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Stranger Than Life: Cartoons and Comics 1970-2013

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M.K. Brown is one of the funniest cartoonists of the last four decades — or ever, take your pick — and her body of work has long been savored by aficionados but never comprehensively collected — until now. Stranger Than Life is the first retrospective of Brown’s cartoons and comics from their original appearances in the National Lampoon, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, Playb M.K. Brown is one of the funniest cartoonists of the last four decades — or ever, take your pick — and her body of work has long been savored by aficionados but never comprehensively collected — until now. Stranger Than Life is the first retrospective of Brown’s cartoons and comics from their original appearances in the National Lampoon, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, Playboy, and other magazines and underground comics. M.K. Brown’s comics stories satirize suburban anxiety and post-modern ennui by the sheer force of her gentle but piquant, off-kilter observations, along with her slightly pixilated but winsome characters, all of which are perfectly captured in her restless pen line and delicate jewel-tone watercolors. In these pages: Read instructions for the use of glue, making a pair of pants, home auto repair, coping with chainsaw massacres, and jackknifing your big rig. “Another True-Life Pretty Face in the Field of Medicine” introduces Virginia Spears Ngodátu, who (with a bit of a name change) would go on to star in “Dr. Janice N!Godatu,” Brown’s series of animated shorts that appeared on The Tracy Ullman Show alongside the first incarnation of The Simpsons. Plus, enjoy aliens, old people, pilgrims, mermen, monitor lizards, tiny floating muggers and other weirdos in Brown’s side-splitting single-panel gag strips.


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M.K. Brown is one of the funniest cartoonists of the last four decades — or ever, take your pick — and her body of work has long been savored by aficionados but never comprehensively collected — until now. Stranger Than Life is the first retrospective of Brown’s cartoons and comics from their original appearances in the National Lampoon, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, Playb M.K. Brown is one of the funniest cartoonists of the last four decades — or ever, take your pick — and her body of work has long been savored by aficionados but never comprehensively collected — until now. Stranger Than Life is the first retrospective of Brown’s cartoons and comics from their original appearances in the National Lampoon, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, Playboy, and other magazines and underground comics. M.K. Brown’s comics stories satirize suburban anxiety and post-modern ennui by the sheer force of her gentle but piquant, off-kilter observations, along with her slightly pixilated but winsome characters, all of which are perfectly captured in her restless pen line and delicate jewel-tone watercolors. In these pages: Read instructions for the use of glue, making a pair of pants, home auto repair, coping with chainsaw massacres, and jackknifing your big rig. “Another True-Life Pretty Face in the Field of Medicine” introduces Virginia Spears Ngodátu, who (with a bit of a name change) would go on to star in “Dr. Janice N!Godatu,” Brown’s series of animated shorts that appeared on The Tracy Ullman Show alongside the first incarnation of The Simpsons. Plus, enjoy aliens, old people, pilgrims, mermen, monitor lizards, tiny floating muggers and other weirdos in Brown’s side-splitting single-panel gag strips.

30 review for Stranger Than Life: Cartoons and Comics 1970-2013

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    Though I'd always enjoyed Brown's cartoons in National Lampoon, I hadn't thought about her in ages until a few weeks ago when I read one of the children's books she illustrated. That lead me to this book, which I enjoyed thoroughly. I liked Brown's explanations of the inspirations for many of her strips. How fascinating to learn that this frequently appearing character: was based on this Billie Jean King ad: I loved the Western Romance series: And, the story of her rescuing a large grasshopper from Though I'd always enjoyed Brown's cartoons in National Lampoon, I hadn't thought about her in ages until a few weeks ago when I read one of the children's books she illustrated. That lead me to this book, which I enjoyed thoroughly. I liked Brown's explanations of the inspirations for many of her strips. How fascinating to learn that this frequently appearing character: was based on this Billie Jean King ad: I loved the Western Romance series: And, the story of her rescuing a large grasshopper from her living room drapes was kinda touching. (Sniff, sniff . . . ) Fun times, great memories.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    M.K. Brown is, as ever, a delight. Her slightly skewed, dreamlike imagery and deadpan non sequiturs are uniquely her own. The comics in this collection span her career from 1970 to the present day. Also included are some preliminary sketches, source materials, and occasional comments. It all adds up to a tasty package from the person who practically invented the concept of, "So weird it's funny." M.K. Brown is, as ever, a delight. Her slightly skewed, dreamlike imagery and deadpan non sequiturs are uniquely her own. The comics in this collection span her career from 1970 to the present day. Also included are some preliminary sketches, source materials, and occasional comments. It all adds up to a tasty package from the person who practically invented the concept of, "So weird it's funny."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brent

