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About the Author: Chester Brown

Chester Brown was born in Montreal, Canada on May 16, 1960 and grew up in the nearby suburb of Chateauquay. His career path was set at the age of 12 when the local newspaper, The St. Lawrence Sun, published one of his comic strips.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

At 19, he moved to Toronto and got a day job while he worked on his skills as a cartoonist at night and on weekends. In 1983, he began to self-publish his work in photocopied �mini comics� under the title Yummy Fur. These pamphlets attracted attention in comic book industry publications, and in 1986 the Toronto-based comic book publisher Vortex Comics approached Brown. The first Vortex issue of Yummy Fur sold well, and Brown quit his day job and began working full-time as a cartoonist.

In the pages of Yummy Fur, Brown serialized a bleakly humorous story called Ed the Happy Clown which was published as a graphic novel in 1989 and went on to win several awards.

In 1991, Chris Oliveros managed to convince Brown to sign on with Oliveros�s new comic book company, Drawn & Quarterly. Brown�s The Playboy was released in 1992 and was the first graphic novel published by D+Q.

In 1994, Drawn & Quarterly published I Never Liked You. Brown believes that this autobiographical work about his adolescence is his best book.

Brown was persuaded in 1998 to assemble a book collecting his shorter pieces: The Little Man: Short Strips, 1980-1995.

Also in 1998, Brown began work on Louis Riel: A Comic Strip Biography which was finally completed in mid-2003 and collected as a critically acclaimed graphic novel later that year.

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Goodreads rating: 3.62

Hardcover, Published in May 2011 by Drawn and Quarterly

ISBN10: 1770460489 | ISBN13: 9781770460485

Page count: 292


Chester Brown has never shied away from tackling controversial subjects in his work. In his 1992 book, The Playboy, he explored his personal history with pornography. His bestselling 2003 graphic novel, Louis Riel, was a biographical examination of an extreme political figure. The book won wide acclaim and cemented Brown's reputation as a true innovator.

Paying for It is a natural progression for Brown as it combines the personal and sexual aspects of his autobiographical work with the polemical drive of Louis Riel. Brown calmly lays out the facts of how he became not only a willing participant in but a vocal proponent of one of the world's most hot-button topics—prostitution. While this may appear overly sensational and just plain implausible to some, Brown's story stands for itself. Paying for It offers an entirely contemporary exploration of sex work—from the timid john who rides his bike to his escorts, wonders how to tip so as not to offend, and reads Dan Savage for advice, to the modern-day transactions complete with online reviews, seemingly willing participants, and clean apartments devoid of clichéd street corners, drugs, or pimps.

Complete with a surprise ending, Paying for It provides endless debate and conversation about sex work and will be the most talkedabout graphic novel of 2011.

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