Unlikely TP Jeffrey Brown Clumsy Autobiographical


SKU: 15017 Category:


Unlikely GN
Published Jan 2007 by Top Shelf
1st printing
Story and art Jeffrey Brown

Top Shelf presents Jeffrey Brown’s classic, Unlikely, the follow-up to his debut hit, Clumsy. Brown continues to explore the nature of relationships in this story of how he lost his virginity. A full-length graphic novel of excruciating detail and intimacy, drawn in an awkward style that both disarms the reader and heightens the emotional impact of the work.

Mr. Brown seems to understand perfectly the day-to-day rhythms of the modern ‘young adult’ relationship.
“UNLIKELY, like his first book CLUMSY, is pretty much impossible to put down.”- Dan Clowes.
“A million little brilliant and honest moments are sewn into the rough panels of Unlikely.”- Wil Moss, NewCity Chicago.

Softcover, 5-in. x 7-in., 228 pages, B&W. Cover price $14.95.

Brown’s second autobiographical graphic novel mines similar territory to his debut, Clumsy. It tells of Brown losing his virginity at age 24 and the relationship that precedes and follows the event. Brown meets Allisyn at a party and they begin a slow courtship, culminating in a confused and uncomfortable sexual relationship, which then begins to eat away at their relationship in general. As with Clumsy, Brown makes an otherwise straightforward tale compelling. Unlikely is composed of vignettes, each isolating a moment in their relationship-a conversation, a party, hanging out-that deliver essential bits of thematic and emotional information. This allows readers to see the relationship as Brown experienced it, without the false strictures of quotidian continuity.

We see the pair only in the context of their togetherness; there are no subplots or narrative detours. Brown’s dialogue is perfect, lending the proceedings an unerring sense of authenticity. His drawing, ragged at first glance, is minimal, nuanced cartooning, using a minimum of lines for maximum effect. And remarkably, the work avoids the usual pitfalls of autobiographical comics: Brown never asks readers for pity, nor does he offer up a confession. There are no lyrical interludes, and the unsparing documentation ensures that voyeurism never enters into the mix. Through careful editing and scene selection, he lets the story unfold as though, in a sense, it didn’t happen to him. Readers are left with only the exterior facts, and must make up their own minds about the characters based solely on what Brown shows.

Like Clumsy, Unlikely is a collection of little episodes, slices of life. Brown has an unerring eye for the little inanities that make up real life… the tiny little moments that real relationships are made up of: when she looked at you from across the room the first time, when she went out to have a toke with your friends instead of staying to watch the end of the video with you, when she didn’t pick up the phone because she was sleeping instead of showing up for your date… . There are no huge plot turns here, just the unrelenting incremental buildup and later crumbling of an unlikely love affair. Reading the dialogue (there is really no narrative) and body language drawn in his innocent scratchy childlike lines, we nod our heads in understanding. We have all been there. I love reading Jeffrey Brown. Try it.

Near mint, 1st print.