    I love this collection of wildly funny art I mostly read in the heyday of the National Lampoon, but missed after 1979 or so. I never saw any of these panel cartoons. I have laughed uproariously at her children's picture books, which share the graphic whimsy on view here. I'm on the lookout: please, Fantagraphics, do collect, as hinted here, the comic strip Aunt Mary's Kitchen! Thanks, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library. Highly recommended. I love this collection of wildly funny art I mostly read in the heyday of the National Lampoon, but missed after 1979 or so. I never saw any of these panel cartoons. I have laughed uproariously at her children's picture books, which share the graphic whimsy on view here. I'm on the lookout: please, Fantagraphics, do collect, as hinted here, the comic strip Aunt Mary's Kitchen! Thanks, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library. Highly recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peacegal

    This book is filled with dreamlike, surrealist forms and strange, looming faces.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chris Browning

    I bought this on a whim because two of the biggest laughs I had all year were her White Girl Twist and White Girl Blues strips. The jokes were simple and absurd but worked because the art was beautifully observed but also massively absurd. And the whole book is an out and out joy,ranging from longer strips to weird mutant riffs on New Yorker gags. Her art reminds me of Bill Plympton’s grotesques, a freer and more anarchic David Boswell and many more but it’s her ability to mine some of the dafte I bought this on a whim because two of the biggest laughs I had all year were her White Girl Twist and White Girl Blues strips. The jokes were simple and absurd but worked because the art was beautifully observed but also massively absurd. And the whole book is an out and out joy,ranging from longer strips to weird mutant riffs on New Yorker gags. Her art reminds me of Bill Plympton’s grotesques, a freer and more anarchic David Boswell and many more but it’s her ability to mine some of the daftest and simplest jokes I’ve seen in ages that stuns me. Loads of these shouldn’t work - the Noam Chomsky dog is hilarious because of that look of extreme focus on the dog’s face; the hillbilly song works mainly because the punchline is wildly unexpected on top of what’s already been very silly but also incredibly well drawn; Whistle Stop manages to time a ridiculous punchline and some beautifully observed dialogue into a glorious whole. It’s a stunning collection and one of the funniest things I’ve read in ages. And quietly I suspect she’ll be a huge inspiration: I can already see how many gags I’ve toyed with but not developed could work through the prism of her work. It’s a thing of beauty and hopefully will make people realise that backing the Simpsons in the Tracey Ullman animated shorts on offer might have been the wrong decision all along

  6. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    Delicately absurd sensibility.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    she's one of the best. Rob Kirby's review of the work at the Comics Journal is well written. http://www.tcj.com/reviews/stranger-t... she's one of the best. Rob Kirby's review of the work at the Comics Journal is well written. http://www.tcj.com/reviews/stranger-t...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    My review of this book is now on tcj.com: http://bit.ly/1kI8yoP My review of this book is now on tcj.com: http://bit.ly/1kI8yoP

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Garden

    Well a legit bonified weirdo what a doll.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Watkins

    MK Brown's comics are amazing. Particularly the faces she draws - so many perfect odd expressions. Lots of surreal and bizarre stories too. MK Brown's comics are amazing. Particularly the faces she draws - so many perfect odd expressions. Lots of surreal and bizarre stories too.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Donna Chadwick

