Tag Archives: Jeffrey Brown

Comics and Cultural Work: Conclusion by Casey Brienza

As I wrote in my introduction to this Comics Forum Special Theme Month on Comics and Cultural Work:

[R]esearch into cultural work has thus far been broadly concerned with the following two questions: 1) Is cultural work distinctive from other forms of work? and 2) Is it exploitative? I will not rehearse the debates around these two questions as they have been performed in the study of other cultural sectors, from Hollywood to handicrafts, at this time. Instead, I ask you to watch this space and commend you to the thought-provoking contributions of Benjamin Woo, Paddy Johnston, and Tom Miller, which will be posted in the coming weeks. Each of these scholars has, each in his own way as researcher, reader, or cultural worker, begun to grapple with precisely these two questions.

(Brienza 2013)

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Comics and the Day Job: Cartooning and Work in Jeffrey Brown and James Kochalka’s Conversation #2 by Paddy Johnston

James Kochalka is a prolific cartoonist known largely for his autobiographical comic American Elf (1998-2012), which ran daily for almost eleven years before he called time on it last year. The early years of American Elf chronicle his transition from working as a waiter to becoming a full-time cartoonist, with candid portrayals of the trials this career choice brought with it. Kochalka has also written some short and pithy essays about his own philosophy of comics and cartooning in prose and comic form, which are collected in a short book called The Cute Manifesto (2005) and have titles such as ‘The Horrible Truth About Comics.’ He has a clear vision of what comics, art and cartooning should be, with an aversion to craft and technical skill.

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