Self-Published Sunday: The End of the Fucking World

the end of the fucking worldAround the STR offices, fuck is used as punctuation.  It can be found at the end of most sentences and often times once or twice on the middle as well.  So, when I spotted a comic called The End of the Fucking World, I knew that I had to take a look.

James is desperate to feel something.  Anything.  Pleasure.  Pain.  Guilt.  fear.  Love.  It doesn’t matter, just as long as he can feel something.  unfortunately, in his small-town life  with a single father and dead mother, nothing really matters enough to trigger an emotional response.

Alyssa is in love with James.  She knows that he is not in love with her. But she hopes that one day he will love her, trust her, and let her into his inner thoughts.  Hopefully it will be before their past catches up with them.

The End of the Fucking World is brutally honest.  It does not shy away from the fact that kids (and adults) do dumb, cruel, or chaotic things as a means of finding out if what they have been told in life is true or not.  And, while it is easy to judge people by their actions, it is not until we get a glimpse inside their heads that we can truly determine if someone is “good”, “bad”, or hopelessly lost.

Charles Forsman packs plenty of emotional wallop into each 12-page mini-comic.  Since James is so emotionally numb, it is never clear to the reader, even with glimpses into his thoughts, just what he will do next.  As a result, we are in the same position as Alyssa, forced to react and then re-evaluate.

I could go on and on about each issue (twelve published so far).  Each one has something special.  There was the scene in issue four where Alyssa puts a record on the player and dances all the moves from the Breakfast Club.  Or the scene in issue nine where James realizes that, far from being Alyssa’s protector, she was his all along.  Like I said, there are scenes and moments in each issue which add depth and layers to the characters, making the reader care about them more and more.

The End of the Fucking World is not an easy read.  Sure, the issues go by quickly, but that does not mean that they do not stay with you for quite some time.  There will be a total of 16 issues published when all is said and done and Forsman is getting ready to wrap up the story soon.  I know in my heart that this cannot end well.  But, like Alyssa, I care too much to abandon James now.  Like her, I am in it to the end.

You can read the entire first issue for free here.  Order the issues (only $1 a piece!!!) here.  Digital editions available too!  People lucky enough to live in Stumptown can get all the issues at Floating World Comics (where I found my copies).

 

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