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Chester Brown

Conversations

Dominick Grace

Publication Year: 2013

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, humor oriented 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.

Published by: University Press of Mississippi

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Introduction

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pp. vii-xxxi

The early 1980s is a fascinating period in comics history. The major publishers, DC and Marvel, had assumed a largely hegemonic control of the market, yet new talent—particularly Alan Moore and Frank Miller in their tenures on DC’s Swamp Thing and Marvel’s Daredevil titles, respectively—were making their first tentative steps towards an eventual revolution in mainstream comics, in subject matter, artistic integrity, and creators’ rights. Also, certain...

Chronology

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pp. xxxii-2

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Chester Brown

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pp. 3-23

This interview takes place in the artist’s sketching room at this year’s UKCAC [UK Comic Art Convention]. All around is noise and chattering that will make portions of the tape untranscribable.
Chester is a quiet, softly spoken man, beautiful and thin, dressed in torn-up jeans, wearing long, light hair and pausing thoughtfully before most of his...

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The Chester Brown Interview

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pp. 24-72

When he was growing up, he was shocked by the seemingly blasphemous premise behind Kirby’s New Gods series—there was, after all, only one true God. And for years after discovering it, he was disgusted by the explicit, over-the-top sexuality of [Robert] Crumb’s work. Things change. At twenty-nine, Chester Brown now draws comics about masturbating saints, pus-sucking...

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Chester Brown

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pp. 73-85

This is an informal conversation with a reticent and soft-spoken artist, who by no means has reservations about sharing his ideas and philosophies about the “state of the art,” religion, and recognition...

Shades of Brown

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pp. 86-117

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Two-Handed Man Interviews Cartoonist Chester Brown

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pp. 118-147

Chester Brown started creating comic strips over twenty years ago, and since then has built up a body of work featuring a wide variety of subject matter— horror, comedy, nonfiction, even adaptations of the Gospels—as well as beautiful artwork. His first major project, collected as the book...

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Chester Brown Restrains Himself

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pp. 148-155

One of the most respected indie cartoonists of the last twenty years, Chester Brown has made perhaps his most impressive mark yet with Louis Riel (ree-AHL), a comics biography of a still-controversial Canadian rebel. But it’s only the latest in a remarkable string of hits, starting with Ed the Happy Clown, a lurid, surreal excursion into sexual dysfunction...

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On the Real: An Interview with Chester Brown

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pp. 156-167

This interview with Chester Brown, who is currently garnering much attention for his extraordinary new book Paying for It, was conducted at the 2004 MoCCA Arts Fest in a small storage room where they kept the boxed-up Harvey Awards, a couple of hours before the ceremony was to start. Brown had recently released the collected edition of Louis Riel, which naturally became...

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Chester Brown

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pp. 168-175

Having unsuccessfully approached Marvel, DC Comics and the RAW anthology, Chester Brown decided to join the then-blooming self-publishing crowd in the early eighties. When the first issue of Yummy Fur is released in 1983, he has no idea he is about to start a body of work that will influence all his...

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Chester Brown: Louis Riel’s Comic-Strip Biographer

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pp. 176-181

Chester Brown is already a superstar in the world of independent comics. Now, with the publication of his most recent graphic novel, Louis Riel: A Comic- Strip Biography, released last fall by the Montreal art and literary comics publisher Drawn & Quarterly, his work is reaching new audiences with an instant...

Chester Brown

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pp. 182-193

Chester Brown

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pp. 194-209

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Chester Brown on Prostitution, Romantic Love, and Being a John

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pp. 210-214

Chester Brown, the Toronto-based graphic novelist best known for his 2003 book, Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography, will be touring North America in May in support of his latest, Paying for It: A Comic-Strip Memoir about Being a John. Painfully candid, the book begins with the collapse of his relationship...

Laying It Bare: An Interview with Chester Brown

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pp. 215-218

Interview: Chester Brown

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pp. 219-227

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The Pickup Artist: An Interview with Chester Brown

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pp. 228-234

More than a decade ago, Chester Brown decided he was through with romance. Certainly all the crummy stuff—the insecurity, the jealousy, the fights. The only thing he wasn’t ready to give up was the physical part. As Brown, an award-winning Canadian cartoonist, explains to an ex at the beginning of his new memoir, “I’ve got two competing desires—the desire to have sex, versus...

Chester Brown on Sex, Love, and Paying for It

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pp. 235-238

Selected Critical Works

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pp. 239-240

Index

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pp. 241-249


E-ISBN-13: 9781617038686
E-ISBN-10: 1621039692
Print-ISBN-13: 9781621039693

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Conversations with Comic Artists Series

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Subject Headings

  • Brown, Chester, 1960- -- Interviews.
  • Cartoonists -- Canada -- Interviews.
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