An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories
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An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  531 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Comic artist Ivan Brunetti, the creator of Schizo, offers a best-of anthology of contemporary art comics, along with some classic comic strips and other historical materials that have retained a “modern” sensibility. As with Chris Ware’s selections for his best-selling McSweeney’s anthology, Brunetti’s choices make for a highly personal book (“my criteria were simple: thes...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 23rd 2006 by Yale University Press
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S. W.
Felt like every comic was either written by or handpicked by some white suburban high school freshman dude who's really into radiohead and watched spike jonze "Her" more than 3 times. romanticized sadness, sticky, corny, boring.
Lauren
I think this anthology works best either as an introduction to interesting artists or as sort of a museum exhibit of the state and history of modern graphic novels.

As with most anthologies, it's hard to rate the book as a whole when some works shine and some I skipped over. I appreciated and enjoyed the book, and especially liked looking at the different art styles. There are also some great stories being told here and I have a brief list of books and artists to look into further.

There is a dark...more
Alan
Nov 05, 2009 Alan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Followers of the form
As the introductory essay makes clear, this anthology is basically made up of "some comics I like." But when the person compiling them is Ivan Brunetti, it's time to sit up and take notice. This book is a well-packaged and wide-ranging collection of images and essays that show Brunetti has a comprehensive understanding both of the history and of the current direction(s) of the graphic arts.

There are too many contributors to list individually, but ones I recognized and liked include giants of the...more
Bob Redmond
Brunetti's first volume of "Graphic Fiction, cartoons, and true stories" does a great, if sometimes uneven, job of collecting most contemporary "graphic novelists" and their progenitors in the genre.

Any good anthology will inspire arguments of inclusion; I'll skip that here but will quibble with the space given certain folks: only 4 pages for Lynda Barry, but Justin Green and Joe Matt get 8 or 9 pages? And Brunetti, although he includes woodcut artist Franz Masreel and some of the early comic st...more
Paul

This is a pretty comprehensive collection of contemporary "comix" or graphic fiction. This is definitely not what I would call "funny books", instead it is much more adult-oriented. A good part of the book is an homage to Charles Schulz, which I enjoyed and which gave me a deeper appreciation of his work.

There are some great stories here, especially Clowes' "Gynecology" and the long piece by R.Crumb. Some of the pieces didn't work well for me because (I believe) they have been reduced in size fr...more
Bill
Like any anthology, the quality of the material is uneven, but the good outweighs the bad, and by a pretty large margin, so this one definitely ends up on the plus side of things. Just about every alternative cartoonist you can think of from the last 30 to 40 years is represented here, with some choice examples of classic comic strips included as a nice palette cleanser... the Frank King Gasoline Alley strips are so beautiful to look at, and any book that slips even a tiny bit of Crockett Johnso...more
Rocco Versaci
Graphic Fiction is an anthology edited by Brunetti that features some of the absolute best work in the medium, including Jaime Hernandez's "Flies on the Ceiling," Richard McGuire's "Here," Harvey Pekar and Robert Crumb's "Hypothetical Quandary," and outstanding selections from Art Spiegelman, Dan Clowes, Debbie Drechsler, Phoebe Gloeckner, Chris Ware, Lynda Barry, and many more. It's such a complete package that I use it as the main textbook in my college-level English class, "Comic Books as Lit...more
Debbie
Jul 13, 2007 Debbie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: adults
I really enjoyed this collection of graphic fiction from numerous artists. The only reason that I would give it 3 stars instead of 5 is because it was proclaimed (in the articles I read) as a young adult collection, but it is most certainly an adult collection. Granted, there are much more explicit materials to be found in a young adult collection, but in the graphic novel medium a little nudity goes a long way. As an adult graphic novel enthusiast I loved it!
Dimity Kasz
Pretty familiar with most of the artists in this anthology already, but the whole thing read really nicely and it was nice to revisit some of the best bits of larger comics. Like picking up a good book of short stories that you can breeze through.
Kristenyque
Since this has excerpts from various graphic novels/cartoons I slowly worked my way through this a little at a time. A few of the more comic book-like pages bored me. Some of the more graphic novel type material had me riveted though. The creativity mixed with (sometimes raw) humanity made for some intense page-turning action. I am hoping to read some of the actual books now that I've read some of the pages from the best.
Spencer
huge compilation. 79 artists. NSFK (not safe for kids). cute stuff by Kochalka. sublime nonsense by Mark Beyer, funny crap by Mat Brinkman, my favorite strip by Jim Woodring, Prewitt's sof'boy, part of C. Burns Curse of the molemen, the sublime Black Cherry, by Michael Dougan. Stuff by J. Bradley Johnson. Seth, David Heatley, Chris Ware, part of Justin Greens Binkey Brown.
Aras
Feb 27, 2011 Aras rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
A pretty good anthology of the 'slice-of-life' style of comic book.

