Chester Brown: Conversations

Edited by Dominick Grace
and Eric Hoffman

256 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 40 b&w line illustrations (approx.), introduction, chronology, index

978-1-61703-868-6 Printed casebinding $40.00S

978-1-4968-0252-1 Paper $30.00S

Printed casebinding, $40.00

Paper, $30.00

"Even if I was still an anarchist, it would have no bearing on my creative process. Anarchism is a political ideology, not an artistic one."

The early 1980s saw a revolution in mainstream comics--in subject matter, artistic integrity, and creators' rights--as new methods of publishing and distribution broadened the possibilities. Among those artists utilizing these new methods, Chester Brown (b. 1960) quickly developed a cult following due to the undeniable quality and originality of his Yummy Fur (1983-1994).

Chester Brown: Conversations collects interviews covering all facets of the cartoonist's long career and includes several pieces from now-defunct periodicals and fanzines. Brown was among a new generation of artists whose work dealt with decidedly nonmainstream subjects. By the 1980s comics were, to quote a by-now well-worn phrase, "not just for kids anymore," and subsequent censorious attacks by parents concerned about the more salacious material being published by the major publishers--subjects that routinely included adult language, realistic violence, drug use, and sexual content--began to roil the industry. Yummy Fur came of age during this storm and its often-offensive content, including dismembered, talking penises, led to controversy and censorship.

With Brown's highly unconventional adaptations of the Gospels, and such comics memoirs as The Playboy (1991/1992) and I Never Liked You (1991-1994), Brown gradually moved away from the surrealistic, humororiented strips toward autobiographical material far more restrained and elegiac in tone than his earlier strips. This work was followed by Louis Riel (1999-2003), Brown's critically acclaimed comic book biography of the controversial nineteenth-century Canadian revolutionary, and Paying for It (2011), his best-selling memoir on the life of a john.

Dominick Grace, London, Ontario, Canada, is an associate professor of English at Brescia University College. Eric Hoffman, Vernon, Connecticut, is the editor of Cerebus the Barbarian Messiah: Essays on the Epic Graphic Satire of Dave Sim and Gerhard. Together Grace and Hoffman edited Dave Sim: Conversations (University Press of Mississippi).

256 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 40 b&w line illustrations (approx.), introduction, chronology, index