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Staff Picks (September): The Complete Matinee Junkie

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I have been a fan of Jordan Jeffries since following his work on Benn Ray’s Overheard in the local paper here in Baltimore. In many ways his strip Matinee Junkie has a similar feel, snippets of conversation overheard while waiting in line for a movie -- random thoughts of plotlines said out loud. But this is a case where the sum total of the individual parts because the world is made up of these strings of sentences collected into paragraphs in turn collected into chapters which are then collected into the plot of our lives. By collecting these individual moments of Jeffries’ subtle and sensitive strip into a single tome The Complete Matinee Junkie achieves something wonderful, it comes to life – or more accurately it becomes a life.

Though ostensibly about film Jeffries doesn’t really give us reviews but rather shows us how films subtly, almost imperceptibly informs our lives. We see a moment of frustration during the credits of Call Me By Your Name as audience members stand up to leave despite the actors continuing to emotionally perform as the titles scroll subtly echoing frustration outside the theater as indifference of the Supreme Court allows gay couples to be denied wedding cakes. In another moment taking advantage of a rental car we follow a wonderful weekend of adulthood doing chores and visiting old friends reminding us of how as we grow up lives tend to drift apart leading to the desire to close the evening with the nostalgic innocence of a children’s movie in the bittersweet last panel.

In The Complete Matinee Junkie we don’t see films reviewed but instead we see life reviewed from the perspective of the film we choose to watch and allow to be projected over us.

Highly recommended.

Jim Fallone

Publisher: Birdcage Bottom Books
Item Code: SEP181581
Release Date: 11/21/18
SRP: $20.00

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