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April 03, 2008

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CharlesWHatfield

Craig, great to see you writing about Binky Brown. You know I love that book; I wrote about it TCJ's "Top 100" and again in ALTERNATIVE COMICS (plug, plug). It's my favorite underground comix book, and, IMO, the best piece of sustained narrative from the underground period. Also a seminal work whose influence keeps spreading. Whenever I see memoirs of disease or disability in comics, and of course there are many, I see Binky's shadow.

One thing comes to mind when reading your analyses of particular moments in the book: Binky Brown really deserves to be reprinted in a larger format. I think this is true of just about all of Green's work: it's hyper-dense, with a kind of neurotic horror vacui going on on most pages, and constant deliberate shifts in rendering style, texture, etc. I mean, just think back to "Sweet Void of Youth," for example. Dense!

Most of the Green books I've seen looked cramped to me, and I think they would breathe more easily if they were a bit larger. One of Green's UG comix, Sacred and Profane, is printed oversized, and the work really benefits from the treatment. I'd say Binky Brown really deserves this kind of spacious presentation.

Let no one be fooled into thinking that Binky Brown is a mere confessional comic to be valued for the bravery of its content but not for the elegance of its execution. The book is a stunning display of cartooning, in which constant changes in the layouts and drawing are crucial to its narrative, its descriptive powers, and its argument. Green riffs on everything from Durer to Gould, and the results are beautiful.

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