Friday, 28 September 2012

THE CLIFF - Books 1&2 - Graphic Novel launch this weekend!

This weekend is the official launch of Graphic Novel THE CLIFF - Books 1&2 at the TRANZAC in Toronto--Saturday, October 6, 2012... violin genius Ezra Azmon and others will be performing! 

Discounted cover price; author Matthew Brown available to sign and chat; and a good time guaranteed for all!  Drinks will be available within the establishment; no cover charge; children welcome!

6pm to midnight.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Sketchbook Archives: Part III (2002) - Penguin, Elephant, Old Man, Bunny

Being a cheerful penguin, Poopsie the Penguin 
sings Joy Division.

The old sun.

This is the birth of rock 'n' roll.

Les interruptions sur la terre.
(An homage to "Love and Rockets" No.1 cover
by Jaime Hernandez)

The voice of Christmas.


Old man with bunny.


Roommate Noah Bunnet must
have said this to me at some point.


Jesse Demb makes his appearance again,
this time with a new cabinet.


The one - the incomparable! -
Dufferin subway station.


Captain Rabbit:
Make him angry.


My old friend Juan Aragon from high school,
enjoys a pizza.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Sketchbook Archives: Part II (2001 - Toronto, LA, India, Korea)

This and the following I did as a series of automatic brush and ink drawings.  I tried to produce them as rapidly as possible, with no mental editing.  Hence several drawings are excluded from this post, since they were either not very good or they were too explicit for posting!

The heart-and-airplane motif appears again in "The Sad Elephant," a comic story I did for mini-comic Fear Itself  #7 (2003.)

Pint glass

Neil, my sister's husband

Bubi Rae, my grandfather's 3rd wife (of 45 years,)
in Los Angeles.  Since passed on.

My Grandpa Sol (now passed away)
Los Angeles

The above drawing was kind of a throw-away at the time,
now it's one of my favourites.  I arrived in India
for my 3rd visit on September 9, 2001.

Bangladeshi film producer on a train,

King business bull at dinner time.

Monks on a train,

Lokamitta, a monk whose name meant "Friend of
the World", on a train in India

Detail from the stupa at Salbari Buddha Gompa,
West Bengal, where my brother lived on and
off for 7 years.  (The rest of the time he
was in Nepal.)

Sangdon Yi at a Buddhist temple in
the mountains, Korea. 

Trees on a mountain,

SeJin and YiSu, friends of Sangdon,

Sangdon's brother's apartment,
2:30am, Korea

Seoul subway

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Sketchbook Archives: Part I (2000-2002)

Hallway at 2323 Yonge St.

I have been carrying around piles of sketchbooks for several years, from one apartment to the other.  These drawings have been waiting patiently to be useful for something other than gathering dust, and now here they are.  They offer a snapshot of where I was, who my friends were and what my attitudes were from 2000 to 2002.

  This is a teapot in Buddha's Vegetarian Restaurant in Toronto, with Galen's camera behind it.  Galen Kuellmer is no longer with us, and I can't bear to scan in the many drawings I made of him over the years before his untimely death in 2004.  So this drawing will have to stand in as my tribute to a dear friend who helped inspire me to return to my art.

This is Greg Mount (aka Pasada.)  We shared many a beer in Korea Town with various friends we knew through the Zen Buddhist Temple.

This is Sangdon Yi, who was briefly my roommate at the Zen Buddhist Temple.  He bought me a vacuum cleaner over the Internet many years later as a wedding gift, and is now the father of two lovely children in South Korea.

Tough love!

I think I remember making this drawing as a demonstration to someone during a beer drinking session of what the hand could do if the mind didn't interfere.  It looks to me now very emotionally charged.

This is Dave Smaller.  I stole his shoe in Grade 8.  In Montreal, he taught me the importance of bringing bagels when visiting someone else's apartment.  Many years later he had a job driving other peoples' cars across North America, from city to city.

This is Jesse Demb, who introduced me to Fugazi, community co-ops and radical activism.  He is a prince of a man.

I was trying to fit all of Erik Paulsson onto one page, so I warped him a bit.  Erik and I hitch-hiked across Canada at the age of 19, and now he is a documentary film maker.  He is a dynamic force of nature.

I can't remember whether I intended this drawing to be tongue-in-cheek.  Now it just comes across as pleasant.

When I launched my self-published mini-comic "Fear Itself" #7 in Toronto in 2002, I made a reference to the cover for the old mini-comic "Fear Itself" #2 which my friend Marc Tessier had published in Montreal, back in 1990. 

