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Unlikely Paperback


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Unlikely + Clumsy + Little Things: A Memoir in Slices
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions; F First Paperback Edition Used edition (August 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891830414
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891830419
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #641,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Brown's second autobiographical graphic novel mines similar territory to his debut, Clumsy. It tells of Brown losing his virginity at age 24 and the relationship that precedes and follows the event. Brown meets Allisyn at a party and they begin a slow courtship, culminating in a confused and uncomfortable sexual relationship, which then begins to eat away at their relationship in general. As with Clumsy, Brown makes an otherwise straightforward tale compelling. Unlikely is composed of vignettes, each isolating a moment in their relationship-a conversation, a party, hanging out-that deliver essential bits of thematic and emotional information. This allows readers to see the relationship as Brown experienced it, without the false strictures of quotidian continuity. We see the pair only in the context of their togetherness; there are no subplots or narrative detours. Brown's dialogue is perfect, lending the proceedings an unerring sense of authenticity. His drawing, ragged at first glance, is minimal, nuanced cartooning, using a minimum of lines for maximum effect. And remarkably, the work avoids the usual pitfalls of autobiographical comics: Brown never asks readers for pity, nor does he offer up a confession. There are no lyrical interludes, and the unsparing documentation ensures that voyeurism never enters into the mix. Through careful editing and scene selection, he lets the story unfold as though, in a sense, it didn't happen to him. Readers are left with only the exterior facts, and must make up their own minds about the characters based solely on what Brown shows.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Brown's deceptively simple, autobiographical comic depicts the brief romance of two young, slackeresque types: Jeff, a needy, clingy virgin, and Allisyn, a troubled free spirit. One is too naive, the other too oblivious, to see that the relationship is doomed from the beginning. Brown portrays the couple's developing closeness with heartbreaking tenderness and their inevitable breakup with unflinching frankness. There is a naked (frequently literally) honesty to it all, and the drawings' awkward appearance reflects the couple's callowness. Brown's disarmingly casual, scratchy style makes Jeff and Allisyn seem innocent and childlike, even when they are having sex or taking drugs, while his narrative skill makes them sympathetic and endearing, even when their behavior is at its worst. If alternative-comics fans who have followed Brown's brief career will find the denouement more inevitable than unlikely--they know the relationship portrayed in Brown's Clumsy (2003) follows much the same trajectory--they as much as Brown's new readers may wind up hoping that his future relationships fare better for his personal happiness and his artistic development. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By bookaddict on May 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
Unlikely is the second Jeffrey Brown book I have devoured (Clumsy being the first), or perhaps nibbled upon relentlessly is more apt. Like Clumsy, Unlikely is a collection of little episodes, slices of life. Brown has an unerring eye for the little inanities that make up real life... the tiny little moments that real relationships are made up of: when she looked at you from across the room the first time, when she went out to have a toke with your friends instead of staying to watch the end of the video with you, when she didn't pick up the phone because she was sleeping instead of showing up for your date... . There are no huge plot turns here, just the unrelenting incremental buildup and later crumbling of an unlikely love affair. Reading the dialogue (there is really no narrative) and body language drawn in his innocent scratchy childlike lines, we nod our heads in understanding. We have all been there. I love reading Jeffrey Brown. Try it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. MacAyeal on October 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the kind of graphic novel that actually inspires. While not as beautiful to look at as a typical noir, horror, sex, or superhero GN this series (with AEIOU and CLUMSY) is like having a buddy spill his guts to you while drawing pictures on napkins at a bar. It's intimate and unflinching but not overdosed on self-anything. Not grim, not sensational. I can see that many GN enthusiasts would be bored or unimpressed with the simplicity of the art and the unmelodramatic narrative, but something tells me that Brown is not aiming to convert fans of GNs or to get revenge by virtue of dirty laundry. This is not a dirty diary with airbrushed pictures. This looks and feels more like a series of emotional microscope slides.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By joyce on January 28, 2014
Format: Paperback
I read this and Clumsy after I read some of Jeffrey Brown's later works.
It helped me appreciate the ingenuity of this person drawings and writing. Jeffrey Brown is a genius artist.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sara on June 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
It had potential to be really relatable and heartwarming story about a first relationship, but it didn't make me feel anything but emptiness, and not even the good kind at that. When i saw this, and his other books on the shelf, it made me think i found a book that would be intelligent, clever, and full of heart, but once i actually got involved in the story and read it, it proved to be none of those things. and I think the problem was that the author didn't put his heart into it as much as i know he could of, its a topical survey of a failed relationship situation that is very similar the experiences of many. I didn't feel the heartbreak when Jeff and Alyson started drifting apart, good art makes people feel feelings and think about things, and this just didn't do that.
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