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Ed the Happy Clown (A Yummy Fur Book)
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Ed the Happy Clown (A Yummy Fur Book)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  798 ratings  ·  81 reviews

In the late 1980s, the idiosyncratic Chester Brown (author of the muchlauded Paying for It and Louis Riel) began writing the cult classic comic book series Yummy Fur. Within its pages, he serialized the groundbreaking Ed the Happy Clown, revealing a macabre universe of parallel dimensions. Thanks to its wholly o
Paperback, 198 pages
Published 1989 by Vortex Comics
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149th out of 1,887 books — 4,314 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,243)
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Anthony Vacca
Sure, it's pretty crudely drawn, and the plotting is nonsensical, and the humor can be pretty juvenile, and the character's have as many dimensions as the page they're printed on, but this shit's just too punk rock not to be fun! Ed the Happy Clown - which has very little clowning at all; poor woe-besotted Ed loses his make-up and orange hair only a few page in - is Brown's graphic debut, and is packed with sex, vampires, penises with Ronald Reagan's head, homophobic scientists, portals to other ...more
Ed the Happy Clown is a satire of contemporary western culture that encapsulates far more than just the Regan era in in which it was written. Like a true piece of cultural satire, it uses absurdity to its full extent by reflecting back our collectively irrational thoughts and actions—our insanity. From vampires to alternate universes to talking penises, Brown blends literary genres with guttural imagery to create a tale that is as soulful and entertaining as it is nauseating. The reader, with ea ...more
Sam Quixote
Ed is a happy clown because he’s heading to the hospital to entertain sick kids... That’s how one of the zaniest comic books you’ll ever read begins. From there, Ed the unfortunate clown gets beaten up by anarchists, sent to prison where a man who can’t stop pooping might drown Ed in poop, and pursued by pygmies. Oh and his penis becomes Ronald Reagan.

If you’ve read Chester Brown before you’ll know he’s best known for memoir type comic books like “I’ve Never Liked You”, “The Playboy” and last y
Dec 30, 2007 Chris rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Along with Alan Moore's 80's work (Swamp Thing, Miracle Man and Watchmen) Brown's "ED The Happy Clown" in its collected form is/was and probably always be a great source of creative energy for me.
The best way I can sum Ed up is that a book that may very well have been and still is ahead of its time. Pure creative genius.
I'd like to describe this book like a person who goes to a cafe and orders a cappuccino with three sugars, and instead they get a long black without cream. Different tastes for different people, I suppose. Because it's not horrible, it's incredibly well written and illustrated, it's just too weird for my tastes. Guess I missed the Yummy Fur cult classic train.
Finally got around to reading ED a full two decades after my first encounter with the work of Chester Brown. The early publication date and cute title led me to believe that this collection would be rather innocuous, but it turns out that ED is in fact a revolting surrealistic land mine. Brown's ability to shock and repulse with his careful images turns out to be his greatest strength in this book, to my further surprise. His ability to navigate surrealism, on the other hand, is a bit clunky, an ...more
This went against a lot of my rules for liking a graphic novel--the storyline was developed on the fly, the art is inconsistent, and the writing was self-conscious. Basically, he was learning how to be a cartoonist as he did these, and it seems like his editor was very hands-off. Yet once I got into it, I was mesmerized by his dark humor and the surreal world he created. The cartoonist in me really appreciated the notes at the end, which was pretty much a memoir about his process and all that wa ...more
A guy at work lent this book to me and “wow” was the text message I sent him later that night. I had been reading some pretty heavy stuff lately and this was such a needed relief. It’s best not to know anything about this going into it but it is a delightfully easy read that progresses and then progresses some more from silly, to horrible, to really horrible to uncontrolled laughter. It’s a book by a Canadian in the 1980’s who’s taking such a brilliantly immature and ridiculously ‘out there’ dum ...more
Not a complete disaster, but still crap. Amusingly, it does a good job at summarizing itself.

I enjoyed some of its absurdity - never going as far as deeming it smart - and I have to appreciate this guy's imagination. However, given my ability to stupidly laugh at basically anything even remotely resembling a joke, the fact that I reluctantly smiled a few times while reading this isn't exactly complimentary. Or maybe, distinct possibility, I'm just too stupid to "get it".
I'm realizing that, for the most part, I need to ignore positive reviews of indie comics - I almost consistently find them uninspired. I find more to praise in the well received mainstream ... somewhat similar to my feeling that "video art" is almost invariably more pretentious and hollow than great cinema. In many ways, there's nothing really independent about it (or video art); they hew to a very narrow set of themes and stylistic markers. I give this 2 stars instead of 1 because I'm an easy t ...more
Tate Ryan
Jan 18, 2014 Tate Ryan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: T dangerous to recommend to anyone
Shelves: graphic-novels
I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this Graphic Novel. I didn't know the history of the comic or author and had read no reviews. I couldn't be happier that this was the case, as I think this is the best way to read the book, when it hits the reader by surprise. This is not a graphic novel suited to everybody. I have never seen a storyline with such an overload of faeces, talking penises and gruesome murder. There was a moment while reading this where I had reached my limit of ' ...more
Apr 09, 2010 M. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010, comix
This was kind of amazing. While it sort of predates the kind of shit that SLG would run to the ground in the early 2000s with some sort of "Hot Topic" mentality, what makes this so fresh is that Chester Brown is both amazingly creative and fully grasps the way comics work. Disgusting and great.
Surrealistic craziness. I was obsessed with this story as it came out in comic book form. With each panel you continue to wonder where in the wild hell the story might go next.
Michael Seidlinger
There's a lot of sick and fun humor here. It works better as little comic strips than as a whole story, especially with the extremely abrupt and anticlimactic ending.

