Funny Misshapen Body
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Funny Misshapen Body

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,037 ratings  ·  76 reviews

Funny Misshapen Body is the story of Jeffrey Brown's evolution as a cartoonist, from his youthful obsession with superhero comics to his disillusionment with fine art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Drawn with Brown's scratchy, spare, trademark style, Funny Misshapen Body resonates with true-to-life observations on love, fear, and ambition. Through his bare

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Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by Touchstone (first published 2009)
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karen
well well well...jeffrey brown is all growed up now! this book is all glossy and fancy... and very little about saddish relationships! this one is more about art and "finding oneself" as an artist , but in a way that isnt melodramatic and self-aggrandizing, which is refreshing. (from an artist, not from jeffrey brown - i dont think he has ever been self-aggrandizing in his life)so a big thumbs-up, especially to the little wooden shoe store, and the artist with the pinata. and paul hornschemeier!...more
Sam Quixote
I've known about Jeffrey Brown's comics for a while now and while I've read his more recent stuff like the Cat books and the excellent Star Wars stuff, I stayed away from his autobio comics for some reason - I suppose reading about failed relationships isn't really my thing. But I decided to pick up Funny, Misshapen Body as it was about other things in Brown's life. It's a memoir about his childhood, Crohn's disease, about his job working in a crafts store, about university life and the associat...more
Malbadeen
My brother gave this to me for Christmas. Yeah my brother.

One of the many things I like about Jeffrey Brown's biographical stuff is that it is not chronologically re-called. He divides it into categories like, "my job at the shoe factory" or "girlfriends" or "college". It matches my brain.

Yeah Jeffrey Brown.

Also he doesn't over play things that could easily be over played. He doesn't play the ironic nerd or dwell on things that could be elaborated to pathetic. He just recalls them.

Yeah for bei...more
Pfanner
"Piltrafilla", una traducción penosa del título original "Funny Misshapen Body", recopila distintas historias cortas que abundan en la vertiente autobiográfica de Jeffrey Brown. En este caso, además de exponer distintos momentos de su vida relacionados con la salud, la escuela, las drogas, etc., el valor del volumen radica, bajo mi punto de vista, en la narración de las diversas etapas de su evolución como artista, o, mejor dicho, la larga marcha para, por fin, alcanzar esa denominación. Sus dud...more
Idleprimate
Funny Misshapen Body delivered not just the Brown I love, but a more mature and reflective Brown. A balance of stories, in his usual anti-chronological way that swirl together to create a full novelistic image of people, places and developments, working with new themes, and yet tied to the old and magnifying the scope of his storytelling.

There’s also a greater range in the artwork, combining the early simple scrawl with the burdened later ink. We see the rest of Brown’s protagonist’s life (I re...more
Jake
I don't know if I've ever read a thoughtful book that was this "easy." This graphic novel memoir reads like you're catching up with an old friend. The story isn't linear. It's broken up by themes of disease, apartment, pot and varying levels and tales about art. It's very honest without being revealing. It's the memoir of a nice guy who wanted to be a cartoonist. He has supportive parents, he has nice friends, and he never battles any demons. It was just a swell story about a swell dude. There w...more
Ian Hrabe
I didn't even know this existed until I stumbled upon a copy of it at Half Price Books. Like Little Things, Jeffrey Brown has realized that he can't write relationship books for the rest of his life and he's better for it. Well, I'm not sure about that, but it's a refreshing read and a great portrait of Jeffrey Brown as artist, his beginnings, and everything that led him to publishing excellent graphic novels (with just a couple exceptions). His art has improved a bunch, drawing influence from Y...more
Kyle
I’m so glad there are books like Funny Misshapen Body! Jeffrey Brown takes what normally would be tragic (chronic diseases, poor confidence around the other sex and pretentious art grad smugness) and makes these comic. Anyone, for example, who has or has had a chronic illness/disease knows they can be embarrassing, uncomfortable and require a lot of medical attention. Brown focuses on scenarios that are as much laughable or comic as they are tragic. He shows us that it is okay that we laugh for...more
Sharon
It is certainly to Jeffrey Brown's credit that he can critically examine the most embarrassing details of his life and share them on paper in what appears to be a refreshingly honest way. And the fact that those details are about his anxieties creating art and finding his artistic path seem to speak almost to an older and wiser Brown than his stories about early relationships.

