Philip K. Dick: A Comics Biography HC
Publisher: NBM
Release Date: January 2019
Price: $24.99 ($16.99 e-book)
Creator(s): Laurent Queyssi (writer); Mauro Marchesi (artist)
Format: 144 pgs., Full-Color, 7" x 10.25", Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-6811-2191-8
Age Rating: N/A
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

Depending on whose version of the story you believe, Philip K. Dick was a genius, a drug addict, crazy, prescient, a dirty old man, a writer, a dreamer… it’s not that he wasn’t any of these things, but the percentage of each one in the mix changes based on your viewpoint, and this graphic biography makes use of that to great effect.

As portrayed in this book, he was not a nice man.  He was always interested in young women, would marry them, and then would grow tired of them, or they would grow tired of him.  There was always a next one available, for reasons the book fails to make clear.  His dependence on drugs to push his productivity, combined with his other mental problems, may have driven some of his problems, but from the portrayal here, he was already a bit off, even before the drugs.

As a writer, though, he had periods of brilliance, as well as remarkably strange insights.  One of his novels became the movie Blade Runner, but the other films based on his works are mostly terrible, because his work was just so far outside the norm.

On the down side, though, his personal problems make the book somewhat difficult to read, because he’s just so hard to root for, based on the way he’s shown treating his wives and children.

This is a very readable graphic biography of a complicated man, and should attract readers interested in what makes a great SF writer tick.  There is a good bibliography, as well.  The book is written mainly for adults, but a few older teens may enjoy it.

--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.