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WE ALL DIE ALONE
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A collection of cartoons and jokes by Mark Newgarden
Edited by Dan Nadel, Designed by Helene Silverman
Fantagraphics Books, hardback, 224 pages, published Jan. 2006
ISBN 1-56097-661-6

Advance Praise:

"I am a great fan of Mark Newgarden's work and I'm happy to hear that it's about to be collected in book form. His writings and drawings brilliantly question the basic premise of cartooning. In his hands, the gag caption is raised to literature and the cliches of "cartoon drawing" are transformed into art. He has managed to find the kernel of poetry at the core of a long, and now largely bankrupt, tradition."
- Ben Katchor

"Mark Newgarden is where Ernie Bushmiller and Marcel Duchamp meet. Great stuff."
- Patrick McDonnell

"The secret behind Mark Newgarden's big-nosed barfly comics is that they are sporting world-class prose and advanced mental powers. And are funny as Hell!"
- Gary Panter

"I'm a fan of Mark Newgarden."
- Matt Groening

"I've been waiting for a book of Mark Newgarden's stuff most of my adult life. Somehow, he managed to retool the basic external elements of cartooning - big noses, panel gags, punch lines - into a sophisticated inner language of uncomfortably familiar self-mocking existential despair. Most everybody knows that 'funny' is really 'misery,' but his stuff gets as close to misery as it can without quite ever touching off the chain reaction that'll make you want to cut your head off - all the while staying hilarious. We 'youngsters' should be paying him reparations for stealing from him for all these years."
- Chris Ware

"Newgarden could well be the forgotten genius of pop culture's last quarter century."
- Tom Spurgeon, Res Magazine


Reviews:

The melding of brows "low, middle, and high" may have been the most important twentieth-century art trend, in which case Newgarden, whose 1983-91 work this plush (literally: stroke the cover), square volume showcases, may be the last great twentieth-century artist. Writer- draftsman Newgarden chose the gag cartoon, regarded as a type of both commercial, industrial art and vernacular comedy, as his principal metier. For Newgarden, gag cartoons' verbal and ideational content is as and sometimes more important than the visual content, which sets him quite apart from comics-quoting pop artists, than whom a less verbally adept crew is hard to find. One set of Newgarden's stuff consists of one-panel drawings perched over often-scabrous captions so voluminous that they amount to short stories. Another part of his work is all same-size panel pieces, including the wordless Little Nun series as well as the excruciating Pud + Spud episodes, in which two brothers yammer in square panels so small that one's eyes give out long before the text does. The tenor of Newgarden's humor ranges from cruel absurdity to nose-thumbing satire to cool faux-intellectualism (the last, in particular, runs rampant in the Industrial Toilet Paper Wrapper Design Of N.Y.C. series). If one warms to Newgarden at all, he is very, very, very funny. As the concluding gallery of others' art that inspired him demonstrates, even his taste is hilarious. -Ray Olson
- Booklist (starred review)

Exploring the detritus of our consumer culture, Newgarden reworks comics cliches to show the lighter side of despair. Back in the '80s, he created the Garbage Pail Kids, satirizing the lovable cuteness of products manufactured for children. Since then, in a variety of underground publications, he has subverted everyday icons and parodied traditional "joke" merchandise. Most people would merely glance at a trite cartoon showing two big-nosed guys in a bar, a man on a desert island, a clown with a psychiatrist, etc.; Newgarden is fascinated by why those images became the stock in trade for cheap, disposable humor productions. He wonders if laughing at a stupid hillbilly, an alienated drunk or a prisoner on death row lets us repress the pain of our own frustrations. The drawings here work perfectly as quickie cartoons, but they also extend themselves, turning into desperate, hysterical rants.. From an ad for the Little Nun's stigmata gloves and edible rosary to an exhibition of real toilet paper wrappers, Newgarden treats nothing as sacred. In fact, he suspects that we cherish whatever distracts us from our problems. Beautifully produced-the covers are black velvet-this book shows the results of his study aren't exactly comforting, but they are fascinating and funny as hell.
- Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

"No cartoonist needs a whole graphic novel when he can say all he needs to with one big panel containing the following words: "Imagine A Drawing Of Dennis The Menace" and "Imagine A Sentence Of Samuel Beckett's."
- The Onion/A.V. Club
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"We All Die Alone collects 20 years of Newgarden highlights from underground mags like RAW and alt-weeklies like the New York Press, and showcases an artist as playful as he is experimental. A self-described "graphic alchemist," junk historian, and connoisseur of big noses, Newgarden repeatedly deconstructs the gag cartoon form, confronting and confounding his audience's expectations."
- The Village Voice

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ead the rest

"In the hands of Mark Newgarden, the gag cartoon is taken to new heights, and new lows."
- The Vancouver Courier

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"We All Die Alone showcases a decade of important art that might otherwise have slipped away."
-
The Phoenix
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"The sumptuously designed, felt-embossed volume from Fantagraphics catches audiences up with the fertile oeuvre of Newgarden, who has been plugging away at his literary and nihilistic underground comics for over two decades."
- The Portland Mercury

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"Large noses it seem that mark of Newgarden is already have and keep savage bring together in a kloeke cord. Of everything a beetje eventually continues gnaw the question: why this cord? What is the lying behind philosophy of this expenditure?"
- 8 Weekly (Amsterdam)

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We All Die Alone is the first collection of work by cartoonist Mark Newgarden. It gathers over twenty years of his comics output, encompassing his tenure at the influential comics anthology RAW as well as his cult-classic syndicated comic, "Newgarden", and all points in between.