Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hair Shirt” as Want to Read:
Hair Shirt
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hair Shirt

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  302 ratings  ·  41 reviews
John and Naomi were childhood sweethearts— and then they grew up. Life took them on very different paths, but accidents will happen. When their two lives intersect again, they decide to have another go at love. But this is no simple romantic rekindling: Both John and Naomi are wearing the hairshirts of miserable memories and dark nightmares, which may be too painful to she ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by SelfMadeHero (first published April 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hair Shirt, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hair Shirt

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  302 ratings  ·  41 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Hair Shirt
Aug 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comix
Picked this up from the library because I was captivated by the cover and the art throughout the book. I was captivated by the dream sequences as well, but not much else. I knew after 10 pages that I wasn't going to be interested in the story and would probably hate it, but I kept reading any way, because I just do these things to myself. So I read 100-something more pages about some straight boy's girl problems, his weird guilt about being a fucking creep, his totally unaware self-absorption, h ...more
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
The good: excellent colors, lots of really great dream sequences, a creepy human headed dog, and sexual frustration about curvy women. The bad: pretty much everything else. Not a waste of time by any means, but it feels like I've read it before.
Dana *
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
maybe i have read too many existential navel gazing graphic novels lately. The reveal was just not quite enough for me to care for the characters.
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
Kind of same old same old for this type of indie comic and (while cute!) slightly visually confusing.
Jul 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
The art was endearing and personal and the beginning of the story was gorgeous, but the middle and end just didn't hold out, in my opinion.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
An eerie, disturbing, and complex tale of self deception, toxic relationships, and personal horror, Hair Shirt definitely leaves the reader unsettled, reflecting upon the unspoken fears and dark desires of the underbelly of attraction.

After the sensitive, artistic “nice guy” John, our narrator, bumps into his old neighbor and high school flame, Naomi, at a show ten or so years after they drifted apart, the pair are eager to rekindle their friendship (and romance). However, from the very beginni
Mary Shyne
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I want to give this book the benefit of the doubt and say it’s an interesting portrait in internalized misogyny — Naomi’s character has the potential to be SO interesting, analyzed outside a romantic context.

But after the book doesn’t pass the Bechdel test (when it could’ve easily with minor dialogue changes — Shaz has the potential to be SUCH a great foil, but is criminally underused), it reads more as sensitive-boy-gets-hurt-by-damaged-girl cliché.

3 stars for plot (“mid
Julie Rylie
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphics
I picked this in the library cause the cover is super trippy, it turns out it was a current dream he had.

teenagers that lost contact after her brother died and met each other years later at a party, as adults. start something, didn't work, she is kinda cuckoo, bla bla.

extra points cause it's in color :)
Justin A Stover
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
An incredibly bleak but occasionally lovely, wonderfully illustrated look at two people who love each other deeply but absolutely should not ever be in a relationship. Both characters are incredibly likable on their own but just complete messes whenever they attempt to date. They are proof that some people should just be friends, have sex, but not commit to anything greater than that together.
Brian Mulhall
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
The artwork is, at times, neat, but mostly this is a self-absorbed story about self-absorbed people, which is oblique and meanders. Naomi is quite the hateful character, but she's written from the point of a view of a middle-aged white dude, so that says more about him than his characters.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This is essentially a story about how childhood trauma and lack of communication affects relationships so it isn't particularly light reading. The art style's interesting and it made me think though so I'm glad I read it.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The art style and cover got me first. It took a while to get into the story, but after 30 pages or so I already loved it. It's crazy, it's weird. But it accentuades "normal" everyday behavior. Maybe it isn't that crazy at all...
William Sulka
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Nice artwork
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommended
A nice little book done in a style that I like. Line work is shaky and rough looking, but the backgrounds are nicely detailed and creatively laid out. Colors and production of the book are top- notch. It feels like a very personal work. If I could fault it, I would say that the twist near the end was a bit confusing. That may have been intentional to keep things open to reader interpretation.
Nov 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Pat McEown's Hair Shirt is a curious read. I was enticed into picking it up at a comics convention by McEown's scratchy style, where no line is ever truly straight, no shadow truly black and his character design, while initially appearing simple, is full of a pleasingly real variety. Colourist Liz Artinan's muted pallete choices are compelling, the dream sequences particularly queasy and disturbing in television glow greens.

At its heart, Hair Shirt is a psycho-sexual drama told mainl
Matt Graupman
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As I was reading "Hair Shirt," I thought I was gonna give it three stars. When I finished it, I decided to give it four stars. A day later, as I write this review, I've given it five stars. It's a strange, hypnotic graphic novel with some pretty egregious flaws but I still loved it. It's one of those books that sticks with you long after you're done reading.

