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We All Die Alone Paperback – January 11, 2006

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Exploring the detritus of our consumer culture, Newgarden reworks comics clichés to show the lighter side of despair. Back in the '80s, he created the Garbage Pail Kids, satirizing the lovable cuteness of products manufactured for children. Since then, in a variety of underground publications, he has subverted everyday icons and parodied traditional "joke" merchandise. Most people would merely glance at a trite cartoon showing two big-nosed guys in a bar, a man on a desert island, a clown with a psychiatrist, etc.; Newgarden is fascinated by why those images became the stock in trade for cheap, disposable humor productions. He wonders if laughing at a stupid hillbilly, an alienated drunk or a prisoner on death row lets us repress the pain of our own frustrations. The drawings here work perfectly as quickie cartoons, but they also extend themselves, turning into desperate, hysterical rants.. From an ad for the Little Nun's stigmata gloves and edible rosary to an exhibition of real toilet paper wrappers, Newgarden treats nothing as sacred. In fact, he suspects that we cherish whatever distracts us from our problems. Beautifully produced—the covers are black velvet—this book shows the results of his study aren't exactly comforting, but they are fascinating and funny as hell. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The melding of brows--low, middle, and high--may have been the most important twentieth-century art trend, in which case Newgarden, whose 1983-91 work this plush, square volume showcases, may be the last great twentieth-century artist. Writer-draftsman Newgarden chose the gag cartoon, regarded as a type of commercial, industrial art as well as vernacular comedy, as his principal metier. For Newgarden, gag cartoons' verbal and ideational content is as important as, and sometimes more important than, the visual content, which sets him quite apart from comics-quoting pop artists. One set of Newgarden's stuff consists of one-panel drawings perched over often-scabrous captions so voluminous that they amount to short stories. Another part of his work is all same-size panel pieces, including the wordless Little Nun series, as well as the excruciating Pud + Spud episodes, in which two brothers yammer in square panels so small that one's eyes give out long before the text does. The tenor of Newgarden's humor ranges from cruel absurdity to nose-thumbing satire to cool faux intellectualism. If one warms to Newgarden at all, he is very, very, very funny. As the concluding gallery of others' art that inspired him demonstrates, even his taste is hilarious. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books; 1st Fantagraphics Books Ed edition (January 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560976616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560976615
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jordan Bochanis on January 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
A flocked collection of the great works and influences of the most important visual cultural satirist of our time. This is the book Newgarden fans have been waiting for (since most Newgarden fans have been personally contacted by Mark himself to tell them that this book was on it's way). And for those philistines who've never heard of Mark Newgarden, I can only say, run, don't walk to the "add to shopping cart" button, for this book will change your life. Or at least point out why Ernie Bushmiller's "Nancy" was funny in a way it was never intended to be.

Designed to manic perfection by Helene Silverman and thoughtfully edited by some guy named Dan, it's an amazing collection of Newgarden's cartoons, Topp's work and personal detritus that paint a portrait of an artist whose work is impossible to classify, yet impossible to resist.

And did I mention that the book's cover is flocked?
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Frank Lantz on February 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Actually, straight up brilliant. Better than you can imagine. I thought I liked Mark Newgarden but I realize now that I love him. The funny thing is this isn't a joke. Newgarden's stuff is strange and beautiful in a way that I find irresistible - he uses recursion and self-consciousness as an engine for travelling somewhere instead of an excuse for remaining still. The surprise for me in this book was how good much of the writing is: long, wonderful, clattering prose that works like a rimshot sampled and timesliced and looped into perfect little pocket symphonies for the kidders.

Here's the punchline: guys like Newgarden make this kind of stuff because they're scared of loneliness and scared of death. They think if they can open up the infinite machinery of language and pictures and jam a laff into the gears maybe they can gag time for one square second, and slip under, and through. And sometimes they can. And sometimes we can too. Heh.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul Karasik on February 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
Buy this book and get three books in one:

1. Collected works by Newgarden. Often plagiarized for his fresh perspective and unique voice, (to quote a pizza box lid:) the original is still the best!

2. Collected works of Newgarden.

His impeccable taste in the jetsam of popular culture is legendary. You will see cool stuff from this collection handsomely displayed by crackerjack designer, Helene Silverman.

3. Pillow.

If you don't mind waking up with little black flecks all over your face.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tyler Russo on December 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i currently don't have the time or articulate means to write a review worthy of this fantastic book of blackest sorrow and funniest woe so here's an unworthy sentence just so it can have another 5 star review thanks have a swell day.
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