Cover of A Complete Lowlife  (1997).For the trade paperback collected edition. Art by Ed Brubaker.
Publication information
Publisher Slave Labor Graphics, Caliber Comics
Format Limited series
Genre Crime
Publication date 1995
Number of issues 4
Creative team
Writer(s) Ed Brubaker
Artist(s) Ed Brubaker
Collected editions
A Complete Lowlife ISBN 0-9698874-7-7

Lowlife is a semi-autobiographical comic book series written and drawn by Ed Brubaker, published by Slave Labor Graphics and later Caliber Comics. Collected editions were put out by Aeon Press and Black Eye Books.


The Comics Journal described the book as following the "frustration and cynicism of disenchanted slacker kids finding excitement in their uneventful lives."[1]


Lowlife was Brubaker's first professional work.[2] The work is semi-autobiographical, based upon the lives of the author and his friends but "with the names changed."[2]

Influences on later work

Brubaker cited his work here as an influence on later works: "I'm exploring the same themes in my Batman comics and my Catwoman comics that I was probably exploring in Lowlife: family relationships, personal relationships, people not being able to escape their past. . . .That's the stuff that interests me, and that's the stuff I write about."[2]

Critical reaction

Lowlife was described by The Stranger as "Part fiction, part autobiography, the narratives hover between sincerity and parody, with moments of transcendence that lift it out of the realm of the ordinary comic book.

Collected editions

The series has been collected into a number of trade paperbacks:

  • Portable Lowlife (48 pages, Aeon, 1995, ISBN 1-883847-16-8)
  • A Complete Lowlife (112 pages, Black Eye Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9698874-7-7, Top Shelf Productions, 2001, ISBN 1-891830-20-1)


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