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Clumsy Paperback – April 21, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions; 2nd edition (April 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971359768
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971359765
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #767,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After growing up in Michigan, a 25-year-old Jeffrey Brown moved to Chicago in 2000 to pursue an MFA at the School of the Art Institute. By the time he completed his studies, he had abandoned painting and started drawing comics seriously. His first self-published book, Clumsy, appeared seemingly out of nowhere to grab attention from both cartoonists and comics fans. Established as an overly sensitive chronicler of bittersweet adolescent romance and nonsense superhero parody, Brown's current direction remains split between more autobiography examining the minutiae of everyday life and whatever humorous fiction he feels in the mood for. His most popular works include Clumsy, Unlikely, AEIOU, and Every Girl is the End of the World For Me, comprising the so-called "Girlfriend Trilogy" and its epilogue. More recently his autobiographical work has included Little Things and Funny Misshapen Body. His parody The Incredible Change-Bots, the Ignatz Award winning I am going to be small and humorous cat book Cat Getting Out Of A Bag all stand out amongst his humor work, while his Sulk series continues to take on a variety of subjects with satire. Jeffrey's work has appeared in a host of anthologies from McSweeney's to The Best American Comics, as well as mainstream books like The Simpson's Treehouse of Horror and Marvel's Strange Tales. His original artwork has been exhibited in New York, Paris, and Chicago. Brown has been featured on NPR's This American Life and even created a short animated music video for the band Death Cab For Cutie. He lives in Chicago with his wife and son.
Visit jeffreybrowncomics.blogspot.com for news and drawings, and you can write to him at: PO Box 120, Deerfield IL 60015-0120, USA

Customer Reviews

Jeffrey Brown is first and foremost a story teller, he is a voyeur, and he is so f'ing honest.
JFinkelstein
Each perfect, simply drawn page captures the tiny moments that make up a relationship, the kind you look back on in retrospect.
Steven Averett
One can begin to sense the pressure of time and the unraveling of their relationship which Brown shows us for all to see.
A. Lim

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Steven Averett on October 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
I picked up "Clumsy" after hearing Jeffrey Brown interviewed by Ira Glass on "This American Life." Brown's autobiographical debut is one of the most disarming and honest books you'll ever read. Anyone who's ever been in love (and then watched it fall apart) will identify with Brown, who tells the story of his doomed long-distance relationship with Theresa through a series of mostly one page comic-strip vignettes. Each perfect, simply drawn page captures the tiny moments that make up a relationship, the kind you look back on in retrospect. The story is not linear (though a timeline/map is included at the back of the book for the obsessives among us) and scenes jump back and forth to different points in the relationship (largely at random but sometimes with intent). Somehow, though, it all makes sense. So many of these moments hit close to home, echoing scenes from both past relationships and the one that took. My fiance (now my wife) also loved the book and elicited many exclamations of "Oh my God...we've been there."
I've currently got Brown's follow-up, "Unlikely," which details the loss of his virginity, and his limited edition latest "AEIOU: Any Easy Intimacy..." (declared "the last of the girlfriend books") on order. I'll review them soon.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is the best graphic novel I've read in a long time. I can't say enough good things about this book. Clumsy tells the story of a first love relationship through a series of small, everyday moments. It's the kind of thing that could easily become indulgent, but Brown's writing is so precise and poetic that you can't help being moved by it.
Most love stories focus on big dramatic developements--but that's not the way most of us actually experience love. Clumsy shows the whole arc of a relationship without resorting to a conventional dramatic structure. Clumsy is also one of the few artistic accounts I've ever seen of the quiet joys of intimacy, of just being with someone you love, sharing their time.
For the unassuming way the story's told, it makes remarkably compelling reading. I've given this book to many friends. Most tell me that they couldn't put it down. And every one of them has favorite moments, vignettes that remind them of their own experiences.
The drawing style is simple but by no means simplistic, as one reviewer suggests. Brown's style strikes me as a refreshing antidote to the overdrawn post-R. Crumb groutesqueries of too many other independent comics.
Oh, and buyer beware, the reader from Collingswood NJ who hated this book, saves his 5-star reviews for comics like THE HULK and THE PUNISHER.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Lim on March 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read the whole book through the same day I bought it. I couldn't put it down, well only because my eyes got tired. I was almost embarassed to read it on the subway because it had explicit content everywhere, but it wasn't explicit like porno just more like how one thing leads to another and...

This is a good 'graphic' novel because you really get to know Jeffrey and Theresa as they struggle through their relationship. Brown doesn't try to make sense of their struggles or their fun times, but rather he lets the images and conversations spill out into the pages and lets the reader's imagination decide. I could begin to see the points where Jeffrey and Theresa's relationship was beginning to come apart even when Jeffrey and Theresa didn't know it themselves. One can begin to sense the pressure of time and the unraveling of their relationship which Brown shows us for all to see. When Chris Ware talks about Brown's "insatiable need to put it all down on paper," I can hardly think of a better word to describe the heart and fury with which Brown strokes the page with unpretentiousness and innocence. Jeffrey Brown draws with such rage that we can see how much Theresa meant to him from the energy of his not-so-clumsy lines.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
I can't say enough good things about this book. This love story, told in graphic-novel form, contains more true moments than you find in most contemporary fiction. Everything is pared down to its essence, including the delicate hand-drawn panels.
Funny, bittersweet, clever, naughty, perfect.
Anyone who has ever been in a relationship, especially a long-distance one, should read this book.
Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gord C on February 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Yeah, well maybe he can draw. His art is consistently pretty bad...But consistent and that is core here I think. The first book of his I read (which was this one) I hated. But for some reason I read it again. Maybe it is because it can be read in its entirety over two large bowls of Crispix cereal.

I picked up the other books in the "Girlfriend Trilogy". This I blamed on my wife, as I was happy she was so involved in this and termed it as "cute".

Things have changed however and now I accept my tastes for Jeff Brown. He has something to offer. The stories are cute, sure, but more to it than that. Jeffery has tapped on something core here with the realistic dialogue (which I am convinced he must have recorded). He has tapped on real shame and embarassment. He has also revealed that sure, these things are humanizing but to the indiviudal they are also very damaging.

More so, for his place in graphic lit, Jeffery is the real deal. He doens't distract by forcing some kind of false front in art, nor in script. The themes as well are very real and I think depending on your experiences with love you will find a different way to enjoy this. Give it a chance (or two). If you want cute though go buy a gretting card, if you want a person pick up this trilogy.
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