Comics · Heads Up! · Here, Read · Look Here · M. K. Brown

Heads Up: A career-retrospective collection of cartoons and comics by M. K. Brown

Coming in Spring 2014:

The publisher’s description:

What DO women want?

They might want to float into the sky while hosting a brunch party. They might want a couple of handsome cops to come over and get rid of a snake problem. They might seek a doctor’s treatment for “wise-ass disease” or fantasize about revenge and forgiveness at the dentist’s office. They might want to sing the White Girl Blues and dance the White Girl Twist.

One of the funniest cartoonists of the last four decades, M.K. Brown has accumulated a body of work long savored by aficionados but never comprehensively collected — until now. Women, What Do We Want? is the first retrospective collection of Brown’s cartoons and comic strips from the National Lampoon from 1972-1981, as well as other magazines such as Mother Jones, The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, and Playboy; and her comics from underground publications like Arcade, Wimmin’s Comics, Young Lust, and Twisted Sisters.

Her cartoons combine a penchant for the absurd with the gimlet observational eye of Roz Chast. Brown satirizes suburban anxiety and ennui by turning it upside-down and sideways, and her slightly grotesque yet lovable characters 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. Travel around the world to witness the giant bananas of Maui, strange sightings in Guatemala, camel and a “Saga of the Frozen North.” Learn about love ’round the world, among eccentric suburbanites, and in a “Condensed Gothic” romance. “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. Aliens, old people, pilgrims, mermen, monitor lizards, tiny floating muggers and other weirdos feature in Brown’s side-splitting single-panel gag strips.

And what about men? Don’t worry — you’ll meet Mr. Science and his pointless experiments; “Earl D. Porker, Social Worker,” who converses with household items and forgets the cat food; a man whose head is a basket of laundry; and others.

Black & white with 16 pages of color.


Format: Softcover, 200 pages
Publisher: Fantagraphics (February 25, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1606997084
ISBN-13: 978-1606997086

Although Fantagraphics has not yet announced the exact contents of the book, I am sure it will include the following strip, which was first published in the March 1986 number of National Lampoon:



Comics · Here, Read · Look Here · M. K. Brown

Look Here, Read: “Self Portrait” by M. K. Brown

From Arcade volume 1, number 5 (Spring 1976), here’s a comic two-page comic by the incomparable M. K. Brown:

Click here to read “Self-Portrait” in colour online. Lots of other M. K. Brown comics on that site as well, so be sure to take a look around! You won’t regret it.

I went looking for a book collection of M. K. Brown’s comics to light up my life, but I couldn’t find one. My conclusion: this is not the best of all possible worlds.