Qualification: A Graphic Memoir in Twelve Steps
by David Heatley
“Heatley is a great, dark, funny, truth teller. Qualification reveals how complex humans are, how full of contradictions, what a life-time struggle it is to sort it all out, a test at which no one ever fully succeeds. I could deeply identify with Heatley’s alienation, his honest self revelations, his humor. His observations of other people and the unfolding events in his life make for a powerful graphic story.”—R. Crumb
From the author of My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down, Qualification: A Graphic Memoir in Twelve Steps is a new graphic memoir brimming with black humor, that explores the ultimate irony: the author’s addiction to 12-step programs.
David Heatley had an unquestionably troubled and eccentric childhood: his father a sexually repressed alcoholic, his mother an overworked compulsive overeater. Then David’s mother gains control of her weight through Overeaters Anonymous, and a sense of support and community from Al-Anon. She coaxes David’s father into AA as well, and it seems to help.
David, meanwhile, grows up struggling with his own troublesome sexual urges and seeking some way to make sense of it all. Eventually he starts attending meetings too. Alcoholics Anonymous. Overeaters Anonymous. Debtors Anonymous. Sexaholics Anonymous. More and more meetings. Meetings for issues he doesn’t have. With stark, sharply drawn art and unflinching honesty, Heatley explores the strange and touching relationships he develops, and the truths about himself and his family he is forced to confront while “working” an ever-increasing number of programs. The result is a complicated, unsettling, and hilarious journey—of far more than 12 steps.
David Heatley’s comics and drawings have appeared on the cover of The New Yorker and in every section of The New York Times. His work has also appeared in Granta, McSweeney's, Best American Comics (cover artist), Nickelodeon Magazine, and Time Out, among many others. His first graphic memoir, My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down, was published in the US, UK, France, Spain and Belgium. His comics and illustrations have been published in the UK, France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, and Australia. He lives in Jackson Heights, New York, with his wife Rebecca Gopoian and their two children.