I Never Liked You: A Comic Book
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I Never Liked You: A Comic Book

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  3,058 ratings  ·  130 reviews
If you ever doubted that a comic book could wrench your heart, I urge you to read I Never Liked You. Chester Brown looks back on his adolescent attempts at relationships--with his friends, his mother, the girl who always loved him--with such maturity and understatement that the result is an unspoken testament to the reality of life. The feeling you're left with after readi...more
Unknown Binding, 185 pages
Published November 28th 1994 by Not Avail (first published 1994)
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Feb 25, 2008 Brian rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: disaffected youth
This book was like listening to a drugged out hippy recounting his childhood. He obviously doesn't remember much, so whatever he does is automatically soooo profound.
Imagine, for a moment, the comic strip world of Charlie Brown without the whimsy. Take away Pigpen and his ever-present cloud of dust. Take away Snoopy typing away atop his doghouse or dreaming of being the Red Baron. No teacher going "Mwah Mwah Mwah". No crazy big heads. When Lucy steals the football away just before Charlie kicks it, no looney tooney somersaults in the air. Strip away, in other words, the cartooniness through which Charles Schultz filtered his despair, and what you're left wit...more
I'd only read bits and pieces of I Never Liked You when it was serialized in the original issues of Yummy Fur back in the early 90's. This is the first time I've read the whole thing cover to cover, and I only did so because my friend and fellow cartoonist, Mari, raved about it to me recently. I'd always been pretty lukewarm on Chester Brown for some reason but Mari is right: he really is an amazing comics creator and a smart, inventive writer. His use of an objective, unemotional narrative voic...more
Nicholas Gourlay
May 08, 2009 Nicholas Gourlay rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anybody suffering from depression, connection issues, laziness, or social phobias.
Chester Brown

I absolutely loved this one. Chester Brown's adolescence portrait drew me in completely. His seemingly distancing problem struck a chord with me. his inner battles of convincing himself to say the 'right thing' is a very true and accurate picture of mind and a lot of peoples inner turmoil. Events pass us by and we wonder 'If only I would have...'. Maybe then we wouldn't be cutting ourselves our tapping a vein.

The artwork is simple but fits the format wonderful, same as the positio...more
Andrew Anony
I find it strange that this is the most popular book by Chester Brown on this website. I feel like his autobiography works are poor in comparison to his Louis Riel biography work and Ed the Happy Clown and his other fictional work.
Jenny Devildoll
Come on, EVERY female character in this book has some sort of a crush on him. Except his schizophrenic mother. ALL of them? Really? Is this autobio or wish fulfillment?
B. Frayn
everyone should read this book.
This is a story about an emotional maladjust making everyone around him miserable for no reason. I know Chester Brown also wrote a book called Paying For It about his experiences using prostitutes, which I really wanna read now, because it makes sense why someone this emotionally crippled would not only have to resort to prostitution, but would fail to understand or empathise with how it is inherently degrading and damaging for women to have to rent their body out as a cum bucket for money. In I...more
Miguel Jiménez
Chester Brown se pinta como un adolescente muy peculiar: solitario y muy reservado. Dos cosas son curiosas. Una: el poder de decisión que tenía Chester al decir "No" cuando sus compañeros los presionaban para que dijera "Sí". Me agradó. Dos: Cómo es que todas las niñas se le acercaban a él y lo querían y Chester se recluía en si mismo. Se me hacía especial y a la vez no entendía del todo cómo el personaje protagonista(Chester) era incapaz de decir lo que sentía en situaciones importantes como de...more
Federiken Masters
Jun 04, 2014 Federiken Masters rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Completistas del autor
Recommended to Federiken by: Autor
Con este libro medio como que me auto sugestioné con que me iba a encontrar con la historia del primer amor del artista y terminé leyendo una sucesión de pequeños fracasos y frustraciones (la mayoría, por culpa del mismísimo autor-protagonista) que derivaron en que en todo el tomo lo máximo que lograra fuera tocar una teta por accidente. Salvando las distancias, me hizo acordar a Ichitaka Seto de I"s, por cómo él mismo se serruchaba el piso en cada ocasión. Igual, leyéndolo la pasé bastante bien...more
Sean Duffy
Delightful and different slice of young life about a shy boy who eats a lot of crackers, refuses to swear, and struggles with intimacy and relationships. The art is weird and wonderful--featuring alien sized heads and painfully thin bodies. As with Fun Home, I enjoyed the 70's flavor: KISS, David Bowie, Kung Fu, and Charlie's Angels. This is subtle and deceptively insightful. Good stuff. I want more.

