cover image Aesthetics: A Memoir

Aesthetics: A Memoir

Ivan Brunetti. Yale Univ. Press, $24.95 (120p) ISBN 978-0-300-18440-2

Brunetti (Cartooning: Philosophy and Practices) has a long career as cartoonist, educator, and editor, and this new book serves as both a partial collection and memoir. Along with his well-known, highly satirical and personal comics and magazine contributions, there is plenty of obscure work too: a papier-mâché sculpture of Mickey Mouse, and Brunetti’s attempt at a Sunday strip for the rebooted Nancy in the ’90s. The book doesn’t proceed chronologically, flitting back and forth between different moments in Brunetti’s prolific career, discussing some of his New Yorker covers before flashing back to some of his earliest drawings from childhood. Rather than serving as a straightforward memoir of his career, the book is much more a collection of the author’s artwork, accompanied by commentary and photographs of objects that have inspired him. The commentary does have great moments of insight into cartooning though, as when Brunetti says of an old comic strip from his college days that it provides “incontrovertible evidence that anyone can learn to draw better, or at least find ways to refine their approach, through constant and vigilant practice.” Wise advice from a true professional. (June)