Satirical ‘former cartoonist’ Ivan Brunetti has been flying the flag for independent and underground comics for a while now, veering between the high brow cerebral stories and ironic filth. This collection of new one-panel cartoons and quips and visual one-liners, is a brutally funny and disturbing attempt to push some buttons, either uncomfortably or comfortably mired in taboo. The aesthetic of freaks, geeks, nerds and ugly men and women, all with dark pasts, dirty fetishes, sociopathic tendencies, and murderous habits all play out over 120 odd pages of frenetic cartoon violence, sometimes sexual, sometimes suicidal, sometimes offensive, but always funny. It’s hard to write a review of this book without putting up some of the images, but I think to take them out of the context of the book reduces the ‘hilarious’ impact of page after page of dick mutilation, rape and droopy breasts. You get the feeling that Brunetti is not to be taken literally, that these cartoons have been deliberately constructed to break taboos and to irk the sensible. Culled mostly from out-of-print work (Hee! and Haw!) and other anthologies, the contents are discreetly presented in an uninviting, funereal package of unglamorous black and white. The gallows humour of sexual fetish gone awry keeps us guessing as to how far Brunetti will take it, but also to who’d have bowed out by now, too shocked to continue to the end. It’s a funny book that plays with the idea of obscenity and censorship in a way that shows Brunetti to be the master of gag cartoons… especially ones about skull-fucking and severed dick lollies.
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Avocado Picker: 28, author, journalist... specialist subjects include: the Wire, the post X-Files career of Agent Scully, Bollywood music 1950-1970, Spider-man, Dare Devil, The Sopranos, British comedy 1990-present, the complete works of Chuck Palahniuk and Aniruddha Bahal, Arnie films pre- True Lies, and different uses for cheese in culinary situations.
The Mystery Voice: 30, software engineer, time waster... specialist subjects include: Linux (etc), C++ & PHP (and other animals, yawn), Physics (blah), British comedy past and present (yay), grand master Mornington Crescent (huh?), the incomplete works of Douglas Adams and Bill Bailey (wtf?)