The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti
Hoping to further increase his irrelevance to the esteemed world of graphic novels and thus cement his status as “former cartoonist,” the saturnine Ivan Brunetti (author of the acclaimed Misery Loves Comedy and editor of Yale Press’s two essential Anthologies of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons and True Stories) has compiled HO!, which collects the vast majority of his morally questionable, aesthetically confused — and absolutely gut-busting — “gag” cartoons.
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. Hopefully, this will keep the impressionable, young, and faint-of-heart unintrigued and at a distance, while those who appreciate a touch of the gallows in their humor can enjoy an uncomfortable chuckle or two before the merciless thumb of oblivion grinds us all into less than dust.
HO! further cements Brunetti’s reputation as the contemporary king of the gag cartoon, a sentiment echoed by noted comedian Patton Oswalt (The King of Queens, Comedians of Comedy) in his introduction.
“His festival of self-loathing, sexual depravity and brutal cynicism, is amazingly clever and incisive... for those with a taste for the most jaded views of our society and its inhabitants, Brunetti has long been a hero. Sharply self-aware, Brunetti informs his readers, I have a gift.... I can articulate what most people won’t even face.... and it is this concise and energetic articulation that makes his work so great.” – Publishers Weekly
“So caustic it’s impossible to ignore. Brunetti is amazingly ambitious, both in his misanthropy and his literacy.” – Spin