One of my favorite childhood memoir comics. I just read this for the second time, and it's striking how unemotional and unnostalgic chester is in his recounting of this. The only emotions are the emotions of him as a kid/teen, and these are exactly as inconsistent and situationally inappropriate as all the emotions I remember having as a young person.
Lars Guthrie
Comics seem to be the perfect medium for the genre to which 'I Never Liked You Belongs': wistful while brutally frank confessional autobiographies that delve into the awkwardness and painfulness of childhood. 'Stitches' by David Small, striking and innovative, really made its mark here very recently, but others come to mind: Craig Thompson's 'Blankets,' Leland Myrick's 'Missouri Boy,' David Heatley's 'My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down,' Debbie Drechsler's 'Summer of Love,' Alison Bechdel's 'Fun Ho...more
Près de vingt ans après sa première parution, Je ne t’ai jamais aimé conserve tout son pouvoir d’évocation. Chester Brown y décortique avec une légèreté et une très grande précision cette étrange période s’étalant de la fin de l’âge de l'innocence aux débuts des troubles de l’adolescence.

Sous un aspect apparemment très simple, l’auteur de Louis Riel réussit à montrer brillamment le tourment émotionnel dans lequel il a baigné durant sa jeunesse. Le passage de la bulle protectrice de l’enfance au...more
At first, I really didn’t like this one at all. I have a thing about comic art where I expect or desire or whatever a certain level of artistic skill. Poorly rendered anything is seriously distracting for me and Brown is one of those artists. I know this is an accepted thing in independent comics and other comics as well and I like Peter Bagge’s work and Daniel Clowes but the art in a lot of independents was (and is) mediocre at best. Also, the narrative is completely disjointed, which was also...more
Apr 13, 2007 Tempest rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
Brown’s appeal doesn’t lie within his panels, it lies between them. Within his drawings he lays things out in a very bald way, with a borderline bland rhetoric. However, the combination of style and words manages to convey a deeper set of emotions, one that the reader is forced to discover for him or herself. The quiet meaning behind this minimalist art is impressive both visually and mentally. He demonstrates how simplicity, how leaving things out, is often a more subtly powerful way of definin...more
I found this dull and kind of boring, and I didn't like any of the characters, especially the lead. I feel bad about this, because it's autobiographical, but I just felt that the main character - the author, Chester Brown - was cold and rude towards everyone around him. I know that he's supposed to be extremely introverted and that he has trouble interacting normally with others, but he just comes off as a jerk. I didn't see any real moments where he was struggling to interact with others; I jus...more
A memoir of growing up in the suburbs in the 1970s, in Canada, and learning how to interact with people. A series of clumsy, fumbling attempts to have relationships, when you're too young to know what to do or what you actually want. What makes this comic outstanding, to me, is its use of negative space. The panels are floating in a sea of black. This is a surprisingly effective way of conveying isolation and detachment - especially in silent scenes wherein Chester is sitting at the kitchen tabl...more
Adolescence is a painful, awkward time, and that awkwardness is captured here in all its horrible glory--romance with the girl next door (while being in love with someone else), an emotionally unbalanced mother who just wants her son to love her, being known as the kid who never swears--at the best of times, high school is rough; at the worst, it can be used to make comics as bitterly romantic as this one.
Stunning minimalist autobiographical graphic novel, in which Brown interweaves the story of his growth to teenagehood and sexual maturation with the story of the deterioration and death of his mother. Profound but elliptical, this book has a lot to say about emotional intimacy and repression, without ever saying any of it out loud.
uno dei primissimi libri a fumetti che ho letto, adolescente (suppergiù), sempre rimasto nel mio cuore. il fluire del tempo dato da tutto quel nero su cui risaltano le vignette. lui, chester (autobiografico), con gli occhialoni e la testa gigante sulle gambette smilze. tifi per lui, ma non ce l'ha può fare: chester è una delusione.
Koen Verbrugge
Beklijvend, zonder al te duidelijke reden.
Misschien leest het vlot dankzij het ritme van de afwisselende bladspiegels,
misschien zet de sobere tekenstijl de emoties van de karakters in der verf,
misschien is het verhaal intrigerend door de tegengestelde emoties bij het gevoelloze hoofdpersonage en zijn liefhebbende omgeving,
Misschien voelt het verhaal zo ijl omdat je meeleeft met zijn naasten wiens verlangens naar een teken van erkenning, een blijk van emotie, afsterven.
Misschien is het die...more
Neil McCrea
I never liked you much either, Chester. You're certainly an important figure in the indie comics scene, and your laurels are well deserved. You have an amazing economy of style, an ability to pack a lot of story into a small volume while using only the simplest of words and illustrations to do so. The frank and honest confessional tone of your autobiographical work is also laudable. But I want something more. When I read one of Harvey Pekar's autobiographical works my world seems larger, my unde...more
Rascal Drrmrmrr
"Oh, to be young and to feel love's keen sting." - Albus Dumbledore
Bit too 'poor teenage me' angsty for my increasingly elderly tastes.
Últimamente llegan a mis manos cómics de corte autobiográfico. No los busco, empiezo a leer las viñetas y de repente me encuentro con el autor habla de sí mismo, de su pasado, y entro en su historia de forma automática. Empatizo rápido y disfruto cada página. De este tipo de cómics destaco sobre todo la libertad creativa, la gráfica y la sinceridad. La autocrítica. En cada cómic he encontrado el castigo que cada autor se inflige a sí mismo. Es constante, y es de agradecer. Tienes la sensación de...more
Mark Victor Young
The third collection of stories from his "Yummy Fur." The first two books, "Ed the Happy Clown" and "The Playboy", went on to win him accolades and awards, such as the 1990 Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist. And the stories collected in the Ed book formed the basis for the Bruce MacDonald film (titled "Yummy Fur", after the series). As one of the few Canadians in the "alternative" comics field who is also published by a Canadian publisher, Brown is the standard-bearer for our comics industry.