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This may contain spoilers Author: M.K Brown. Title: Stranger than life: 1970 – 2013 cartoons and comics. Genre: Comics & graphic novels, publishers, fantagraphics, comics, graphic novels,. I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review I got a email from Serena Agusto-cox because l signed up for poeticbook tours newsletter. First of all l would like to say a big thank you to M.K Brown for sending me this book and giving me the chance to read it. I would like to say a big thank you to Seren This may contain spoilers Author: M.K Brown. Title: Stranger than life: 1970 – 2013 cartoons and comics. Genre: Comics & graphic novels, publishers, fantagraphics, comics, graphic novels,. I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review I got a email from Serena Agusto-cox because l signed up for poeticbook tours newsletter. First of all l would like to say a big thank you to M.K Brown for sending me this book and giving me the chance to read it. I would like to say a big thank you to Serena Agusto-cox for taking the time to email me. I would tell people that you should step outside your comfort zone with books because it is good to add more authors and genres to your reading portfolio even if you do not read books like this. I normally do not read books of this genre but l stepped outside my comfort zone with authors and genres l am so glad l did because l have read so many great books and come across some great authors. This is the first graphic novel l have read. I highly recommend this book. This book has 248 pages and 10 chapters in it. Synopsis: M.K brown is one of the funniest cartoonists of the last four decades – or, ever, take your pick – and her body of work has long been savored by aficionados but never comprehensively collected – until now stranger than life is the first retro – spective of brown's cartoons and comics from their original appearances in the national lampoon, mother Jones, the new yorker, playboy, and other magazines and underground comics. M.K Brown's comics stories satirize suburban anxiety and post – modern ennui by the sheer force of her gentle but piquant, off – kilter observations, along with her slightly pixilated but winsome characters, all of which are perfectly captured in her restless pen line and delicate jewel – tone water colors. In these pages: read instructions for the uses of glue, making a pair of pants, home of auto repair, coping with chainsaw massacres, and jackknifing your big rig. “ another true – life pretty face in the field of medicine” introduces Virginia spears NgodAjtu who ( with a bit of a name change) would go on to star in “ Dr, Janice N!godatu,” Brown's series of animated shorts that appeared on the Tracy Ullman show alongside the first incarnation of the Simpsons. Plus, enjoy aliens, old people, pilgrims, mermen, monitor lizards, tiny floating muggers, and other weirdos in M.K Brown's side – splitting gag cartoons. Reviews by other people: M.K Brown turns the orderly world we think we all live in upside – down, shakes up our perceptions of normality – then hands everything back to us profoundly altered in some way only our subconscious mind truly understands. - Bill Griffith, from his introduction. What you are holding is a work of rare talent. M.K Brown is the Irene Dunne (do google) of the print world. Hard core fans can, at last, rejoice. First time readers will witness true comic enchantment. So come along children, let us follow and see where this divine woman takes us this time. - Brian McConnachie. M.K Brown is a uniquely innovative artist. Her work is on a level that no other cartoonist even remotely approaches. - Sam Gross. Review: when l was reading this book I would put some essential oils in my humidifier and put the lights on my humidifier on and chill on my bed listening to magic or spotify or something on television or netflix. Sometimes l light a candle when l am reading this book. It is good to chill reading a good book when you are not well or in pain. I reviewed this book on goodreads, my blog and amazon UK and US. I also took a picture of this book and shared it on Instagram that l made just for pictures of my books it is called donnareviewsbooks. I found this book really easy to get in to and hard to put down once l started reading it. It did not take me long to read this book. I really liked the pictures in this book and l could not stop laughing at the stories in this book. I have never read a graphic novel before but l am glad l read this one and l plan to read more because of this book. I got this book in paperback. I would happily read this book again and again. I really like the pictures and l wish l could draw like the author. I would like to read more from this author. I wish this book did not finish because it was so good and funny. I was sad to finish reading it. I was hooked on this book after reading the first few pages. I can not put in to words how great and funny this book is l would tell people to read it for themselves to know how great and funny it really is. If l was not sent this book for free l would have bought it. About this book: I really like this book cover and the drawings on the front and back cover and l like that the writings is in red and black because it stands out more. Star Rating: Five Out Of Five Stars. I wish l could rate this book more than five stars because it is worth more than the five stars l rated it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tom Landis

    She has an amazing mind and a great drawing style. Consistently funny and offbeat,

  13. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    This is a new type of review for me, so the question is how do you review comics? I am not sure, but I will do my best please feel free to leave your opinions so I can improve. I grew up reading the Sunday comics throughout the week they lived in the bathroom until the next week's Sunday paper arrived. I read them all, even if I did not like them though none of them were as off the wall compared to what is in this book. How did I go my whole life so far without having experienced M.K. Brown's wo This is a new type of review for me, so the question is how do you review comics? I am not sure, but I will do my best please feel free to leave your opinions so I can improve. I grew up reading the Sunday comics throughout the week they lived in the bathroom until the next week's Sunday paper arrived. I read them all, even if I did not like them though none of them were as off the wall compared to what is in this book. How did I go my whole life so far without having experienced M.K. Brown's work I kept thinking as I was reading through Stranger Than Life. This book has something for everyone, it is chocked full of hilarious satire which was my favorite part, a five-part western romance, and some of the comics are in color, though for me the colored ones are the creepiest with distorted faces and beings of unknown origins, just not my thing. Whereas, most things in life change as time goes by, not M.K. Brown's original style it stayed consistent throughout the decades. Occasionally, I bet you are looking for a reason to laugh your ass off I would definitely recommend this collection of cartoons and comics. "Thanks, Poetic Book Tours, for letting me give an honest review"

  14. 5 out of 5

    Will

    So absurd, so good!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Aron Bowe

    Love, love, love her crazy drawings. Had to buy the book. Wish I could have seen her show at San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum. Oh well, the book will have to do. Love, love, love her crazy drawings. Had to buy the book. Wish I could have seen her show at San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum. Oh well, the book will have to do.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Thencasti

    Really enjoyed MK Brown's cartoons. Great sense of humor. I'm a fan of her work and this collection inspired me to continue with my own illustrations. Really enjoyed MK Brown's cartoons. Great sense of humor. I'm a fan of her work and this collection inspired me to continue with my own illustrations.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Johanna

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cris

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Norman

  21. 4 out of 5

    Charles D

  22. 4 out of 5

    Serena

  23. 4 out of 5

    Derek Reilly

  24. 4 out of 5

    Twan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lex Chesler

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ian R

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brett

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robert Boyd

  29. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  30. 5 out of 5

    Em

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