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Ed the Happy Clown Hardcover – June 5, 2012
2016 Book Awards
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“The best comic book series being published today.” ―Rolling Stone
“One of comicdom's maverick masters.” ―Time
“It may be the most extreme art you'll ever encounter.” ―The Village Voice
“It delivers a series of moral and cerebral and horndog thwacks . . . It's a real squeamish-making work of art.” ―The New York Times on Paying For It
About the Author
Chester Brown lives in Toronto, where he ran for Parliament in the general election as a member of the Libertarian Party of Canada. His most recent book is Paying for It.
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Top Customer Reviews
When I had just started reading it, my wife asked me how it was, and I told her “Weird and dark,” to which she replied that it might not be the best thing to read before bed. I should listen to my wife more, but I didn’t here. There’s a story about Ed and a vampire woman and Ronald Reagan from an alternate dimension finding himself in existence in a very weird place in our dimension. My only criticism is that there is action that is logical from frame to frame, but there is no real overall arc. Reading the end notes of this edition shows that the writer, Chester Brown, seems to have written that way too, so early on there is not real strong characterization of any of the characters until he finds their voices.
I liked this more as a way that it shows an artist’s potential, and I will check out some of his later work, but this is lacking in a way I can’t fully articulate.
Yummy Fur focuses on Ed, a hapless clown living in a dystopian world filled with callous doctors, evil police and truly mad scientists. The story kicks in when Ed finds a severed hand under his bed, and mistaking it for something left by the tooth fairy, reports his findings to the police, only to be thrown in jail. What follows is a quick descent into a world filled with sewer dwelling pygmies, a beautiful vampire, a President from another dimension and an increasingly uncomfortable view of how inhuman man can really be.
At first the plot appears half hazard and childish, but it soon all meshes together and the finale is truly both heartbreaking and breathtaking.
Ed isn't for everybody, but for the few brave souls out there willing to give it a try, the rewards are rich.
If you've read Chester Brown before you'll know he's best known for memoir type comic books like "I've Never Liked You", "The Playboy" and last year's excellent "Paying For It", or the award-winning biography "Louis Riel". "Ed the Happy Clown" is Brown's first book and a long out-of-print masterpiece of bizarre and improvised plotting.
Brown includes an extensive notes section at the back which is almost as good as reading the book itself. It provides background details to how the book was conceived and written/drawn along with biographical details of the author and the reaction to his work as it was released in his bi-monthly comic "Yummy Fur". Brown admits that because he didn't have anything to say in his early twenties he just threw together random storylines, whatever was on his mind, straight onto the page. It definitely reads that way but after a certain point the various story threads begin intersecting and make a strange kind of sense.
The murderous religious janitor connects to the vampire Josie who leads to the pygmies who leads to Ronald Reagan penis who leads to the man who can't stop pooping who leads to Dimension X. This book is a must-read just for that summary - you'll never read a book like this. And it's really funny too.Read more ›
Ed the happy clown is too good. My favourite part is the man who suffers from a bizarre compulsion: he can't stop crapping. Even when he dies he's still crapping. When it turns out that his anus is a gateway to another dimension, a transfer begins. To quote Shaviro: "The interference between the two worlds leads to a series of hysterical sexual fantasies, grotesque amputations, and surreal confusions of identity. But what's important is the process of transmission, not the nature of the product. That's the secret of scatology: waste is the only wealth."
Works like these remind us why these 'sub-genres' are so appreciated. If you feel like referencing: it's in the vein of Julie Doucet's Dirty Plotte or Joe Matt's Peepshow.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely excellent surrealist piece. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to explore more experimental comicsPublished 7 months ago by ELT
I had read Paying for It, so I knew the style but the creativity here is really something. Not for everyone, but I enjoyed it very much. Really enjoyed the analysis at the end.Published on July 22, 2013 by Tracerton Hughes
i used to have one of the vortex collections, and while i prefer that format to the smaller hardbound, it is nicely bound and printed and will last forever.Published on May 17, 2013 by i am the magma
This book is not anything how I expected it to be, but that isn't bad. This book is filled with sex, violence, and some disturbing stuff. There is also a lot of humor and satire. Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by Dillon hansen
I like the guy - he's sick, obsessive compulsive, and knows how to draw. What more needs to be said?Published on February 13, 2013 by R. S. Lloyd
It's getting hard to trust Amazon reviews- Amazon themselves and Publishers' Weekly are obviously taking a cut and raving about rubbish; and authors' friends are obviously doing a... Read morePublished on October 31, 2012 by Ravanagh Allan
... and it wasnt just because i was high when i was reading it. ed the happy clown is one of the most bizarre and original books i have ever read. Read morePublished on October 27, 2012 by askquestionslater