For Throw Back Thursday it’s…Purgatory (“A Rejects Story”) http://www.fantagraphics.com/purgatory is a 94-page, Black and White, autobiographic comic written and illustrated by Casanova Nobody Frankenstein. From Fantagraphics’ F.U. Press, published by Triple G.
Cassie takes us back in time and inside the loneliness and turmoil of his teenage world as he deals with the anxiety of school, an emotionally unsupportive family, and discovering his own identity. These subjects are told through journal-like entries accompanied by single page illustrations. Each journal page has been type written and affixed over the original handwritten text complete with smudges, shadows of tape, and paper edges. The design and composition of Purgatory gives it a very personal and raw look that completely complements the story contained within.
The biting narrative paints a bleak picture of teenage life in a big city where groups form and self-segregate based on interests, neighborhoods, and ethnicities. Cassie details his strategic maneuvering through the hostile teenage wasteland, calculating everything from which form of transportation to take to school, to which entrance to go through. Cassie explains how each of these choices had impacts on rest of the day, so moves had to be analyzed and consequences considered.
The one overriding feeling conveyed throughout Purgatory is that of determination. Determination to persevere, to overcome, and to break free. And that’s exactly what Cassie did. He struggled through the obstacles and shadows that fill the teenage years with an almost unbearable angst and he emerged…as Casanova Nobody Frankenstein!