cover image Misery Loves Comedy

Misery Loves Comedy

Ivan Brunetti, . . Fantagraphics, $24.95 (172pp) ISBN 978-1-56097-792-6

An introduction written by the author's therapist describes the process of creating these comics as “excruciatingly painful” and “painfully frightening.” This puts Brunetti's minimal output—three issues of his cult favorite comic Schizo in 12 years—into psychological perspective. Brunetti's work does its malevolent work with an eye to the author's psychological underpinnings. Brunetti constantly offers up the worst possible image of himself alongside his portraits of a despised society. His festival of self-loathing, sexual depravity and brutal cynicism, is, however, amazingly clever and incisive. Whether from the point of view of a miserable comics artist and workaday hack, a nihilistic Jesus Christ or a raging “feminazi,” these rants are fascinatingly convincing, readable and smart. Not all readers will be able to tolerate the scatologically violent sensibility that is so brilliantly manifested in these pages, but for those with a taste for the most jaded views of our society and its inhabitants, Brunetti has long been a hero. Sharply self-aware, Brunetti informs his readers, “I have a gift.... I can articulate what most people won't even face....” and it is this concise and energetic articulation that makes his work so great. (June)