Joe Brainard's Nancy


Over at Comic-Con International 2009, Fantagraphics Books has announced that they will soon re-release the complete run of the Ernie Bushmiller-penned (and Joe Brainard-beloved) comic strip Nancy.

One wonders if Fantagraphics kept tabs on the resurgent discussion of Nancy that came about through  Siglio Press's re-issue of Brainard's Nancy work last fall.  Jordan Davis wrote an excellent piece about the book last September--a great mix of scholarship, biography, and art history that touches on both New York Schools, pop, queer theory, and John Cage.  I heartily recommend anyone who hasn't yet go on ahead and take a click.

Re-reading it, I had a wave of nostalgia for a time I never lived through (common occurrence), and then a bout of curmudgeonly harumphing about how terrible newspaper comics are now (Get Fuzzy just doesn't do it for me).  I wonder if, more than internet ad sales and blographers,  the decline of newspapers is directly related to the decline of good newspaper comics?

Anyways, Iain, it's not quite my butt, but perhaps it will do for now:


Originally Published: July 27th, 2009

Travis Nichols is the author of two books of poetry: Iowa (2010, Letter Machine Editions) and See Me Improving (2010); and he is the author of two novels: Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder (2012) and The More You Ignore Me (2013). He has contributed to The Believer, Paste, The...

  1. July 27, 2009
     Miriam Levine

    Nancy is such a splendid brat. Does she need a penis?

  2. July 28, 2009

    No she doesn't.\r
    she has her own\r
    beautiful equipment.

  3. July 28, 2009


  4. July 29, 2009

    Nancy did NOT have her own beautiful equipment--at least not until Brainard "revealed" it.

  5. July 30, 2009

    Harriet's a boy's club. Nancy with her penis fits right in I'd say.\r

    Honestly, do you find this funny? And what's with the dude with the orange hair, chains and pudgy hands? \r

    Seriously, Harriet. Have you nothing better to do with your time than show us some girl's little dick?

  6. July 31, 2009
     Travis Nichols

    Harriet has a lot of better things to do, Henriette, which is why Rebecca, Eileen, Joel, Annie, and Cathy have all posted about other things besides these gender-bending comics over the past few days. \r

    It's nice to see the works still have the capacity to ruffle feathers, though. I wonder if you could say more about why they ruffle yours so much? Though before you respond, I do highly recommend you read Jordan's article linked to above, or perhaps David Schmader's appreciation from The Stranger. There's more to the art than the waggling equipment.

  7. August 1, 2009

    I just got back and my partner says to me, hey, somebody's talking to you on Harriet. So I look, and now I know I won't sleep.\r

    If ruffling feathers is what you find interesting, Travis, because I sure don't see any other interest here. I also don't see anybody else interested either. It's not that the material is offensive, it's the way you present it, and the context. Superior.\r

    Too many Harriet posts are like this, all macho kitsch and glitter. You and the other guys laugh your heads off. We're just not interested and don't bother to come anymore.

  8. August 3, 2009

    I hate laughter! And glitter!

  9. August 3, 2009
     Travis Nichols

    No one should lose sleep over Harriet, so apologies for any whiff of confrontational superiority that may have caused such a thing (though I think I like the "macho kitsch and glitter"; in fact, I think it's something I've been aiming for all my life!). Sincerely, though, I am always interested in directions/approaches/ideas for Harriet, so feel free to shoot me an email to discuss it further.