On the old cover Poopsie the Penguin was peeing on his teacher, Ms. Milk's lap.  On the new cover he's peeing on the Sad Elephant's lap.  For some reason I didn't use this cover.  I think it's funnier than the one I went with.

I met Goran Petkovic at one of Galen's dinner parties and he seemed like a cool sarcastic guy.  We met for a drink and he later helped me get my first job in architecture.  I have no idea what Goran is doing now, but we both liked this drawing of him smoking a cigarette.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Matthew Brown - A Short Comic Book Bio - 1989-2012

Matthew Brown’s first cartoon was published in NOW Magazine in January, 1989.

“Boony Boy Encounters the
Rational Thought Process” from
NOW Magazine Jan. 5-11, 1989

While still in high school he self-published the photocopied comic book Entropy, introducing his iconic character Poopsie the Penguin, and had a few pieces published in local magazines and compendiums.

Poopsie the Penguin about to destroy
the world accidentally in his first

Soon thereafter Brown participated in the Montreal underground comix scene along with cartoonists Simon Bosse, Alex Lafleur, Siris, Julie Doucet, Marc Tessier, Stephane Olivier, Richard Suicide, Martin Lemm and many others from 1991-1993 with his photocopied mini-comic book Fear Itself, published by Gogo Guy Publications.  Brown joined lancements (launchings,) b.d.-en-directs (public comic book jams) and mural paintings, as well as earning a degree in Theatre from Concordia University.  The Montreal Mirror wrote of his comic book work that Brown “… presents meandering David Lynch narratives involving a penguin character who has the makings to become a minor cult figure.” (THE MIRROR - Montreal - Oct 31 - 91 - Vol7-No20, "Tintin goes underground: Welcome to the small and bizarre world of alternative cartoonists," by Jack Ruttan.)


The covers to Fear Itself`#'s 1,3, 4 and 5
published in Montreal by Gogo Guy
Publications, 1991-1992

During this period Brown got positive comments and words of encouragement through mail correspondence with prominent comic book artists Chester Brown, Dan Clowes, Dave Sim, Jim Woodring and Terry Laban.
After two trips to India in 1995 and 1996 Brown entered the field of education and dropped off comic book output, concentrating on writing, his career and meditation. 

"The Samsaric Ocean", first page
from Fear Itself # 6
 , 2002

During a Buddhist retreat in 2001 Brown had a vision and returned to comic books, self-publishing issues 6 and 7 of his previous photocopied mini-comic book Fear Itself in 2002 and 2003 under the banner of Ambient Zero Publications.  During this time Brown dove into Toronto`s D.I.Y. zine scene, flogging his wares at the Canzine and Cut and Paste zine fairs, taking part in the Cameron House Comic Book Jams and organizing launches with live music for books by himself and other artists.
After studying Design for two years at OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design,) Brown self-published the photocopied mini-comic book The Cliff (Book One) in 2005, where he attempted for the first time to tackle mature emotional relationships in his work, in addition to the usual surreal, nightmare humour and compassion of his stories.

The covers to Fear Itself`# 6
The Cliff (Book One)

From 2005-2008 Brown pursued a Master`s of Architecture at the University of Toronto, during which time he became completely exhausted and disenchanted with artistic output.  Several months short of completing the program he dropped out and accepted an offer to become principal of a small private high school.

However, in 2011 Editions TRIP published Fear Itself: Matthew Brown`s Comix from 1988-2008, a 200-page anthology which they launched at TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival).  Brown had been away from comic books for long enough to notice the scene had changed in many positive ways.

Signing a copy of the Fear Itself compendium at TCAF (Toronto Comic
Arts Festival,) May, 2011

This was the seed of a renewed love for comic books and Brown has now returned with his first full graphic novel: The Cliff—Books 1&2, a 64-page epic further exploring the Alice in Wonderland-dystopia fairy tale world he established in Book One from 2005 with a completely new chapter drawn 7 years later, exploring the highs and lows of relationships, power struggles, the quest for identity and the consequences of not paying for samosas.

The new book will be launched in Toronto at TRANZAC (Brunswick, just south of Bloor) on Saturday, October 6, from 6pm onwards for discounted cover price, accompanied by live music from violin virtuoso Ezra Azmon and others.  No admission.  It will be a celebration and all are invited.
Brown can be reached at this blog and at his email,