Funny Misshapen Body: A Memoir

Jeffrey Brown, Author . Touchstone $15 (308p) ISBN 978-1-4165-4947-5

Previous books by Brown (Clumsy ; Little Things ) have explored his romantic life and eventual progression to a steady relationship and fatherhood in his trademarked slice-of-life style, leavened with awkward, self-deprecating humor. His latest explains how he began making comics, with each chapter focusing on a topic or event leading up to Brown’s early comics, with many of the episodes overlapping and out of order chronologically. As Brown explains in the epilogue, “I try to arrange stories to express the idea of figuring things out,” leading to some meandering at times. Painful college art critiques, health problems (Crohn’s disease), forays into substance abuse and a stint working in a wooden-shoe factory make up the bulk of the events, but Brown doesn’t stay long enough on any one topic to get tiresome. The art is simple and crude at times, but has a comic strip’s direct appeal—Brown’s facial expressions are exaggerated, but make him likable. While some may find this extended trip to one cartoonist’s past egotistical, Brown is still an engaging companion on the journey. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/16/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4391-5929-3
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