Not only can local cartoonist Ivan Brunetti draw 'em, he can pick 'em too: An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories, a hefty, gorgeous tome he edited, featuring work by more than 70 artists, was published in October by Yale University Press. The scope is staggering. In addition to the usual suspects--Lynda Barry, Kim Deitch, Adrian Tomine, the brothers Hernandez, to name just a few--the volume is a showcase for a diverse collection of Chicago-area artists, from Henry Darger to Jeffrey Brown, with Daniel Raeburn (The Imp) contributing a concluding essay. Organized associatively, with comics from multiple eras grouped by shared themes and aesthetics, the collection ably illustrates Brunetti's vision of "cartooning as a continuum." Brunetti appears here with Saint Louisan Todd Hignite, the editor of Comic Art magazine and author of In the Studio: Visits With Contemporary Cartoonists (also from Yale), a big, beautifully illustrated collection of conversations with superstars like Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Robert Crumb, Chris Ware, and hey, Ivan Brunetti. The "visits" read like intimate chats with like-minded friends, with the artists revealing their creative processes and their influences and inspirations (Charles Schulz gets mentioned a lot, along with Mad magazine and Famous Monsters of Filmdom). Taken together the books are an exhaustive history of comics as told by its leading practitioners. a Sat 12/16, 5 PM, Chicago Comics, 3244 N. Clark, 773-528-1983.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Ivan Brunetti, Todd Hignite illustrations by Ivan Brunetti (top), Ted May.