I really enjoyed seeing Brown's evolution as an artist, his challenges with binge drinking and Crohn's Disease, and his a...more
Luis Saavedra
I'd only read a few pages of Jeffrey Brown's page in anthologies like the Best American series. Reading his memoir Funny Misshapen Body, which is mainly focused on his love for comics and how he came to work in them, was truly a moving experience.

In these pages Brown recounts his first encounter with the world of sequential art, his growing interest in the medium, the ritual of visiting comic book stores, meeting comic book authors, drawing and the art-school environment. Intertwined we also ge...more
Tania
Jeffery Brown is one of my favorite cartoonists, and every time I've met him he's been really nice. His memoirs are witty, but also easy to connect to. In this one, he focuses on how he went from being an art grad who did "serious" paintings to a cartoonist. It's really interesting and made me realize that I don't take my writing as seriously as I should. I need to focus more on it, and work hard on it; he went through so many failures before he truly found his own craft and style. Finding your...more
Carrie
This was listed as a book about living with Crohns Disease. It briefly touched on that, but was more focused on the author's struggles through school. I'm not a fan of cartoons, but the format did put some interest into the story.
Bill
The creators of most autobiographical comics try so hard to Say Something Meaningful. They navelgaze, they pontificate, but mostly they try too damn hard. Jeffrey Brown's autobio comics, on the other hand, just tell simple stories about his life. If he's Trying To Say Something, it certainly doesn't come across that way, and if there's any Capital-M Meaning to be found, he leaves it to us to find it on our own. I appreciate that approach. I find it truly distasteful when a creator of any type of...more
C2015
I really enjoy these autobiographical cartoons....they are just really different and engaging.
Emilia P
Finally, Jeff!
A reasonably coherent collection of stories that are actually about your life and not just about dames and help us understand how you got to where you are so you could tell all those stories about dames. Crohn's disease, college, working at the wooden shoe store, dabbling in drugs just a little bit. This is actually probably a great place to start on Jeff, so you don't feel quite so unanchored reading earlier stuff. Which, I guess, at this point might be worth a re-read. I'm still...more
Naomi
Jan 07, 2010 Naomi rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Naomi by: Ben
Shelves: comix, non-fiction
I think there are enough graphic-memoirs out there about white boys who can't get girlfriends. I don't understand why an art school graduate chose to draw in an uninteresting cartoony style. I liked the bit about dealing with customers at the shoe store, but for most of it, it seemed like he wasn't putting in that much effort, neither with the art, nor with the writing.

If you want to read a good graphic-memoir about a white boy with self-esteem issues, read Blankets by Craig Thompson.
Elaine
I personally didn't like it. I'm really into autobiographical comics, but this one was just not what I was looking for. The guy didn't seem to have a very interesting life but yet he still decided to make a comic of it. The story was uninteresting and, on top of that, the drawings weren't even very well done. I forced myself to finish it and actually couldn't. I read 3/4 of it. So if it has an amazing ending that would have made me understand and love the whole book, I've missed it.
Emily
It's a weird thing to read Jeffrey Brown talking about more than just his awkward or failed relationships. Don't get me wrong -- I love him for that. This feels more mature somehow, though. It was really interesting to read about how his life develops through the lens of different aspects of it: friends, health, living situations, school. It was encouraging while also bringing some sense of closure to everything (ie Jeffrey Brown is ok even though girls have hurt him).
Chris
Although I'm still not a huge fan of his tendency toward "apologizing" for his stories' lack of continuity, I enjoyed Funny Misshapen Body far more than the author's last graphic novel. It was nice to see Brown tell stories that seemingly exist on the edges of his previous books, and I thought the sections on his growth as an artist were really interesting. I wasn't the biggest fan of Little Things, so this was a fun return to form.
Earline
Aug 12, 2009 Earline rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Chris Ware fanatics, art students
Recommended to Earline by: Brian
wow. I can never get enough of horrible/hilarious stories about art school. I wish Jeffrey Brown was in my MFA program with me so we could hate art and worship Chris Ware together. yeah I'm super jealous of Jeff and his Chris Ware-ness.. I LOVED that jumping out of a window comment.

