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The Cute Manifesto
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The Cute Manifesto

3.4  ·  Rating details ·  162 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
A powerful mixture of philosophy and comics that could change your life forever. In a dangerously uncertain world, Kochalka plots a theoretical path to happiness. Collecting his most intensely thoughtful work, Kochalka tackles the big issues . . . comics and art, birth and death, technology and joy, and everything in between. Included are "The Horrible Truth about Comics", ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published August 9th 2005 by Alternative Comics
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Peter Derk
Nov 16, 2015 rated it liked it
"...What is art not? Well, as I've described it, Art is not about communication. Art is not a way of conveying information. It's a way of understanding information. That is, creating a work of art is a means we have of making sense of the world, focusing to make it clearer, not a way of communicating some understanding of the world we already hold."

A really good book of essays about art. Probably most infamous is "Craft is the Enemy" in which artists pounced on James Kochalka for saying that bud
Oct 09, 2008 rated it liked it
I find James' work very motivational, even when I don't necessarily agree with him. I do agree that an artist should use the materials available to them rather than making excuses and I find the proposition that art is not a form of communication to be somewhat compelling. Of course, art has often been didactic or rooted in tautology (Kosuth's chairs spring to mind), yet at the same time I wonder if this art is the most interesting or culturally relevant. At the very least I'm seduced by a theor ...more
Emilia P
Feb 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
I like it better when Mr. Elf writes about the minutae of life and less when he focuses on how craft is the enemy and art is the point and blah blah blah. I do however, like the cute manifesto -- the only reason life is worth living is for joy and beauty which is often in a little baby's face, in this case his first son's. The joy of artistic creation and human creation in one breath. That's nice. doesn't quite live up to the awesomeness of the cover though.
Mar 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was intelligent and striking, achieving impressive depths within the graphic novel format. Very much a discussion on the meaning of art and life (for example, the sept. 11 attacks lead the author to the decision to have a baby with his partner, and the "cute manfesito" part is about turning away from destruction and embracing innocence.) Anyway. Not so much of a plot, but intriguing nontheless.
Jan 08, 2010 rated it did not like it
I enjoy Kochalka's work, generally, but the Cute Manifesto feels under-thought and sloppy. I agree with his argument that over-determining "skill" in comics is a major problem. However, his expressive "just express your soul and as long as it isn't boring it will be great" rhetoric reads as shortsighted.
Dec 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Very interesting stuff. I'd been dying to read his "Craft is the Enemy" essays to see what his point was. Again, very interesting. It got me thinking about Art and Craft and the differences/similarities between them. I'm still mulling it over, actually.
Berkleigh Mostrom-lawler
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful. The title is deceptive. This book carries more weight than much of Kolchaka's more lighthearted work. Absolutely worth reading, particularly if you have ever struggled with your own creativity.
Oct 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any artist
Shelves: comics
I loved reading James' reflections on comics, art, craft, and cuteness and find myself agreeing or at least intrigued with a lot of his concepts. The middle is kind of a drag, but overall very enlightening.
Sep 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
I'm always up for a good manifesto, especially from James Kochalka.
Feb 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
I love JAmes Kolchalka.
Jan 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
An inspiring read by James Kochalka Superstar.
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed it and found his ideas to be inspiring.
Jun 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Truly excellent metaphysics/aesthetics essays, with illustrations. That is to say, it's a comic book.
May 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Very entertaining look at creation and craft in the comic world. Not so much new but a slightly different angle on current thoughts concerning work and art.
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Mar 10, 2011
Ed Barredo
rated it it was ok
May 21, 2015
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Jan 26, 2008
Cecilia Payseur
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Jun 28, 2008
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Oct 05, 2012
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Jun 26, 2008
Geoffrey Long
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Dec 04, 2011
Tijs Schelstraete
rated it it was ok
Sep 14, 2012
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
I totally agree with his thesis. As a comic however, meh.
Jacy Nord
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Sep 15, 2011
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Jul 26, 2007
Allison K
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Nov 05, 2008
Andreas Kerr-Wang
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Oct 09, 2017
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James Kochalka is an American comic book artist and writer, and rock musician. His comics are noted for their blending of the real and the surreal. Largely autobiographical, Kochalka's cartoon expression of the world around him includes such real-life characters as his wife, children, cat, friends and colleagues, but always filtered through his own observations and flights of whimsy. In March 2011 ...more
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