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Category >> MK Brown

OCD Extra: April's Book Reviews
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under MK BrownInio AsanoDaily OCD 24 Mar 2014 4:10 PM

Next month's issue of Booklist will include two reviews of a recent releases by Fantagraphics creators, excerpted below:

Stranger Than Life

Stranger Than Life: Cartoons and Comics, 1970-2013
by MK Brown

"Brown's cartoons were a mainstay of National Lampoon during its salad days of the 1970s... Remarkably, this is the first comprehensive collection of her distinctively daffy work. Although the visual and conceptual non sequiturs of her singlepanel cartoons are clever and diverting, it's her comic strips where Brown's unique brilliance really shines...Brown's drawings, with their bulbous figures and ornate rendering, are every bit
as unmistakable and memorable as her humor.
"
–Gordon Flagg 

Nijigahara Holograph

Nijigahara Holograph
by Inio Asano

Starred Review: "Anger, hopelessness, and betrayal run rampant-echoed by the eerie, ominous clouds of butterflies swarming the town-and fuel heartless violence. Though there are many moving pieces, the fluid time line; tight, stark, and realistic artwork; and clues carefully revealed through deliberately worded dialogue and purposeful character design work in perfect harmony to prevent ambiguity or confusion. Critically acclaimed Asano deftly twists this disturbingly compelling story, managing to shock the reader at every turn. Its intricacies are even more rewarding on the second read."
–Eva Volin




New Comics Day 3.12.14
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under MK BrownMichel GagneJoe SimonJack Kirby 12 Mar 2014 1:50 PM

This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
Stranger Than Life
Stranger Than Life: Cartoons and Comics 1970-2013

by M.K. Brown

248-page black & white/color 8.5" x 11" softcover • $35.00
ISBN: 978-1-60699-708-6

"Brown has a natural feel for the kind of raised-consciousness-twist gags on which so much of the best panel cartooning depends after 1960, but she also has a unique sense of color and pacing and very sweet outlook on what people value and why that makes her longer narratives a joy." -Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter

Young Romance 2
Young Romance 2: The Early Simon & Kirby Romance Comics
by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby

200-page full-color 7.75" x 10" hardcover • $29.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-732-1

"...a testament to our culture's appetite for kitschy, kitschy love. The only surprise is that, somehow, these comics don't feel passé...Sexual attraction, like other forms of danger, is doled out in carefully measured portions. And that's really the secret behind romance comics' continuing retro appeal. Like their very first readers, we crave a paradox: Passion united with control." -Etelka Lehoczky, NPR  






Stranger Than Life by M.K. Brown - Now in Stock
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under new releasesMK Brown 10 Mar 2014 9:45 AM

Just arrived and shipping now from our mail-order department:

Stranger Than Life by M.K. Brown

Stranger Than Life: Cartoons and Comics 1970-2013
by M.K. Brown

248-page black & white/color 8.5" x 11" softcover • $35.00
ISBN: 978-1-60699-708-6

See Previews / Order Now

M.K. Brown is one of the funniest cartoonists of the last four decades — or ever, take your pick — and her body of work has long been savored by aficionados but never comprehensively collected — until now. Stranger Than Life is the first retrospective of Brown's cartoons and comics from their original appearances in the National Lampoon, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, Playboy, and other magazines and underground comics.

M.K. Brown's comics stories satirize suburban anxiety and post-modern ennui by the sheer force of her gentle but piquant, off-kilter observations, along with her slightly pixilated but winsome characters, all of which are perfectly captured in her restless pen line and delicate jewel-tone watercolors.

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. "Another True-Life Pretty Face in the Field of Medicine" introduces 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. Plus, enjoy aliens, old people, pilgrims, mermen, monitor lizards, tiny floating muggers and other weirdos in Brown's side-splitting single-panel gag strips.

Stranger Than Life by M.K. Brown - Photoset Preview
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsnew releasesMK Brown 16 Jan 2014 11:54 AM

"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

Stranger Than Life: Cartoons and Comics 1970-2013 
by M.K. Brown

248-page black & white/color 8.5” x 11” softcover • $35.00
ISBN: 978-1-60699-708-6

Due to arrive in about 5-7 weeks. Click the thumbnails for larger versions; get more info, see more previews and pre-order your copy here:

http://www.fantagraphics.com/strangerthanlife

Stranger Than Life by M.K. Brown - Video/Photo Slideshow Preview
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videopreviewsnew releasesMK Brown 15 Jan 2014 4:14 PM

Stranger Than Life: Cartoons and Comics 1970-2013
by M.K. Brown

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.

View Video & Photo Slideshow Preview in New Window



Stranger Than Life by M.K. Brown - First Look
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under MK BrownComing Attractions 3 Jan 2014 1:31 PM

Stranger Than Life cover photo

Stranger Than Life pages photo

Stranger Than Life pages photo

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.

Stranger Than Life by M.K. Brown - Excerpt
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under previewsMK BrownComing Attractions 26 Dec 2013 2:16 PM

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.

Stranger Than Life by M.K. Brown