Derf Backderf’s latest graphic novel is as humorous as it is shocking. Part fictional memoir and part history lesson on American garbage, Trashed paints a dry, honest picture of the daily struggles of garbage men and the profound effects our contemporary lifestyles have on how rubbish is dealt with. Our uninspired, down-trodden hero narrates this diary-like story, showing us the disturbing methods we use to dispose of our litter.
This is an American book about American garbage, but its message is applicable throughout the world. Backderf takes his own experience as a garbage-man and creates a novel that’s vivid in laughs and detail, but is also a thoroughly entertaining history piece that manages not only to inform us of the past, but to warn us of the future, and that we need to change our trashy habits.
But aside from engrossing us with a history lesson, Trashed is an immensely fun read. Its wicked humour may not be to everyone’s tastes, but Backderf stitches together a hooky tale of the life and times of your average garbage man. He gives us a rag-tag bunch of unlikeable drop-outs of life and pits them against a world who couldn’t care less about what happens to their trash. Whether its nappies, furniture, or dead animals, as long as it gets taken away, why should they care?
Through this, we end up caring about these drop-outs, because we’re given an insight into their world of garbage. Trashed may look rather out of place on your graphic novel shelf next to your Watchmen and Ronin, but its uniqueness, humour and revelations of how garbage is handled makes it an essential read.
TRASHED / WRITER & ARTIST: DERF BACKDERF / PUBLISHER: HARRY N. ABRAMS, INC. / RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 3RD