The Beaufort Diaries by T Cooper (illustrated by Alex Petrowsky)
What do you get when a lone polar bear hitchhikes his way to LA, stars in a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, becomes famous, dates a model, decides to write a script and direct his own movie, dabbles in Kabbalah and Scientology, moves to New York, becomes an alcoholic and a drug addict, and finally redeems himself on an off-broadway one-man show? You get T Cooper’s The Beaufort Diaries, a hilarious inside look at being a celebrity from the point of view of someone who just doesn’t belong.
When arctic polar bear Beaufort accidentally floats astray from his mother during a hunting trip and finds himself drifting towards America, he decides to make his way to Hollywood, where he bumps into Leo DiCaprio and subsequently lands the star role in an upcoming psychological thriller-slash-legal drama-slash-buddy flick about global warming. The movie’s a hit, Beaufort becomes rich and famous – and everything pretty much goes downhill from there. He lives in a mansion on Hollywood Hills, dates the model Svava, has Ashton and Demi as Kabbalah mentors, and tries his hand at writing and directing his own film, so aptly titled Bear, which subsequently tanks, leaving Beaufort jobless, penniless, and without real friends (except for good old buddy Leo).
The Beaufort Diaries is an easy read with less than a hundred pages. And while some people say they would have wanted the story to have gone further, longer, probably developed into a novel, I have better appreciation for Beaufort’s story as a short one, as fleeting as his career. That, and the fact that Alex Petrowsky’s mixed media illustrations are more than enough to make up for the briefness of the story. His drawings have minimal colors yet are quite vivid. Petrowsky did a really good sketch of Leo’s face, too.
Short, concise, and charming, The Beaufort Diaries portrays the difficulties of being a one-hit wonder, of fame, and of the superficial things that make up a celebrity.