One thing that does get tiring is how many of the stories are extremely down-beat, mopey, negative, depressive. What makes comic book writers hate life? Still, as an overview of the modern landscape, this is quite good, and there's some nice extended sections on Peanuts, Art Spiegelman, and Robert Crumb.
Sarah
While there were some really great strong stories in here, there were also were many stories that were confusing, pretentious, and reprints that can easily be found elsewhere (Maus, Lynda Barry, etc). There were some interesting historical essays and reprints of classic cartoons, but overall, I found myself skipping large chunks of the book for being boring.
Mike
'graphic fiction' is a catch-all term for all comics
Brunetti's favorites (he, NYer covers, simple, round heads)
largely North American cartoonists
doodle is the fundament of cartooning
Grosz...riot of the insane, 1915..
compare, ernie bushmillers Nancy, 1958
saul steinberg: doodling is the brooding of the hand
...calcification and decay of old age
Liz
Jan 13, 2008 Liz rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone worth knowing
Recommended to Liz by: the backseat of L. dam Sorrow's car
holy cow, what a great anthology! so logically complied and edited; it's the dream textbook for the dreamiest class on comics analysis and, to some extent, history. Brunetti admits that this is nowhere near a complete or comprehensive anthology but it is a great place to start your studies if you are interested in comics as more than funny little pictures.
Stephen
I guess this would be good for a newbie to graphic novels. Having read comics since the late 70s, I've seen most of this stuff in one form or another already. This left me wondering, will I enjoy further retrospectives and historical collections? Have I already seen the best of what this medium has had to offer?
Mike
Jun 01, 2009 Mike rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: comic
This book is dense. I would have liked it more if I had taken my time. This is like a textbook primer for people who need to be (re)introduced to comics. I would highly recommend it for that purpose. But don't try to read it straight through on a library imposed deadline. It's a pick-up/put-down kind of book.
angrykitty
another anthology of graphic fiction. editor brunetti even admits it's just a collection of stuff he likes......i'm not we have the same tastes overall.....

eh....this was ok....the biggest problem i had was that the fonts in some of the comics were so small i really couldn't read them....
Jason
All these graphic anthologies are starting to look the same to me.

"Umberto Eco snappily said of [Charles:] Schultz' characters, 'They are the monstrous infantile reductions of all the neuroses of a modern citizen of the industrial civilization!'"
Christopher
The depth of the work here is astounding. Sometimes funny, sometimes terrifying, almost always brave. Be prepared to jump out of your chair and cry, "Holy shit, I gotta tell somebody about this!"
Jason
a great collection...
draws from a lot of varying genres and has quite a few landmark pieces that will not fail to blow you away...
edited by ivan brunetti who is one sick puppy...
Summer
This is a fantastic, well-designed, and diverse collection of graphic memoirs and fiction. I still wish that indie cartoonists would cheer up a little, though. Geez, what a bleak book.
nicole
it was like someone took all the things i hated in the 2007 volume of american's best comics and like, worseified it. also i was just feeling cranky and not all that into it.
Andrew Tatge
There are some very sophisticated picks in here, and overall, my favorite anthology compared against Brunetti's second anthology, or the "Best American Comics" series.
Christian Lipski
An excellent sampling of what's billed as "art comics," but is just alternative. Chris Ware, R. Crumb, Julie Doucette, etc etc. A really nice selection!
Rebecca
Not everything in this was great, but overall it was a really good sample of graphic work from the last century. I love Good Ol' Gregor Brown.
Libby Provines
Very interesting - so different than what I usually read - I'd like to read more.
Margaret Ann Paauw
another good collection of comics. I'm looking forward to reading volume 2.
Wayne
Not as good as volume II, but i hear volume III is out early 2010, Can't wait!
Adam Bessie
Wonderful selections. A great starter kit for those new to "serious comics."
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Known for his dark humor and simple, yet effective drawing style. Brunetti's best known work is his autobiographical comic series Schizo. Four issues have appeared between 1994 and 2006. Schizo #4 won the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Comic of the Year in 2006.


He has also done numerous covers of The New Yorker.
More about Ivan Brunetti...
Misery Loves Comedy An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories: Volume 2 Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice Haw! True Porn

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