This is a new graphic memoir brimming with black humor, which explores the ultimate irony: the author’s addiction to 12-Step programs.
David Heatley had an unquestionably troubled and eccentric childhood: father a sexually repressed alcoholic, mother an overworked compulsive overeater. Then David’s parents enter the world of 12-step programs and find a sense of support and community. It seems to help. David, meanwhile, grows up struggling with his own troublesome sexual urges and seeking some way to make sense of it all. Eventually he starts attending meetings too. Alcoholics Anonymous. Overeaters Anonymous. Debtors Anonymous. Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. More and more meetings. Meetings for issues he doesn't have.
With stark, sharply drawn art and unflinching honesty, David Heatley explores the strange and touching relationships he develops, and the truths about himself and his family he is forced to confront, while “working” an ever-increasing number of programs. The result is a complicated, unsettling, and hilarious journey—of far more than 12 steps.
“Heatley is a great, dark, funny, truth teller. Qualification reveals how complex humans are, how full of contradictions, what a life-time struggle it is to sort it all out, a test at which no one ever fully succeeds. I could deeply identify with Heatley’s alienation, his honest self revelations, his humor. His observations of other people and the unfolding events in his life make for a powerful graphic story.”—R. Crumb
“Both sobering and spirit-lifting. . . . Heatley (My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down) recounts in squirmy, funny detail a chaotic childhood that leads to an ironic ‘addiction’ to recovery programs in this ultra-candid memoir.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)