A psychiatric case study masquerading as a fancy-pants graphic novel, Misery Loves Comedy collects Ivan Brunetti's early issues (no pun intended)... wait, let's rephrase that. Misery Loves Comedy collects the first three issues of the legendary comic book series Schizo in their entirety, as well as a host of miscellaneous flotsam and jetsam from various anthologies, c. 1992-2005. Readers will find the author's unwitting self-caricature as a paranoid, deluded young man intriguingly repugnant and often chuckle-inducing. Besides Brunetti's trademark nihilism, self-loathing, relentless depression, and inchoate, spittle-soaked misanthropy, these earlier comics offer a dollop of scatology and blasphemy for that extra puerile, lowbrow tang. These are comics for those who enjoy witnessing one man's sanity in its final death rattle, swinging its tail from anhedonia to schadenfreude and back again. Also: lots and lots of filthy jokes.
While supplies last, you can choose to order the new Second Edition, with a dark red clothbound cover, or the First Edition, bound in dark green cloth.
The second printing of Ivan Brunetti's Misery Loves Comedy will be available soon and sports a new color for the clothbound cover. (This is the only change between the two editions.) As of right now the first edition, with the dark green cover, is still available; when the new edition arrives we will be offering a choice of editions while our supply of the first edition lasts.
With that out of the way: Enjoy the preview. Click this link if the embedded slideshow doesn't appear above, and/or to open it in a new window.
Description for this video produced by Yale University Press (link if you don't see it embedded above):
"Ivan Brunetti on An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, & True Stories, Volume 2 from Yale University Press – Video director John Kuramoto brings together dozens of images from leading indie comics artists featured in the book, along with commentary by its editor, award-winning cartoonist Ivan Brunetti. For more info, visit yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300126716"
I don't mean to necessarily suggest the above is a swipe -- I think it could be entirely coincidental. But I was just struck by not only the design similarities (down to the sans serif fonts), but the similarly nihilistic titles the designs serve. Did the tone of each title drive the design to similar, bleak places independent of the other, or did the designer of Rock Bottom look to Misery for similarly bleak inspiration? And what was Ivan riffing on when he designed his book? I have no answers, I just saw the cover to Rock Bottom at LitMob and immediately asked myself these questions. There's probably some famous art manifesto from the 1930s that has this same design that is obvious to everyone but me.
Ivan Brunetti was in town this weekend, and brought along an advance copy of his second Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons and True Stories for Yale Press. Great Caesar's Ghost, this is one of the most stunning -- and smartly assembled -- anthologies I've ever seen. Above is a jpg of the entire dustjacket by Daniel Clowes. I'd post it larger, but that could compromise the joy of savoring the physical object once you finally experience it, and you wouldn't want that, right? At any rate, I'm told this is out next month...
I'll let the images speak for themselves except to say that everybody and everything was delightful and wonderful. I've said this before, but it bears repeating: what a great month it's been to be a graphic novel fan in Seattle.