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Thanks for this article.

I heard about Joe through you. I loved Joe Matt, and had every issue of PeepShow (which means I no longer have ANY of them since I gave comics away to ingrates back then).

JM was so honest, and your assessment is so right on the nose, I wonder today what he was thinking, how far outside himself and his social circle he expanded to consider when writing his comics. Regardless, like you, I wanted to do the same thing, still do, lol, and will settle for nothing less. Not same-same, but be a cartoonist that creates narratives and draw for a living. Joe was one of the best, and I would list him in my top 5 along with Jim Woodring and Dan Clowes. The last I had heard of him was from "Paying For It," which was underwhelming (despite the art being great) and I found what interested me the most about the work was not Brown's treatise on why he should have access to impoverished young girls selling their bodies for money, but the dynamic of "The Trio" when they were hanging out having lunch.

The early 2000's was an interesting time. There was a lot of interest in "Graphic Novels," and many flocked to become a "cartoonist," especially after the success of Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware. The disillusionment came just as hard in the late 2000's, but it seems as though there are still a dedicated bunch who still yet want to make it work.

I wanted to be a comic strip artist like Bill Watterson before I read "Like A Velvet Glove Cast in Iron," then briefly do deeply personal autobiographical comics like Joe Matt when I discovered PeepShow. I noticed that Joe sort of fell off after the 2000's, and I think you're right, that it's due to social media, and suddenly being scrutinized by thousands if not more people, and criticized for every little thing, and shamed, and so on. His sort of thing can't exist anymore, and its a shame-- if only we could have created a bubble for him to exist in, and curate what he knew about the outside world like in "The Truman Show" so he could have gone on and made his comics.

Dan Clowes says the comic artist makes his best work in his 60's, but, who has the work ethic and vision of a D Clowes? Just like him, who rocketed out of the popularity of comics in the 90's by shaping the trends Joe Matt was a person who made comics about himself-- and you're right, it could have only happened then.

I think there's more to say about "artists" on the internet, who, do less art and more drama as if it's "performance art" to attack other artists and try to steal their audience by dishing on them. Joe Matt would have been cancelled for sure if he had the type of personality to persist with the types of comics he made, which of course were only possible because of who he was.

I loved Joe Matt, and Brown's depiction of him looking away while bitterly calling Brown a sinner for hiring prostitutes, referencing his mother saying he's "going to hell" is still hilarious, he was hilarious.

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