Funny Misshapen Body

by Jeffrey Brown

Publisher: Touchstone

Format: Softcover, 5x7, black & white, $16.00

ISBN: 978-1-4165-4947-5

Reviewed by: Library Journal

Brown is known for sometimes hyper-candid, sometimes funny autobiographical stories drawn in a rather ungainly style mirroring real life's awkwardness. Here he turns to his artistic career: copying comics as a kid, finding a mentor in the manager of his comics shop, going to art school, painting wooden shoes part-time, and trying to figure out what to do with his life. Amid mixed messages about fine arts careers and encouragement from cartoonist Chris Ware, he decides, "I thought I'd draw comics like I did when I was a kid." The story concludes with Brown's joy over his first graphic novel, the self-published Clumsy. But success hardly comes easy, with roadblocks like illness, recreational substances, and misfired friendships. The compelling Crohn's disease episode will resonate with anyone having a painful and embarrassing body problem. VERDICT This memoir should encourage wannabe comics creators—if Jeffrey Brown could publish nine titles and make the cover of The Comics Journal, maybe so could they! With occasional nudity and sexual references, for older teens and up.—Martha Cornog