May 25, 2009 | Graphic novels
Jeffrey Brown’s willingness to lay himself bare in his autobiographical graphic novels has endeared him greatly to his many readers over the past decade.
From emotional depictions of how he lost his virginity (Clumsy) to his first love (Unlikely) to becoming a dad (Little Things), Brown has captured the often mundane moments that make up many of our lives and made them compelling through deep introspection and a delightful self-deprecating wit.
In Funny Misshapen Body (Touchstone, $21, 320 pages), Brown uses his crude-but-effective art style to deliver the same mish-mash of storytelling as Little Things, reflecting on a wide range of subjects from getting into and attending art school to working in a wooden shoe factory, his early fumblings with alcohol and drugs and having the epiphany that comics don’t have to contain super-heroes.
Perhaps the most interesting chapter surrounds Brown’s diagnosis and battle with Crohn’s disease, a no-holds-barred account of hospital visits, hurried trips to the toilet and, eventually, intestinal surgery.
(This review first appeared in the Toronto Star)