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Undeleted Scenes

by Jeffrey Brown

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696329,019 (3.55)2
Undeleted Scenes presents a decade's worth of shorter works from indie comics legend Jeffrey Brown. This huge compendium contains stories from the previous collections Minisulk, Every Girl Is the End of the World for Me, and Feeble Attempts, as well as Jeffrey's work from anthologies such as Kramers Ergot and McSweeney's, plus rare material from minicomics and elsewhere, including dozens of pages of never-before-seen material. Spanning humor, autobiography, and beyond, some of Jeffrey's most beloved comics are in here - including the fan-favorite self-parody collection Be A Man!… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
At first I wasn't so sure about this compilation--the stories weren't very engaging and both the drawing and the writing were sloppy enough I had a hard time deciphering it all. However, it picked up momentum, and I came to really appreciate the honest take on his own thoughts and behavior as well as those around him. "Pregnant Pause" and "Be a Man" were my particular faves. ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
Summary: A collection of short stories / vignettes and a few one-offs, some of which are collected from Brown's other works, and some of which have never before been published. There are some pieces from childhood, but most of the pieces seem to take place in the early-to-mid 2000s, and largely involve his relationships (and lack thereof.)

Review: I guess I should have expected this from the title, but I found the vignette nature of this collection to be really disjointed, which is the best word I have for the entire collection. Just from a layout point of view, there aren't always good titles or breaks to be able to tell when we're switching from one story to another. The tone of the book is similarly disjointed, flipping from funny (I guess? Sort of a bleak chuckle funny, rather than a laugh out loud funny.) to pathos and back again. Some pieces were good (I thought the one about 9/11 and the war in Iraq being like reality shows was particularly nicely observed) but a lot of the ones about his relationships just didn't connect, probably because they're really hard to follow. I also don't really care for the drawings - I found most of the non-him people hard to tell apart, even when he included a dramatis personae, and this wasn't helped by the lack of clear delineation between the stories, as mentioned above. I also found his lettering really hard to read in places, which made it even harder to follow. And on this subject, I feel like the comic about him responding to critics that don't care for the art style or the lettering (or the self-pitying tone of some of the works) is kind of manipulative - like, if he points it out first then we can't criticize it without seeming petty or mean?

I liked his later book A Matter of Life well enough, although I had some similar issues with the vignette format. But I think his work is maturing with him - his art style definitely does - so this collection doesn't make me particularly interested in seeking out more of his early work. 3 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: If autobiographical / indie comics are your thing, then you might find more here to relate to than I did. But I think there are other books out there that do something similar to what this book is trying to accomplish, but they do it better. ( )
  fyrefly98 | May 10, 2017 |

3.5

This volume collects a slew of autobiographical comix from Brown's career to date, including selections from earlier books and previously unpublished work. Some of the longer stories were originally published as mini-comics, now long out of print, while many are one-pagers that first appeared in other publications. It was both strange and interesting to see the few examples included of his work done in a cleaner style (Brown is a trained 'fine artist' yet often draws in a messy, scratchy style). This is likely not the best book to start with for readers new to Brown's work, as it is somewhat random and disjointed. For the most part it's a 'kitchen sink' type collection, and yet it also includes some of his most popular work. Perhaps the intention was to elicit new readers with the latter, since many existing Brown fans will have already read these pieces. As a result, though, the book suffers from an identity crisis, teetering between 'best of' and 'uncollected works', two vastly different concepts. Past readers will find the usual self-deprecation and relationship drama that characterizes much of Brown's earlier work. Chiefly recommended for readers who enjoyed that work. ( )
  S.D. | Apr 4, 2014 |
I love Jeffery Brown. His books are so honest that I hate recognizing myself in some of the more embarassing stories. The illustrations are weird to me sometimes (e.g. baby faced characters with wiskers). ( )
  drmarymccormack | Jul 20, 2011 |
so frank, I really got into this book. Another excellent one from Jeffrey Brown ( )
  savoytruffles | Aug 8, 2010 |
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Undeleted Scenes presents a decade's worth of shorter works from indie comics legend Jeffrey Brown. This huge compendium contains stories from the previous collections Minisulk, Every Girl Is the End of the World for Me, and Feeble Attempts, as well as Jeffrey's work from anthologies such as Kramers Ergot and McSweeney's, plus rare material from minicomics and elsewhere, including dozens of pages of never-before-seen material. Spanning humor, autobiography, and beyond, some of Jeffrey's most beloved comics are in here - including the fan-favorite self-parody collection Be A Man!

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