I learned that you shouldn't stick your head into a black hole.
This is really an amazing piece of work. Does it entirely cohere? Probably not, given that Brown basically made it up as he went along, bgasically engaging in automatic writing and letting himself dregde up whatever he wanted to from his psyche. It's stylistically inconistent, as his skills and approach developed over the years, from pretty amateur mini-comics stuff at the beginnning to some amazingly delicate and fluid work for the final pages added, for the 1992 edition of the book. There's re ...more
These comics are definitely twisted and dark and really weird. It tells a strange, fantastic story involving sex, inter-dimensional travel, a talking penis, a vampire, and a bunch of other stuff that doesn't seem to fit. I enjoyed the twistedness of it, but I tend to like comics with a different type of humor. This volume had a dark, morbid type of humor, whereas I usually like silly and zany. It was still a lot of fun and a worthwhile read.
Derek Royal
It's been awhile since I last read Ed the Happy Clown, and the main reason I picked this one up again was because I was also reading Brian Evenson's new book, Ed Vs. Yummy Fur: Or, What Happens When a Serial Comic Becomes a Graphic Novel. So I re-read Ed while going through Evenson's analysis -- very good, by the way -- and I'm glad I did. Not only was it useful to re-familiarize myself with the narrative, but this is just a damn fun (and surreal and wacky) story. I love Chester Brown's work, an ...more
Ed the Happy Clown is not a happy story. It's violent, lewd, irreverent and surreal, but not happy. Chester Brown is known for his long form graphic novels and this early story, while not quite up to the level of more recent works, certainly showcases his storytelling abilities. The artwork is monochrome and somewhat crude. Brown states in the notes at the end of the novel that he was trying to tap into the subconscious and surrealism as well as finish more panels; he was not initially aiming fo ...more
My review is for the newer 2012 edition of this book. It's nicely packaged in a well designed hardcover by Drawn & Quarterly. Brown had a cool premise. He just wanted to get his creativity flowing and his work out to the public, so he made up the story as he went along. He has a nice way of doing a chapter and then tying in new elements in subsequent chapters to make it look like he planned different elements all along.

Too many cool things happen for me to even list. But here are some of the
Matti Karjalainen
Miten esittää tarina, jossa on vuorittain ulosteita, peräaukoista ulos ryömiviä ihmisiä ja puhuva penis?

Niinpä niin. Hyvän maun rajojen rikkominen on sellainen taitolaji, josta vain harva sarjakuvataiteilija suoriutuu läpi kunnialla. Vastakkaisia esimerkkejä on liian paljon lueteltavaksi.

Kanadalainen Chester Brown osaa kuitenkin hommansa tällä saralla. "Ed, iloinen klovni" (Like, 1990) on kaikessa räävittömyydessään ja absurdiudessaan kohtalaisen hauska lukupaketti, jota ei tosiaankaan voi suosi
There are two major successes with "Ed the Happy Clown."

1: Usually when artists attempt to plot & script on the run, plucking topics & threads from their subconscious, the results are interesting, but in the end the storyline comes up bare. In this edition, with the help of just a little backward editing, the storyline is fresh, engaging, creative, and in the end, even emotionally & narratively rewarding*.

2: The artwork. Oh what beautiful inking. Such great choices of angle and persp
One Flew
This book treads the line in between being either a masterpiece or absurd nonsense. Luckily, I think it's far more evant garde than it is peverse. I wasn't convinced at first but as the narrative became more connected it was thoroughly amusing. Highly recommended if you're looking for a different comicbook experience.
Chester Brown's funniest book. I miss this sense of humor in his books. Anything goes, especially piles of shit being shoveled through a dimensional portal.
Roderick Mcgillis
Although the multi-dimensional stuff is probably new, this book reminded me of Griffiths, Crumb, and the rest of the underground set back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Scatalogical, violent, sexy, and wildly inventive, the book is not for everyone. But I like it. It is irreverent and bizarre. Ronald Reagan appearing as the talking face on poor Ed's penis works for me. This book has ghosts, vampires, small people, endlessly pooping people (well, one person), aliens, the devil. The doorway be ...more
Kyle Burley
Forgot how creepy and perverse Chester Brown's early work could be and I don't mean any of that pejoratively.
Markku Kesti
Jos sanaa outo ei olisi keksitty olisi se pitänyt keksiä kuvaamaan tätä.
Isa Cantos (Crónicas de una Merodeadora)
This was... disturbing, to say the least o_O
What the fuck did I just read?
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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 about Chester Brown...
I Never Liked You Louis Riel Paying For It The Playboy The Little Man: Short Strips, 1980-1995

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