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A Memoir

Ivan Brunetti

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A glimpse inside the mind and artistic process of a fascinating contemporary cartoonist 

Born to working-class parents in a small town in Italy, and reared in Chicago, Ivan Brunetti (b. 1967) was drawn to cartoons and comic strips from an early age. Finding inspiration in Spider-Man and Peanuts, he began crafting his own stories and gradually developed a unique style that he applied to imaginative, sometimes shocking subjects. The dark humor of his graphic novels earned him a cult following, yet his illustrations have had broad appeal. Now recognized as an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator, Brunetti has published his work in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, and McSweeney’s, among others.

This eye-popping illustrated autobiography by Brunetti traces his artistic trajectory and output, from youthful doodles to his latest cover illustrations and comic strips. Aesthetics: A Memoir unearths a trove of previously unpublished materials, including working drawings, sketches for cartoons, book covers, personal photographs, and items from the artist’s collection of toys and handmade objects. In an introductory essay and captions, Brunetti explains—in a voice that is as quirky, smart, and clear as his drawings—his creative process and aesthetic sensibility. This overarching retrospective conveys Brunetti’s philosophy of life and cartooning through his keen words and unforgettable images.

Ivan Brunetti has published several graphic novels and taught courses on editorial illustration and comics at the University of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago.

“A handsomely designed encapsulation of the artistic life of a unique American illustrator . . . essential for fans but fascinating for those new to Brunetti’s work as well.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"Indispensable . . . superbly designed . . . an appropriately indefinable book for an artist whose distinct career phases defy convention."—Jeffrey O. Gustafson, The Comic Pusher

"[A] handsome collection . . . the curation and captions here might make this his most revealing work yet . . . [an] impressive volume."—Jake Austin, Chicago Tribune

“Great moments of insight into cartooning . . . [and] wise advice from a true professional.”—Publishers Weekly

“The happiest surprise of the year . . . reminds us how much fun Brunetti is as a cartoonist.”—Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter

Aesthetics is as expertly curated and devoutly minimalist as [Brunetti’s] other projects, and his insights into life and craft are real and pragmatic—and funny.”—Sean Rogers, Globe and Mail

“Engaging and inspiring”—Whitney Matheson, USA Today “Pop Candy” blog

“A fascinating read . . . a little gem.”—R. Sukumar, Mint

“A fascinating tour of Brunetti’s mind . . . some of the most formally virtuosic page compositions in Brunetti’s entire oeuvre . . . a joy to collectors, students, and scholars of the medium.”—David M. Ball, Los Angeles Review of Books

"It's at least as much an inspirational meditation on art and creativity as it is an illustrated survey of his life and work."—Michael Dooley, Print Magazine

"Brunetti provides more than just a collection of work here, he reveals his creative process and outlines his aesthetics (something far too many creatives fail to hone) as well."—Benn Ray, Largehearted Boy
Winner of the 2013 Great Midwest Book Festival in the Photography/Art category, given by JM Northern Media LLC
ISBN: 9780300184402
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
120 pages, 7 1/2 x 7 1/2
120 color + 20 b/w illus.

Philosophy and Practice

Ivan Brunetti

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