Self-Esteem and the End of the World

Self-Esteem and the End of the World


Life is not a race. There are no winners and losers. Immeasurable people are doing better than you…immeasurably worse. You are statistically average.

For over ten years, fictional Luke Healy has invested all of his self-esteem into his career. But two years post publication of his latest book, and suffering the blow of his twin-brother not finding him fit to act as best man, both Luke’s career and self-esteem seem to have disintegrated.

Set against the backdrop of a dangerously changing global climate, with melting ice-caps and flooding cities, Self-Esteem and the End of the World spans two decades of tragicomic self-discovery. From discussing self-help books like Marie Kondo’s with the guy you invited over for sex, to summiting a Greek mountaintop while pretending to be working remotely, and a workplace destination murder mystery to a Hollywood revival of Luke’s early work, we see our protagonist grappling with his identity as the world crumbles.

Quietly funny, smartly introspective, and grounded in deeply-felt familial highs and lows, Self-Esteem and the End of the World ponders what happens when the person you are isn’t who you need to be, who you are when nobody’s watching, and ultimately, who can you possibly be at the end of the world?

“Luke Healy stumbles through the elegantly drawn frames of Self-Esteem and the End of the World like a gay millennial Harvey Pekar, asking himself the questions currently dogging an entire generation: How can we save the Earth? How can we survive late-stage capitalism? And most importantly: How can we love ourselves? What makes Healy such a joy to read is his canny awareness that these questions aren’t easily answered through pithy self-help psychobabble, nor even through finally getting all the things we want. The answers are lived, not spoken, and look more like having a heart-to-heart with your mam at a crime scene or caring for an AI whale with a glitching fin: in other words, the messy, confounding, lovely business of being human in extraordinary times."―Rafel Frumkin, author of Confidence

“Full of unexpected laughs; at once both absurd and sincere."—Sophie Yanow, author of The Contradictions

"Enhanced with a philosophical chorus of mice, seagulls, and cleverly inserted extras... Healy produces a poignant graphic meditation on grasping identity amid relentless unpredictability."—Booklist

“Full of deadpan humour… a deeply felt exploration of happiness, trust and the lies we tell our friends and ourselves."―The Guardian Best Graphic Novels of 2022

“The Con Artists feels like a tender little indie film—about friendship and trust between twenty-somethings floundering for whatever it takes to survive into their thirties.”—The Stranger



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