cover image Brief Histories of Everyday Objects

Brief Histories of Everyday Objects

Andy Warner. Picador, $20 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-250-07865-0

In this history lesson about the mundane, Warner’s fascination is with the daily objects that clutter your bathroom, bedroom, office, bar, and all the places you frequent without even noticing you’re there. Each strip in this webcomic collection is a breezy romp as Warner recounts the histories of objects such as toothbrushes, toilets, and billiard balls with a tongue-in-cheek wit and glee for some of the more disgusting elements in their origins. Warner reveals in his illustration of an early toothbrush, for instance, a bone with animal hair as bristles. He’s equally interested in the chaos that often follows entrepreneurial initiatives, and each strip, though brief, has the power of a parable, outlining how some inventors were cheated, fell into greed, or used their wealth to attempt to fund new, even quirkier endeavors—like flying off to Bolivia to become a missionary or attempting to build a utopia. Warner is a deft cartoonist, able to convey a lot of information, humor, and emotion within a single panel. (Oct.)