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My Dirty Dumb Eyes
posted April 1, 2013


Creator: Lisa Hanawalt
Publishing Information: Drawn And Quarterly, softcover (sort of; it's a flexi-cover), 120 pages, May 2013, $22.95.
Ordering Numbers: 1770461167 (ISBN10), 9781770461161 (ISBN13)

LISA HANAWALT, have you read your new book from Drawn And Quarterly? Have you pulled out one of the 12,000 copies of My Dirty Dumb Eyes and perused its contents? Did you read the comics? Did they live up to your expectations?

imageDid an icy hand grip your inner self when you found yourself staring at a figure on a white background, glib phrases above or below them? When you saw a pants-less woman described as "Porky Pig Goes Gladiator" did your mind check out for a second? Did it go someplace that great creative minds go? Could you find that place on a menu?

Did you notice that your title has little to do with the contents of the book? Did you ever realize there were very few eye-related stories in My Dirty Dumb Eyes? Were you aware there was plenty of dumb, and some dirty, but few eyes?

What exactly about the wedding registry story makes it about a) weddings or b) a registry or c) not sadly lacking in entertainment value? Is your purpose to enrage or disappoint?

Were you aware how very far from the actual lives depicted your "The Secret Lives Of Chefs" was? Did you just make most of that stuff up? Were you aware that the lives of these chefs depicted by you were brutally depressing and odd? Would you be willing to accept the blame if young people, upon reading your story, decided not to be chefs?

Why is one of the few comics in this collection that can be read without immediate stomach pains and regret about sex fantasies inspired by movies? Are these your sex fantasies? Why would anyone find this interesting?

When you have a second, Ms. Hanawalt, can you see what happened to the comics collection I purchased? Do you get that many of these "illustrated essays" are hardly comics at all? Why do you pretend to be a cartoonist? What are you trying to pull on us?

Did you really see Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes? If so, why is this first-hand knowledge not better reflected in your movie review? What gives you the right to a review a movie? Is it because you can draw? What do you have against science fiction? What did James Franco ever do to you?

Do your other freelance clients appreciate you just smashing a whole bunch of stuff together and calling it a cohesive selection of works? Or does that just happen in comics where people are used to taking any old damn thing publishers are willing to give them?

If someone pre-orders your book and it doesn't come in the mail and they ask you about it a show, is it really that funny to say, "Sucks for you" and high-five John Porcellino?

Has anyone ever told you that your on-line personality is pretty fake? Do you really like the things you say you like? Are some of those tweets actually favorites, or are you just trying to curry favor like some sort of crazed, Camaro-driving, second-generation Shary Flenniken?

How much of what you do is an act? Do you even know?

imageHow did Channing Tatum end up in one of your comics-type essays as some sort of wild hayseed with a nice rump? Were you aware he is one of America's finest young actors with a nice rump? What do you have against rumps?

How did the fine reality television show The Bachelor become, in your hands, far divorced from the reality it portrays?

How did a story about flying in an airplane featuring a horse, a classic story, an important story, become so deeply unmoving? Why do you always draw horses, even in those cases it is not necessary to draw a horse? Why not use a different animal? Why do you favor the horse?

Would you let our comics retailer know that we asked for the latest comics collection by and up-and-comer and got this, instead? Will you honor this book's return?

When you hung that sign on the title page spread with people's names on it, are those actual people or are you just messing with our heads?

Does this make it sound as if everything in My Dirty Dumb Eyes is unreadable? I didn't say that, did I?

Tell me, though, why do your comics sabotage even the stronger concepts via artistic flourishes straight from The Land Of No One Cares? Why drown a straight-forward black and white story with colors and pastels? Why do you insist on mutilating many of our finest and most beautiful movie actors and animals? What is wrong with you?

Is this how you rolled on Pizza Island?

Somewhere in the cold and unfriendly interior of whatever you call your studio, is there some sort of collection of mittens you wear to make it harder for you to hold a brush or pencil?

What accounts for the vast difference between your reputation as a cartoonist to watch and what we actually get in the pages of this book? Why have the good comics been replaced by unreadable efforts, many not comics at all?

When we hear the phrase "dirty dumb eyes," is it right for us to think of our own eyes first, and that we might wish to be able to stab them out of our head after reading this collection?

Is this book a piece of concept art goofing on the idea of a first collection?

Why are the construction workers animals? Why do you hate construction workers?

Did you really think that looked like Rachel McAdams?

Oh, and we never got the reading experience we wanted; can you tell Chris up at Drawn and Quarterly we'll be talking to him about this in Toronto?



My Dirty Dumb Eyes


ATMOSPHERE Self-indulgence.

SERVICE The nice people at D+Q seem to realize what they're working with here.

SOUND LEVEL A dull screech.

RECOMMENDED There was a story called "Moosefingers" that was okay, I guess. I liked that the color of the carpet kept changing, and the Moose seemed like a nice person.

DRINKS AND WINE You would do well to have some with this book. Try taking a drink every time Hanawalt makes the safe choice, and chugging when a story ends before you think it should.

PRICES $22.95; my copy will be available soon on for $.01.

HOURS I wasted two hours of my life struggling to get through My Dirty Dumb Eyes.


WHEELCHAIR ACCESS Yeah, I guess. What does that even mean?

WHAT THE STARS MEAN They're better people than to be treated the way Hanawalt treats them. I mean come on.


PS -- Lisa, I hope this is close to what you wanted. Your book is swell.

PSS -- All satirical respect.