"Hair Shirt" is the meandering story of two childhood friends, John and Naomi, who reconnect, become lovers, and then try to tea
Cole Ott
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
A really interesting read! I highly recommend it, especially for anyone interested in making comics. It's basically a book about how people can screw each other up, and it's a pretty anxious and emotionally draining read for the entire second half, so prepare yourself for that.

Visually, this is one of my favorite graphic novels I've read in a while. I loved the scratchy art and found the coloring to be absolutely killer. As a fellow comic artist, I found the "comics craft" of it real
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
The imagery is really very good, but the hand lettering was too variable to be easily read. Also, the night scenes, colored by Liz Artenan, were much too dark. I really needed a very bright light to see them properly.

The storyline was very interesting. There were a few scene changes that could have been done a bit better, but overall, the story flowed rather well.

The story is a dark one, dealing with childhood issues, teenage drama and trauma, young move during times of s
Morgan Podraza
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Weird and disturbing, HAIR SHIRT is a unique graphic narrative about cycles of abuse and mental health. From the wonderful colors by Liz Artinan to the creepy text by McEown, this narrative kept my attention from start to finish with a mix of emotions. I would recommend HAIR SHIRT to lovers of Daniel Clowes as it reminds me, at times, of ICE HAVEN and THE DEATH RAY.
Sep 14, 2013 rated it liked it
As much as I didn't really get this book upon first reading, I do believe it may be genius. I'm surprised none of the reviewers pointed out the obvious, that the hair shirt (title) while almost non-existant in the book other than in one dream sequence, is really the theme/silent character. Naomi, or rather her history with the 'dog' in the building, figuratively brings the itching-bothersome-ever-present-constantly-reminding hair shirt to life throughout the story. I didn't like this story and I ...more
Dec 31, 2011 rated it liked it
The only other book I've read drawn by McEwon (Zombieworld: Champion Of The Worms) had this amazing linge claire style I responded to. This book is drawn completely differently, in a style that mixes Masaaki Yuasa with Joann Sfar (or alternatively, following the author note's hint, Tove Jannson w/ Edward Gorey). In o ...more
Hannah Garden
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: february-2016
So this is essentially manic pixie nightmare girl and I guess I hate it? There's some legit good gruesome spooky imagery in the dream sequences, which, that's nice, but it's just another panties n' damage bonanza where Chill Sensitive Dude gets whacked around by Self-Serving Manipulative Fuxked Up Girl. And the author is my age which is to say old enough to know better. Older even. So why. Why teen tits and The Tragic Mysteries of Fuckable Sadness. So sick of this shit, at least from male author ...more
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
looked great but the characters are unlikable and i am more unlikable for even wanting to read it. i cant stand comics like this. the characters self absorption makes me feel self absorbed for reading it. i guess i just cant help but identify with the protagonist, thats just the magic of books on my brain but yuck
Emilia P
Jun 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Just look at the cover. That is about the best of the book -- a weird haunted sense of guilt and grief clouding all of the protagonists interactions, decisions and relationship. In the retelling and reliving, its a bit jumbled and confusing but still suitably, atmospherically creepy. I liked it alright and I like the artistic style, didn't come together. Capital comix crime!! Yargh. :)
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels

Have enjoyed other work Pat McEown but I can't say I liked Hair Shirt much at all, found it all fairly depressing to be honest. My favourite book of his is still the Zombie World collaboration he did with Mike Mignola. That's still one of my favourite comics of all time.
Derek Royal
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the most compelling comics I've read all year. Both the story and the art are inextricably interlinked into a cohesive narrative where one necessarily complements the other. Mature and sophisticated with the best of them.
Apr 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Raw notes:
Not your typical panel showing things, angled/drawn artistically not plainly, metaphoric at times. Brilliant writer, very fluent and fluid with pleasant to read story telling skill, use of vocab. Art is hazy, wiggly, messy, lends itself to the book, uncertainty. Dark blue-toned panels
Nick Douglas
Dec 16, 2013 rated it liked it
A bit more mysterious than I'd hoped, but still an interesting drama about a hard relationship.
Jul 10, 2012 rated it liked it
A bit too text heavy, but good, snappy dialoque and overall an interesting read. I'd give it three and a half stars if possible.
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very depressing, but well written, and has a unique artistic style.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Boundless
  • Megahex
  • Woman World
  • Art Schooled
  • Mooncop
  • Corps sonores
  • S'enfuir. Récit d'un otage
  • Shortcomings
  • SKIP
  • Don't Come in Here
  • Night Boat to Tangier
  • Paying for It
  • The Good Lord Bird
  • Coyote Doggirl
  • Safari Honeymoon
  • Big Kids
  • The Green Ray
  • Pet
See similar books…
Patrick "Pat" McEown is a Canadian Artist.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »