August 30, 2014 – February 15, 2015
Opening Reception Saturday, September 6, 2014, 4:00-6:00pm, Free and Open to the Public
The Cartoon Art Museum presents Stranger Than Life: The Cartoons and Comics of M.K. Brown, a retrospective featuring one of the funniest cartoonists of the last four decades. This historic exhibition includes the artist’s own personal favorites from all points in her career, and is on display from August 30, 2014 through February 15, 2015. The opening reception, featuring M.K. Brown’s guided tour of the exhibition, will take place on Saturday, September 6, 2014, from 4:00 to 6:00pm, and is free and open to the public.
Zippy The Pinhead creator Bill Griffith on M.K. Brown:
Here’s my checklist for everything I want in a cartoonist:
- Funny, but in a knowing, subtle way.
- Self-effacing, yet more than willing to vent a personal opinion.
- Channels anger and annoyance at society into keen social observation.
- Strong in the writing department with an ear for the rhythm and idiosyncrasy of speech. Characters come with back-stories.
- Easy-to-read lettering, but full of personality.
- All the people in the strips don’t look like they came from the same two parents.
- Deals with absurd, oddball things, but is not an absurd oddball away from the drawing table.
- Can really draw the hell out of: clothing folds, faces, perspective, cars, main streets, furniture, water, horses, pigs, shoes, snakes, insects, rocket ships, hair, and food.
- Chronicles the times we live in, but does so in a way that doesn’t “date.”
- Juxtaposition, juxtaposition, juxtaposition.
- Makes the personal universal, makes the universal personal.
- Everything flows. No connective tissue is left out.
- Pleasantly distorts human anatomy.
- Turns the orderly world we think we all live in upside down, shakes up our perceptions of normality—then hands everything back to us profoundly altered in some way only our subconscious minds truly understand.
- Really knows how to end a story.
Hey. I think I just summed up the wonderful, funny, insightful, beautifully crafted, stranger than life comics of M.K. Brown!
Stranger Than Life, published by Fantagraphics Books, is also the title of the definitive M.K. Brown collection, a body of work long savored by aficionados but never comprehensively presented—until now. Many of these cartoons and comics first appeared in The National Lampoon, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, and Playboy, as well as underground publications.
The Cartoon Art Museum’s retrospective of the same name includes the artist’s own personal favorites, from all points in her career.