the only reason I'm not giving it a 5/5 is because I just wish it was a little more focused.. also I didn't like the cop-out ending.
Jim
I enjoyed this book as much as the previous Jeffrey Brown book (Little Things).

In this book there were a lot of stories about art school and his development into a graphic memoirist. He also discusses his battle with Chrone's Disease.

At the end of the book, he answers some frequently answered questions, which I found fun and interesting.

I will definitely being reading more by Jeffrey Brown.
Tony
Brown's autobiographical comics have a way of writing that's so relatable I feel I could substitute his stories for my own. He explores the universal feelings of self-doubt, awkwardness, lust, loss, uncertainty, growing up and self-discovery sprinkled with hints of humor and inspiration. I got the same release from reading FMB that you get after a good cry or a hardy laugh during a stressful day.
PJ
This is a great Jeffrey Brown book. I would say that this one probably surpasses many of the others so far as story goes. The narrative is still a little disjointed, but it is fairly easy to tell what happened when. This book definitely doesn't have the emotional effect that many of his other books do, but this is definitely different from his other books and it's good.
Mark
Sep 06, 2011 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
Jeffry Brown's scratchy, mostly improvised style belies the talent behind this artist. At first pass, one would think Brown is making it all up as he goes, and for the most part, you come to find out that he is, but not without purpose. I enjoyed the immediacy of his storytelling and found the intimate details of his insecurities to be endearing.
D.J.
Jeffrey Brown has become one of my favorite comic creators. Deceptively simple, scratchy line work and quiet, observational journaling of his life makes for some great reading. Dealing with his college years, Crohne's disease, drinking, breaking into comics -- a lot of ground is covered. Just a very likeable creator who makes very likeable books.
Brandon
Jun 03, 2009 Brandon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Grand Rapids and Chicago people I know.
Shelves: graphic-novel
I loved each and every panel, beat and nuance of this book. I look for his books at every visit to the comic shop. I got lucky this time. I win. Boy do I ever. Perfect (ironically) read. Recommend.

Full Disclosure: Jeff and I went to the same high school. Seeing my old math teacher's obnoxious mustache again was a treat! Thanks, Jeff!
Abbey
alright, so i generally devour every jeffrey brown comic ever made, but this one...wow! every page is utterly engaging, fantastically written and drawn, and brown's honesty is so inspiring. READ THIS BOOK. immediately. you will not be disappointed. long live jeffrey brown! and may he please continue to release brilliant comics.
Jason
Inspiring- it seems like there are a few of these cases out there where artists buck the system to some degree and create success for themselves, despite a lack of encouragement. It also illustrates how importatn networking is as well. Reminds me of Julia Wertz's story (Fart Paty) somewhat.
Luis Fernandez
Love Jeffery Brown and his sad, sweet comics about struggling with love, purpose and Crohn's disease. I bought my copy of this book from him at ComicCon in NYC last year and he drew a nice doodle in the front cover. He was very gracious when I told him I loved his work. This book was no exception.
Tom Fuchs
Brown keeps getting better and better in terms of his pacing and artwork. It could just be that this particular volume had an incredible amount of items that correlated pretty accurately to my own life, but I also think he's becoming more and more assured in his efforts. Good stuff.
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Jeffrey Brown was born in 1975 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and grew up reading comic books with dreams of someday drawing them, only to abandon them and focus on becoming a 'fine artist.' While earning his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Brown abandoned painting and began drawing comics with his first autobiographical book 'Clumsy' in 2001. Since then he's drawn a dozen books fo...more
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