“WHEN YOU ARE STRANGE, THE WORLD CAN BE AMAZING.” So ends the illustrated memoir, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now,” published Tuesday by my friend and columnist Andre Jordan, the daydreaming doodler. Now when you’re Bambi…well, the world can be quite another story, and not so amazing, as the doodle above from the fantastic (if a little twisted) new book confirms.
If I count my blessings from 2009, I’d count Andre right up there, along with starting A Way to Garden (and now The Sister Project), getting a book contract of my own (more on that someday) and letting Jack the Demon Cat in the house to sit at my feet while I work each day.
Andre’s memoir is brutal and charming and uproarious all at once, sharing as he does in his words (sometimes starting with “F”) and pictures (sometimes involving turgid body parts) the journey through life’s inconvenient truths and low tides, as the book depicts:
A line drawing of a bucket labeled “Happy Pills” and beside it the caption “Hard to Swallow.”
A stick figure holding a gun to his head as he stands before a giant television set. “Daytime TV” is written on the screen.
Or just the words, “Stop this creative nonsense and get a proper job!”
And more pages with Andre-isms: “Don’t let the ordinary change your extraordinary ways.”
Or, “BE NICE else you’ll spend the rest of your life fighting and competing and you’ll never trust anyone and you’ll end up just not being very happy and stuff.”
You can read more about Andre in my Oct. 16 post, when I introduced him to A Way to Garden, or read his profile on the BBC website, where he is a weekly columnist as well. Or you can just buy the delightful little book, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” (Harper Perennial, $10). And, of course, you can keep coming back on Thursdays to see his exclusive garden doodles. Perhaps we can even get him back on the topic of deer before long, and see if it really is empathy he feels for the largest of all garden pests. (We already know how he feels about gnomes.)