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Little Things: A Memoir in Slices Paperback – April 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Touchstone Trade Pbk. Ed edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416549463
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416549468
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,586,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A comics memoirist in the slightly worn-out quotidian mode pioneered by Harvey Pekar, Brown has already produced a series of books about his relationships with women. This one's a bit more scattered—it's a collection of short pieces about the last two years of Brown's life, including some medical troubles, a camping trip, various interactions with his cat and a lot of not-particularly-momentous conversations with friends. It doesn't quite cohere into a narrative, although the final section, A Little Piece of Myself, gives his relationship stories some closure, showing Brown as a new dad meeting his girlfriend's father. Like his earlier autobiographical books, Little Things is drawn in quick pen doodles—Brown's big-headed, stubbly, emotionally fraught self-caricature appears in almost every panel, and he loads his images with evocative physical details. The ultra-casual style occasionally pays off in comedy, as when he captions a scribbled sketch of a driver who hit his friend's car actual expression may have been smarmier than appears. But a handful of his anecdotes veer into tedious accounts of his life as a cartoonist, and most of them ramble aimlessly for too long; his ability to minutely recall his experiences of various kinds of day-to-day ennui doesn't make them interesting. (Apr.)
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Review

"Jeffrey Brown is one of my favorite graphic memoirists. And one of the funniest. Each book is like another glimpse into one of the best diaries anyone anywhere is keeping."

-- Glen David Gold, author of Carter Beats the Devil

"If I were Pippi Longstocking, Jeffrey Brown's Little Things is exactly the sort of treasure I'd plant in a hollow tree, as a day-making gift for a stranger, a friend, or anyone who needs convincing that there's magic in the mundane."

-- Ayun Halliday, creator of The East Village Inky and author of No Touch Monkey!

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

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Anastasia Beaverhausen VINE VOICE on May 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Little Things" is cartoonist Jeffrey Brown's "major label debut" with Touchstone Books, following years of self-publishing and independent publishing through Drawn & Quarterly press. Unfortunately, it feels like he has run out of gas as far as memoir/autobiographical material goes. This book is his longest yet, at almost 350 pages--but not much happens. And that which does happen is maddeningly out-of-order.

The illustrations are as whimsical as always, but that's not enough to carry a full book in which Brown does little more than draw in coffee shops, hike outdoors, draw comics, and, occasionally, pine after girls. If his relationship material has been completely exhausted, could it be time to turn to fiction? If there's any magic in the mundane, as the back cover suggests, I couldn't find it here. If you are new to Jeffrey Brown, I would recommend picking up any one of his books previous to "Little Things"--this book is for completists only.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Foster on April 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
All I had read of Jeffrey Brown's before this was Mini-Sulk and some work he did for Drawn & Quarterly Showcase - all of which is pretty dang funny: little two page chunks of anecdotes, usually about relationships. He has moved away from both areas he's been comfortable with in this pretty large book (for him). Not too much is spent on his relationships (often leaving them to one panel in a larger story) and most of the stories are the size of his previous books. Alot of them tend to focus on , as the title suggest, little things...meeting friends for a hike, getting a cat, having surgery, and so on. It's fun, but he still has this tendency to just end stuff abruptly. I suppose most of the stories really can't have any big revelations but, there ya go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GraphicNovelReporter.com on November 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Jeffrey Brown calls his latest memoir Little Things, but the truth is that the title is a little modest. It's certainly true enough; the book is filled with mundane events, like getting a cat, meeting a boring friend of a friend, conversations with parents and exes. That kind of thing. But those small occurrences are where the magical events of life happen, which Brown is well aware of.

The book begins with a prologue that promises this collection of short stories is "about how things interconnect in life. . . . How everyday stuff is . . . how we find meaning in our lives." Some of the events described are more "eventful" than others--the late-night trip to the emergency room, for example, which results in a gallbladder removal and tens of thousands of dollars worth of hospital charges. Whatever level of importance may eventually be assigned to them, the happenings reach a sum total that is nothing short of poignant and moving. Brown knows when to hold back and when to deliver on the promise of something he's been building toward; it's nice to relax and watch the story unfold knowing the storyteller has a complete vision in mind, a comprehensive tale that will make more sense in retrospect. Enjoy it while it's taking place and then look back to connect the dots.

Brown is already somewhat well known for directing the music video for indie favorites Death Cab for Cutie's "Your Heart Is an Empty Room." He's also written several other graphic works, most of which have centered around his own life. Brown mines his past for rich material and uses it make deceptively simple stories that pack a universal emotional wallop.

All of which is not to say that Brown isn't funny. Make no mistake; he most certainly is.
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