Just Another Meat-Eating Dirtbag by Michael Anthony is about the existential inquiries made by a war vet as he navigates the quirks of falling in love. The main character, Michael, is an Iraq war veteran and "dirtbag meat-eater." Despite being a meat-eater, he ends up falling in love with a vegetarian, Coconut. Not long into their relationship, Coconut takes Michael to a lecture about animal rights activism and why killing and eating animals is murder. Soon Michael is following his girlfriend through her own existential journey while he still struggles with his own issues around war, religion, ethics, and last but not least, if he should become a vegetarian for real and not just to make things easier in his relationship with Coconut by pretending to be vegetarian. In the end, he genuinely questions what motivates him and others, like his girlfriend, to fight for or not fight for causes, especially when those causes can make or break our relationships.
I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars for its quality story-telling and relatable humor. Chai Simone's artwork is the perfect style to illustrate the story-telling writing style and makes the reading of the story feel effortless. I haven't read many graphic novels, but I felt that I more clearly understood what the author was trying to convey through the emotions drawn on the faces of the characters and the backgrounds of each scene. Ms. Simone's illustration debut is a great success!
I would recommend this book for adults and mature audiences because of its philosophical themes, and in particular, anyone honest enough to acknowledge the same existential questions as Michael about war, love, and the causes we join. In the end, love may be the worst, but more often than not, it will prevail and change us for the better. A thought-provoking and enjoyable read!