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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 219

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at Chester Brown’s Yummy Fur!

Enjoy!

Okay, as twisted and as messed up as Yummy Fur is, what’s even more surprising about it is that it is more than 25 years old! This is stuff that would be seen as edgy NOW, so just imagine the fact that this was coming out before Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns!!!

After a couple of issues reprinting his early mini-comics, Brown settled in to a fairly consistent mix for the series, one story starring Ed the Happy Clown (the most popular character from Yummy Fur) and another story…well, I’ll get to the other story later.

So, Ed the Happy Clown is this bizarre, twisted story that begins with weird stuff and only gets weirder as time goes by, but it’s also strangely engaging.

Here is how the story begins, with Ed the Happy Clown finding a hand under his pillow…

Okay, so this eventually leads Ed to prison then out of prison into the sewers where he is being hunted by pygmies (who are, in turn, hunted by a mother and daughter team of pygmy hunters that end up attacking Ed, as well, who has also meets the President of the United States (from an alternate dimension) who makes his way to Ed’s reality, only in the most opportune place – Ed’s penis).

Here is a sample from this time…

See? The closest example that I’ve seen to Yummy Fur is likely what Parker and Stone do on South Park – bizarre, outlandish stuff that somehow actually comes together as a plot when all is said and done.

Meanwhile, while the Ed stories were going on, Brown also had THIS series…adapting the Book of Mark…

Yessir, Yummy Fur was one heck of a strange comic, but it’s also a good one.

7 Comments

Kinda reminds me of the Flaming Carrot.

Yeah, I can see that.

LouReedRichards

August 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I bought a trade collection of Ed The Happy Clown in the early ’90s. It blew me away. Several of my friends (both male and female) borrowed it and really enjoyed it. Not a one of them were into comics at all, but they all loved Ed. For me, it served as a perfect example of how indie comics could appeal to a larger audience than mainstream comics.

I’ve still never gotten around to checking out the rest of Yummy Fur. Gotta do that someday.

I love Ed the Happy Clown. Mental brilliant stuff!

I… am pretty glad that I’m at home right now and not checking this from work. Could we get a NSFW on posts like these? The comic looks pretty cool, but I’d hate to catch shit for clicking on this and having images of a guy talking to his penis show up on my work cpu.

Thanks.

Ed the Happy Clown is one of my all-time favorite mind-fuck stories from any medium. Like LouReedRichards, I loaned my copy to several non-comic readers, and they all loved it. Even my father loved it, and he has trouble suspending disbelief even a little bit. The only people I’ve known to dislike this were comic fans who exclusively read superhero books.

The trade-paperback collection differs significantly from the original serialization in Yummy Fur. The last few chapters were discarded entirely and replaced with a much shorter final chapter with a much blunter ending. I no longer have the original comics, so it’s been almost twenty years since I’ve read them and I don’t remember details, but the stuff Brown removed for the collected version was some of the sickest, most twisted stuff of the entire series. Maybe he thought he’d gone off the rails, I don’t know, but I wish I’d kept those issues (the back-up stories make me wish that also). I do reread the collected version every couple of years.

“… what’s even more surprising about it is that it is more than 25 years old! This is stuff that would be seen as edgy NOW, so just imagine the fact that this was coming out before Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns!!!”

It’s not all that surprising that it came out 25 years ago. Lot of great, ground-breaking, and very successful things came out in the 80′s — Love & Rockets, Maus, Journey, Flaming Carrot, Eightball, etc. And they were inspired by the great underground comix of the 60s and 70s being created by Robert Crumb, Bill Griffith, Kim Deitch, Justin Green, Lynda Barry, Harvey Pekar, etc. And those artists were themselves inspired by the great EC comics of the 50s. And the EC creators were inspired by the legendary comic strips of 20s, 30s, and 40s.

I believe the major contribution that Watchmen and Dark Knight made to the medium in the 80s was basically to look at the best of what was out there and to challenge everyone working with the mainstream publishers to up their game.

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