from Clumsy
by Jeffrey Brown

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Artist's Note:

Toward the end of college I became interested in poetry, and much of my art was actually illustrated poetry. I was greatly inspired by the prose poems of Russell Edson and Charles Simic, the film Il Postino, as well as the host of poetry journals carried by the local bookstore. I think what I really liked about poetry was its attempt to capture a specific virtually indefinable feeling or idea, and to wrap it up in a neat little package. I also thought poetry had vast potential for humor. Of course, the one medium with more potential for humor than poetry is comics, I think. I had actually grown up reading comics and wanting to draw them for a living, though I stopped reading them when I left for college. As my interest in poetry waned, while on my way to grad school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, my interest in comics was rekindled. Still, some of what I wanted to do with the comics format reached for the same goals as my poetry had, and when I began work on my first comics project 'Clumsy' I envisioned it as almost a collection of poems in the comics form. Each part of 'Clumsy' is actually a moment translated into the form, trying to directly and immediately capture the feelings and meaning of that moment from my life. I jokingly added beneath the 'Clumsy' title the phrase 'A Novel' as a comment on the idea of how this book would or wouldn't be considered a graphic novel, when it was really something else, not a novel, even if the accumulation of each part creates its own sort of narrative. Taken alone, these one and two page segments work very much in the same way as poetry.

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