12 May 2011


Chester Brown, author of Paying For It: a Comic-Strip Memoir About Being a John, will be at Strand, my favorite NYC bookstore tonight to for a slideshow, conversation, and signing. He'l be joined by the inimitable Benjamen Walker (Host of WFMU's Too Much Information) and Tracy Quan (author of Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl).

I interviewed Chester about his book last week. Here's the MP3 of the interview.

Chester Brown has never shied away from tackling controversial subjects in his work. As the cartoonist of the autobiographical The Playboy and the biography Louise Riel, Paying For It is a natural progression for Brown as it combines the personal and sexual aspects of his autobiographical work with the polemical drive of Louis Riel. Paying For It offers an entirely contemporary exploration of sex work-from the timid john who rides his bike to meet 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 cliched street corners, drugs, or pimps.

Tracy Quan, a columnist, TV guest and author of Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl and many other books, will join Chester Brown on the Strand Stage.

Chester Brown, Paying For It, with Tracy Quan May 12: 7:00PM - 8:00PM


  1. “to the modern-day transactions complete with online reviews, seemingly willing participants, and clean apartments devoid of cliched street corners, drugs, or pimps.”

    I would read/listen to the latest NPR articles (aired about a week ago) about prostitution before making such a blanket, shiny statement. Sure, there’s always been “high class” prostitutes, but the drugs, human trafficking, pimps, and street corners are hardly gone.

  2. Oh man I wish I could be there. I love the Strand and always allow one whole day to peruse the goods there when I visit NYC. If you like used bookstores its a must go to place.

  3. I would like to go to the bookstore… but why is this interesting? I admit I like the art, but seriously, a comic about a guy who pays for hookers and the angst he has over the issue.

    How about a comic about people who do other things are are unsavory or are bad for you (as far as society and health are concerned)

    How about-
    1. Picking It: An Adult eating boogers
    2. Whats Under the Lid: A Tale of a Man Obsessed with Eating from Dumpsters and the Angst that goes with it.
    3. Poking Me: An Angsty Artist that feels the need to pick up used syringes in the back alleys of Harlem and uncontrolably pierces his skin all the while crying an lamenting that if he wasnt weened so young this would not be so sexually arousing to him.
    4. Posting too much: A short story about an office worker who gets annoyed and posts what he feels are amusing comments on various message boards rather than focusing on his boring job for a full eight hours.

    1. Yeah, why not make those comics. but also, why not what Chester Brown did? Wait – was he supposed to check his actions against your moral standards or seek your approval?
      If you really want to read comics along the lines of the subject matter you suggest, go check out Zap or other underground comix from teh 1960’s and 1970’s. You’ll find all that and more. And be highly entertained (unless you’re the type that asserts that your moral stance is the only true moral stance).

    2. Sounds like you’ve been dipping into the Rory Hayes (RIP) funnybooks lately, CSBD.

  4. Are you meant to tip prostitutes? I saw dozens of prostitutes and never tipped once, though this was in the UK. Some of them liked me, some didn’t, some got annoyingly attached, one I maybe should have married. There was a beautiful lesbian couple so purely in love that they burned through the dirt on my soul and saved me for about a year. In terms of emotional response they varied in exact reflection of womenhood as a whole. So I’m not sure tipping would have helped unless they expected it, and they weren’t American so hopefully didn’t.

    I recommmend to anyone buying or selling sex, it rarely leads you astray.

  5. The Strand may be your favourite bookstore, but when I worked there in 1998, they paid exceptionally low wages. During my interview, the manager made it clear that I was only hired on the condition that I agree to work New Years Eve (that’s the big New Year’s Eve, 1999-2000): “I will end this interview with you right now if you don’t agree to work New Year’s Eve!” I quit long before December.

    I loved visiting the Strand too, but when you visit, keep in mind the misery of those at the tills and stocking shelves.

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