Graphic memoir of an awkward, inhibited youth in a Montreal suburb during the late 60s and early 70s, conveyed powerfully in spare, sketchy panels. My delight in the pop culture references in the book (e.g. Fess Parker's Daniel Boone tv show, David Bowie albums) made me think, not for the first time, about the mediation of modern (I guess in this context I should say North) American life. Chester Brown and I are contemporaries, but I grew up in San Diego, which couldn't be more geographically an...more
David Stewart
Everything about this book, labeled as a comic strip narrative, is simple. The drawing is simple, the lines are simple, the story is simple, and the dialogue is simple in the extreme. However, beneath its simplicity lies a surprisingly intimate portrait of a man growing up in a dysfunctional way, and while many such stories will attempt to sugar coat such drama with a happy ending, Brown does no such thing, and his tale ends like it begins; with neutrality. The story is autobiographical, with na...more
In a Canadian suburb in the 1970s, Chester Brown is a typical teenager. “Typical” means that he’s involved in a series of detached, passive-aggressive relationships with his unraveling mother, his schoolmates (some who bully and some who flirt), and the girls next door. Chester is a skinny, artistic kid who, despite his too-cool front, is absolutely clueless. The kids in young Chester’s world try desperately to maneuver the confusing rituals of love and like. They’re awkward, wistful, manipulati...more
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Chester Brown was born in Montreal, Canada on May 16, 1960 and grew up in the nearby suburb of Chateauquay. His career path was set at the age of 12 when the local newspaper, The St. Lawrence Sun, published one of his comic strips.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

At 19, he moved to Toronto and got a day job while he worked on his skills as a ca...more
More about Chester Brown...
Louis Riel Paying For It : a comic-strip memoir about being a john The Playboy Ed the Happy Clown (A Yummy Fur Book) The Little Man: Short Strips, 1980-1995

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