Tower25 is an autobio comic about addiction, being homeless, the struggle within, and finding the strength to stand up again.
Tower25 by Pj Patten is a magnificent story that opens your eyes to a life on the streets and the hardships that Pj Patten experienced during those times. As this is an autobiography, I’m not going to tell you any of the details of the story. This is something that you need to read and experience for yourself, as Tower25 holds a lot of emotion in each page.
Pj Patten doesn’t bother with fluff or nonsense when writing his story. He writes it with his heart right on the page. He leaves us with the same emotions that he probably was experiencing himself.
Yes, there are errors, but something that you typically don’t see in comics, is the evidence of fixed errors. PJ Patten didn’t throw away a page merely because of a spelling error. He just scratched it out and continued on. Personally, I’ve got no problem with this. Not for this story.
He actually had some pretty clever ways to cover up these errors, which added even more character to a story that is already filled to the brim.
The art in Tower25 is very rough. The lines are broken, the panels lack structure, and the form is unconventional and distorted.
But it works.
I’m sure this comic would look great with crisp lines, perfectly formed buildings, and paneling to break the page up neatly –but it would lose its feeling of raw emotion. There’s something about the simplicity of the artwork that leaves the reader vulnerable.
Pj Patten’s use of analogies and imagery add to this feeling of vulnerability. He tosses the reader around in a cycle of despair and longing, reaching for something, anything to grab hold of that can take Pj out and away from that lifestyle. Imagery is a powerful tool.
Now, from a more professional perspective, I’d say that the use of white space is not manipulated properly. There are many times when there is too much white. Also, using a straight edge to clean up some of the lines will make some of the images more visually pleasing.
Overall, the art has a long ways to go before I would consider it acceptable in a competitive market, but it definitely doesn’t deter you away from Tower25. As I’ve mentioned already, I really do think that the roughness of Pj Patten’s artwork adds to the emotional impact of his story.
Tower25 does not have a professional atmosphere to it. In fact, it is quite the opposite. There are errors in both the writing and the art. However, because of the sheer amount of emotional impact that Pj Patten has created with this comic and his life story, none of these mistakes matter. If anything they help add to the raw beauty of a life lived in hardship.
I would recommend this comic to everyone. It isn’t a terribly long read. It is thought-provoking and powerful. Take a few minutes out of your day and experience life in someone else’s shoes.
You can read Tower25 by PJ Patten here.