Friday, May 25, 2007

Misery Love Comedy - Ivan Brunetti

MISERY LOVE COMEDY is a beautifully designed hardcover collecting the first three issues of Ivan Brunetti's legendary SCHIZO comic book, with some extra added bonus material tossed in. For those requiring an introduction to the wonderful world of Brunetti, this is the place.

But if you're the type who hears "comic book" and thinks ARCHIE or SUPERMAN, then this is definitely NOT for you. Brunetti's compiled some of the darkest, nastiest and yet somehow funny semi-biographical material to ever come out of the independent comic movement. This guy makes Robert Crumb look like a puritan prude. The cruel self-annihilation is punctuated with pages of scatalogical comic strip "parodies" that will either make you choke with laughter or seek psychological help. And when I say "nasty," I don't mean in the "poo-poo" potty mouth sense. We're talking heavy duty, raunchy, busted-at-the-Canadian-border type material. The indicia says the book should be filed under "erotica/hate literature", and I'm not sure if that's supposed to be a joke or a genuine recommendation.

Now SCHIZO #4, released a few months ago, is a whole 'nother story. Published in giant Life Magazine size, the long awaited next chapter in Ivan's comics ouvre is practically family friendly (well, practically...), and offers some beautifully illustrated strips owing more to PEANUTS than DeSade. It's also worth seeking out...

Both are available from Fantagraphics Books, or at liberated comic shops...

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