Monday, March 13, 2017

Stranger Than Life: 1970-2013 Cartoons and Comics by M.K. Brown

about book:

M.K. Brown is one of the funniest cartoonists of the last four decades — or ever, take your pick — and her body of work has long been savored by aficionados but never comprehensively collected — until now. Stranger Than Life is the first retrospective of Brown’s cartoons and comics from their original appearances in the National Lampoon, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, Playboy, and other magazines and underground comics.

M.K. Brown’s comics stories satirize suburban anxiety and post-modern ennui by the sheer force of her gentle but piquant, off-kilter observations, along with her slightly pixilated but winsome characters, all of which are perfectly captured in her restless pen line and delicate jewel-tone watercolors.

In these pages: Read instructions for the use of glue, making a pair of pants, home auto repair, coping with chainsaw massacres, and jackknifing your big rig. “Another True-Life Pretty Face in the Field of Medicine” introduces Virginia Spears Ngodátu, who (with a bit of a name change) would go on to star in “Dr. Janice N!Godatu,” Brown’s series of animated shorts that appeared on The Tracy Ullman Show alongside the first incarnation of The Simpsons. Plus, enjoy aliens, old people, pilgrims, mermen, monitor lizards, tiny floating muggers and other weirdos in Brown’s side-splitting single-panel gag strips.

my thoughts:

I love reading the comics in the paper.  Its the first thing I do on a Sunday morning, because they always make me laugh.  I have to admit that Dilbert is my favorite.  Back in the day, I used to love Cathy, Peanuts, Marmaduke, Garfield, and Family Circus. So, yeah, I've been reading them for quite some time.  And cartoons were my jam. Who didn't love watching cartoons growing up?  Of course, I still watched them when I was grown up - The Simpsons! Oh, and Arthur - yes, that adorable aardvark who loves to read. Even now, I re-watch old episodes of Daria - my sis bought me the DVD and I can't resist watching Daria and Jane mocking their classmates.  So, when I was asked to read Brown's anthology of her cartoons and comics - how could I resist?  I am always looking for new and interesting things to read.  Plus, I just knew that this book by revered cartoonist, M.K. Brown, would be a treat to read. And boy, was I right!?

M.K. Brown has a reputation for creating smart, quirky, warped, funny comics with a rather zany and oddball sense of humor.  They are the kind that make you think and laugh at the same time.  They are chock full of astute and very skewed observations on life - think hilarious and insightful combined.  This compendium provides a thorough sampling of her work, ranging from the 1970s to 2013.  You can see how she grows into her work over the years - the cartoons just get sharper and funnier. She really hones her sense of humor and provides quite the interesting social commentary on a variety of topics. Getting to read through her work was so much fun.  I really enjoyed getting to know her work through this amazing book.  Fans of her comics and cartoons will devour Stranger Than Life with glee.  And anyone looking for something new and great to read will just love this book!  It truly is a must-read!  I absolutely loved it!

Here's the link to the Poetic Book Tour schedule for: Stranger Than Life
Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book!!


Serena said...

Thanks for being on the tour. I'm so glad you loved this one.

Suko said...

Wonderful review, Nadia! I agree that these cartoons make you think and laugh at the same time. I'm also on the tour, and will be reviewing this collection soon.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Serena, thanks for having me on the tour :)

Suko, thank you! I'm heading over to read your review now :)