My Brain is Hanging Upside Down
What if you wrote and drew a comic strip that honestly depicted every sexual experience you ever had, from junior school (don't ask) to last week (ditto)? It would force you to re-examine your life in ways that would make your shrink and blush. In 2004 that's exactly what David Heatley did, and called it (what else) 'My Sexual History'. It originally appeared in an obscure comics anthology called Kramer's Ergot, which was nevertheless given a starred review by Publisher's Weekly, which singled out the strip and remarked that it was 'page after page of tiny, crudely rendered but wincingly remembered incidents'. And what else to follow that up with than 'Black History', which chronicles every African-American he ever encountered, whether it was Lennie from daycare who taught him the N-word, or the artist's impressions of Michael Jackson's Thriller. All of it rendered in, um, black and white. So make no mistake--David Heatley is anything but withholding. Quite the opposite. But the great surprise is that he's not simply playing for shock effect either.He's just trying to tell you what happened as succinctly and colourfully as he can, whether it was in a dream or at a game of group Strip Pig in his friend's basement. Which ended in a sort of awkward, slow-motion orgy. These things happen. My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (which gleans its title from the refrain of a song by the Ramones, fyi) marks the start of a brilliant cartooning career.