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Funny Misshapen Body

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,669 ratings  ·  95 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

Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by Gallery Books (first published 2009)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,669 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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Apr 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Sam Quixote
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Oct 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Sooraya Evans
Jun 09, 2016 rated it did not like it
Overall boring.
The author's life aspects aren't that interesting.
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.

Theres also a greater range in the artwork, combining the early simple scrawl with the burdened later ink. We see the rest of Browns protagonists life (I
Sep 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Dov Zeller
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm a big fan of Jeffrey Brown's conversational comic style. He addresses his relationship with art, love, friendship, body, in a way that is meandering and yet circles back again and again to the things that are most important to him: authentic self-expression, authentic connection, self-understanding with a great helping of compassionate humor. I especially enjoyed the stories in here about art school, comics, and his work giving shoes crafty tattoos. But as per usual, I appreciated all of ...more
Mar 30, 2015 rated it liked it
(useless thought): maybe i saw jeffrey brown at the wooden shoe factory when i was growing up/ klompen dancing and DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought this was okay. It was most successful in the beginning, detailing the author's childhood bought with Crohn's. The story of how he became a comic was interesting but not nearly as emotionally compelling as some of his other work. Understanding a bit about his technique and where it comes from does but is work in perspective for me, though.
Michael Anderson
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is now my favorite JB autobio book. It focuses on his development and evolution as an artist and comic strip writer and describes his experiences with drugs, drinking, and relationships during college and art school. And I found out what pen he uses to draw with. Very nice book. I never misplaced my attention.
Kim Earl
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Ill give it to the guy. Im sure some people enjoyed this. It wasnt the worst thing ever, I was just bored. The artistry didnt intrigue me and the plot was all over the place. He explains this in the end and in his Q & A section (I skipped ahead, I didnt read past chapter one). I dont want to rate it lower than this because its probably a decent book, but it just didnt hold up for me. ...more
Liz Decker
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love Jeffrey's style. Easy to read short bits of stories that don't need to say a whole lot.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was way too meta for me...
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting way to write an autobiography. Brown is talented.
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, comics, 4-star
It was a cute book. I think my favorite part about it was how relatable it was since I'm an artist myself. I could feel a lot of the frustrations and challenges that the author was going through, along with the upsides.

For the most part, things were well done, understandable, and entertaining (aaand a little gross, haha). Parts of the artwork I feel could have been better, but I'd feel that that's nitpicking, it didn't really take away from the story. The handwriting, at times, was a little
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Ian Hrabe
Jan 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
15 or more years younger than many of the people from the tradition in which he works (Dan Clowes et al), Brown is not quite a whole new generation but brings a bit of a millenial stance. This collection of autobiographical segments, in his characteristic "disarmingly honest" style, is probably at its most illuminating as he describes his undergraduate and graduate art education (the latter at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago). His account of his shift from being focused on more ...more
Zack! Empire
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: indie-comics
As someone who draws comics sometimes, I thought this was a really interesting idea for a comic: What life events have shaped you into being a cartoonist? I've liked Jeffery Brown's work since I first discovered it, but to be honest I was getting a bit tired of reading about his relationships. There are a lot of interesting things that happy to a person besides just interacting I with the opposite sex and I'm glad that Jeffrey is moving away from that.
I like his direct and honest approach of
Luis Saavedra
Apr 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I don't really know how to review this book. It's not usually what I tend to read in the comic genre, it's more nonfiction than anything. It tells a story about the author, a memoir type format, though it's not in timeline order. The art style is simple, but easy to read and understand. It tells as much about the author as the actual selected stories in the book. I would say that is is worth a read, but the ending sort of leaves things unfinished. I understand that the chosen ending was for an ...more
Emilia P
Oct 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-books
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
Jan 07, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Noemi by: Ben
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.
Aug 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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.
Aug 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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).
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphicnovels, 2009
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.
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
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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 ...more

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