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Aesthetics: A Memoir Hardcover – May 28, 2013

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Aesthetics: A Memoir + Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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
(Kirkus Reviews 2013-04-16)

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

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

“The happiest surprise of the year . . . reminds us how much fun Brunetti is as a cartoonist.”—Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter
(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
(Sean Rogers Globe and Mail)

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

“A fascinating read . . . a little gem.”—R. Sukumar, Mint
(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 (David M. Ball Los Angeles Review of Books)

Winner of the 2013 Great Midwest Book Festival in the Photography/Art category, given by JM Northern Media LLC
(Great Midwest Book Festival JM Northern Media LLC 2013-11-04)

Book Description

The fascinating contemporary cartoonist Ivan Brunetti explains his creative process, artistic trajectory, and obscure interests in this eye-popping account filled with drawings, doodles, ephemera, and sketches spanning multiple decades.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (May 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300184409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300184402
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 7.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #745,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Goodman on May 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I admit, I became a fan of Mr. Brunetti when the first issue of his twisted comic book series Schizo fell into my hands many years ago. Since that time I've managed to pick up most of his output whether he was creating the comics or editing collections of them. I really connect with his generally pessimistic outlook on people and life in general, and I love the way he draws, as he says, Peanuts style with an R. Crumb sensibility. So, overall I really like this book, which is mainly a collection of his influences and examples of his output. It's a very quick read and an entertaining and enlightening one at that! My problem with the book stems from the fact that it's too short, and there doesn't seem to be enough there to really warrant it's existence as a stand alone book. I know it's more of a scrapbook and philosophical treatise than an all out retrospective. Basically, I think it would have made a great article in the late lamented Comic Art magazine(which strangely, it kind of already was...in the book In The Studio, one of the non-reprints collected within). If a friend were to ask me if I thought this book was worth buying, I honestly think my reaction would be to tell him to borrow it from the library or wait for it to be remaindered. I hate writing that last sentence, but I'd be lying to those who come to this space for guidance. I'm a somewhat enthusiastic admirer of the author, and I feel maybe this book should have come about perhaps in another ten years or so, when hopefully Ivan will have more material under his belt. Then again, maybe I expected too much.....that damn disappointment strikes again at my inner core...maybe best to go console myself by curling up with my copy of Misery Loves Comedy.....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richard Jr. on May 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'll get to the point. Ivan Brunetti is a great talent. I've picked up all of his work since the first Schizo. This was an opportunity to see some of his work that I might of missed in a few places. And there is alot of great gems. Stuff that unfortunately requires a magnifying glass to read. This was a totally cheated experience. When an important part of your work is far more than just the visual "Aesthetic", don't cheat the reader. Put this out again but at least a half a times larger.
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By Proppa on August 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found out about Ivan Brunetti via his book 'Cartooning' which is essentially The lesson on the craft I'd been waiting for my whole life. Instantly I was a devout fan and wanted More Brunetti - not just more comics (though that too) but more of his thoughts and the science behind his work - and that's exactly what 'Aesthetics: A Memoir' is: a treasure trove of inspiration, incidental instruction, and gorgeous imagery. We get several examples of the authors works with insights and notes on how pieces like his New Yorker covers are conceived and refined. Brunetti's thoughts on design extend beyond Comics per se and feel like a way of translating and articulating ones own world into imagery. That might sound like heavy reading but somehow Brunetti pulls it off in short descriptions laced with humor and self-deprication so the tone of his writing is almost "breezy" while also being deep and inspiring. If you draw I cannot imagine how Brunetti wouldn't be an instant Must in your world - if you're a fan of comics, design, and art in general I cannot imagine how both 'Cartooning' and 'Aesthetics: A Memoir' wouldn't be absolute essentials in your collection. Lastly: if you're like me you won't be able to put this book down - you'll want to slowly absorb every page of it.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is attractive and entertaining. It could offer more in terms of evolution over Brunetti's career, or for each individual piece being shown. But it is a nice collection of work that Brunetti shows with some minor discussion of why that piece is here and where it came from.

I think on its own, Aesthetics: a Memoir is a nice hour of flipping pages and looking at some well-honed work, but it is not amazing.

As a companion to Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice, also by Brunetti, this book makes much more sense. Where Cartooning is an excellent guide and discussion on how comics work and are made, Aesthetics is a great display of many of the exercises Brunetti describes in Cartooning. Together, I think these books add up to more than each book alone.
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