"M.K. Brown turns the orderly world we think we all live in upside-down, shakes up our perceptions of normality — then hands everything back to us profoundly altered in some way only our subconscious mind truly understands." – Bill Griffith, from his introduction
"What you are holding is a work of a rare talent. M.K. Brown is the Irene Dunne (do Google) of the print world. Hard core fans can, at last, rejoice; first time readers will witness true comic enchantment. So come along children, let us follow and see where this divine woman takes us this time." – Brian McConnachie
"M.K. Brown is a uniquely innovative artist. Her work is on a level that no other cartoonist even remotely approaches." – Sam Gross
248-page black & white/color 8.5" x 11" softcover • $35.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-708-6
Ships in: February/March 2014 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now
Women: what do they want? They might want to float into the sky while hosting a brunch party. They might want a couple of handsome cops to come over and get rid of a snake problem. They might seek a doctor's treatment for "wise-ass disease" or fantasize about revenge and forgiveness at the dentist's office. They might want to sing the White Girl Blues and dance the White Girl Twist.
And what about men? Mr. Science just wants to carry out his pointless experiments. "Earl D. Porker, Social Worker" converses with household items and forgets the cat food. One fellow's head is a basket of laundry.
One of the funniest cartoonists of the last four decades, M.K. Brown has accumulated a body of work long savored by aficionados but never comprehensively collected — until now. Stranger Than Life is the first retrospective collection of Brown's cartoons and comic strips from the National Lampoon from 1972-1981, as well as such other magazines as Mother Jones, The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, and Playboy; and her comics from underground publications like Arcade, Wimmin's Comics, Young Lust, and Twisted Sisters.
In these pages: Read instructions for the use of glue, making a pair of pants, home auto repair, coping with chainsaw massacres, and jackknifing your big rig. Travel the globe to witness the giant bananas of Maui, strange sightings in Guatemala, camel races, and a "Saga of the Frozen North." Learn about love 'round the world, among eccentric suburbanites, and in a "Condensed Gothic" romance. Meet Virginia Spears Ngodátu, who (with a bit of a name change) would go on to star in "Dr. Janice N!Godatu," Brown's series of animated shorts that appeared on The Tracy Ullman Show alongside the first incarnation of The Simpsons. Aliens, old people, pilgrims, mermen, monitor lizards, tiny floating muggers and other weirdos feature in Brown's side-splitting single-panel gag strips.
Brown's cartoons combine a penchant for the absurd with the gimlet observational eye of Roz Chast. Brown satirizes suburban anxiety and ennui by turning it upside-down and sideways, and her slightly grotesque yet lovable characters are perfectly captured in her restless pen line and delicate jewel-tone watercolors.
Love and laundry, Mars and mothers, the mundane and the absurd — they all come together in this hefty collection of M.K. Brown's work spanning more than four decades, Stranger Than Life: Cartoons and Comics 1970-2013. These comic strips and gag cartoons originally appeared in the National Lampoon, The New Yorker, Playboy, The Atlantic, Arcade, Twisted Sisters, and a plethora of other magazines and underground comics, and most have never before been collected! If you've seen some of this material before, you know it's genius; if you haven't, and you're a fan of Lisa Hanawalt, Roz Chast, Michael Kupperman, Glen Baxter, Bill Griffith, early Lynda Barry, and the like, you'll soon have a new favorite discovery! We got our advance copies (obviously) and the book is due on shelves in about 8 weeks, give or take — see a 27-page excerpt and pre-order your copy right here.
Those quirky comics from the heyday of the National Lampoon. Those brilliantly skewed New Yorker and Playboy cartoons. Those hilarious strips in underground mags like Wimmin's Comix and Arcade. The animated shorts that weren't The Simpsons on The Tracey Ullman Show. Perhaps you've encountered the work of M.K. Brown somewhere (lucky you) or perhaps you've never seen it before. Either way, you're in for a treat, as we've gathered these obscure gems into the first ever retrospective volume of her hilarious work, Stranger Than Life: Cartoons and Comics 1970-2013, due out in February. It's what we do!
Get a taste of Brown's brilliance with our downloadable excerpt, featuring Billie Jean King, countertops, pants, aliens, upholstery, snakes, glue, monitor lizards, and some introductory words from Brown herself.