Review – The Couch #1 & 2

Publisher: W.i.N. Pictures
Writer: David A Byrne
Artwork: Matt Magill

The couch is an interesting series to say the least. The whole thing feels a little like an experiment designed to make you feel uneasy. The cartoonish style of elongated limbs and rough edges mixing with bright colours of shirts and the room itself made me feel a little dizzy, and whether that effect was intended or not it definitely makes you think.

The first two issues follow the exploits of Doctor Lee, a down-and-out psychiatrist, as his life rapidly falls apart leading him from one weird event after another. It starts with him firing his assistant/girlfriend who then trashes his office, which leads into his one and only client – a man who suffers from severe OCD – describing how he can’t function at work because he’s better than everyone and how they mess with him because of it. While this is happening a superhero throws a robber through the door of the practice and takes a selfie with the promise that he’ll tear Lee’s arms off if he sells the picture to the media.

Throw in some ironic mental health issues of the Doctor himself, a bit of blackmail and more offhanded analysis of the superhero condition and you have a story which is so weird I couldn’t genuinely make up if I tried.

In fact, there’s so much going on in it that even after two issues I’m struggling distil it all into a review, but again I think this is partially the point. You’re supposed to feel just as unhinged as the doctor and his rapidly eroding life. Dishevelled and sleep deprived, we’re seeing his world through his warped perspective, in a lot of ways like the few patients that he attempts to help without involving them in his own messy problems and neurosis.

It reminds me in a way of Fight Club 2, in so much as the reader is constantly trying to figure out just where the story is going. Along the way, it’s easy to forget that this world is so insane it could pretty much go anywhere. Is it all in Lee’s head? Is it in the head of his patients? Is this world so bonkers that it actually does exist? Only the creators know for sure, and while it’s far from an easy read, there’s something uniquely captivating about this wilfully disorienting series.

To find out more about the series, and get your hands on the first two issues, you can check out David Byrne’s website by CLICKING HERE.


The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
Indy Tweets from @smokingpunkindy

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