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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Turn Your Eyes Inside and Dig the Vacuum

posted by on June 7 at 12:18 PM

In this week’s paper, Jeff Kirby writes about Ivan Brunetti’s new book Misery Loves Comedy. Kirby’s description of the book—hateful, self-loathing, misanthropic—is absolutely correct. But I’d like to add that I’ve been following Brunetti’s work for over ten years, and I happen to think that he’s hi-fucking-larious, like an irredeemably nihilistic Woody Allen who’s read too many Nancy comics*. And, more importantly, Brunetti will be appearing at the Fantagraphics store tomorrow night. I can’t make it (work commitments) but you should totally go.

There’s more to Brunetti than what appears in Misery Loves Comedy, of course. His last issue of Schizo, not collected in Misery, hints at personal growth: besides a couple strips that seem to imply that he’s gotten into Hello Kitty worship and also meditation, much of the book, for once, isn’t even all about Brunetti, instead telling cute, one-page stories of great twentieth century artists. He’s also one of the finest comics historians on the planet: he’s versed in just about every style, movement, and obscure 1940’s comic book creator that you’ve never heard of. His Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories is the best comics anthology that’s ever been published. And he’s done a few New Yorker covers that are genuinely sweet.

If you couldn’t begin to care about comic books or cartoonery, but you’ve still read this far, I’d like to give you a consolation prize: the title for this Slog post came from one of Brunetti’s early stories, which in turn cribbed the line from a ca-ray-zee beatnik poetry scene from the movie High School Confidential (a.k.a. Young Hellions.) Here is that scene:

* In the interest of full disclosure, I’d like to point out that though I’ve never met him, Brunetti did the spot illustration for an early Stranger piece of mine, here,and it remains one of my favorites.

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I admit to having a crush on the written persona of Paul Constant. One time I even tried googling him to see if I could find pictures. I couldn't, but what he looks like doesn't matter that much. He's a well-read guy that attends exceptional parties and writes excellent reviews of books and movies - I'm pretty sure he's the perfect man.

Posted by Aislinn | June 7, 2007 1:23 PM

Dude, Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Jacoby from Twin Peaks) is in that movie? That I have to see.

Wow, just looked him up on imdb; he's got quite the resume.

Posted by Levislade | June 7, 2007 1:51 PM

Brunetti is brilliant. I deeply regret that I've had work conflicts during every in-store Fantagraphics has had and especially this one.

Posted by christopher hong | June 7, 2007 7:07 PM


Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 2:21 PM


Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 2:21 PM

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