The early 1980s saw a revolution in mainstream comics--in
subject matter, artistic integrity, and creators' rights--as new
methods of publishing and distribution broadened the possibilities.
Among those artists utilizing these new methods, Chester Brown (b.
1960) quickly developed a cult following due to the undeniable
quality and originality of his Yummy Fur (1983-1994).
Chester Brown: Conversations collects interviews
covering all facets of the cartoonist's long career and includes
several pieces from now-defunct periodicals and fanzines. Brown was
among a new generation of artists whose work dealt with decidedly
nonmainstream subjects. By the 1980s comics were, to quote a by-now
well-worn phrase, "not just for kids anymore," and subsequent
censorious attacks by parents concerned about the more salacious
material being published by the major publishers--subjects that
routinely included adult language, realistic violence, drug use,
and sexual content--began to roil the industry. Yummy Fur
came of age during this storm and its often-offensive content,
including dismembered, talking penises, led to controversy and
With Brown's highly unconventional adaptations of the Gospels,
and such comics memoirs as The Playboy (1991/1992) and
I Never Liked You (1991-1994), Brown gradually moved away
from the surrealistic, humor oriented strips toward
autobiographical material far more restrained and elegiac in tone
than his earlier strips. This work was followed by Louis
Riel (1999-2003), Brown's critically acclaimed comic book
biography of the controversial nineteenth-century Canadian
revolutionary, and Paying for It (2011), his best-selling
memoir on the life of a john.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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