Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mr. Illustrious - Ivan Brunetti

Here is a photo of Ivan Brunetti. Normally, I would do an interview much as I have done with other past and future interviewees, but Ivan beat me to the punch. He sent me a cartoon interview (see below). My interview, fascinating though it may be, can be supplemented by this interview with Ivan on youtube.

Ivan worked in my department, Marketing and Communications, as the webmaster for a number of months (previously he had the same job, but in a different department, for many years) and is now a full-time faculty member in the Art + Design Department at Columbia College. Clearly this demotion must have been devastating for Ivan. I'm sure that the loss of the word 'master' in his title took some getting used to. At staff meetings he was very quiet. I mean to the point that we hardly noticed he was there kind of quiet. If truth be told, he did make a very good coatrack. After his first volume of Anthology of Graphic Fiction, we congratulated him on this amazing accomplishment and then began to browbeat him which gave us all a sense of purpose. When I saw a review of this same book in the Sunday book section of the New York Times I was drinking soup which started coming out of my nose. This was due to my shock, surprise and delight, mind you, and not the seething jealousy that I felt rising up from my loins. Thank God I wasn't eating when I saw one of his cartoons on the cover of The New Yorker because I wouldn't have wanted to ruin a perfectly good magazine. After tearing the cover image with my teeth, I sat down for a good read all of a Sunday afternoon.

When I first met Ivan he was in an office on the fifth floor of the 600 S. Michigan Avenue building in an office that was no larger than a closet with smeary windows that looked out onto a fire escape. Since natural light couldn't possibly penetrate the blur of soot and grime that covered the window, the florescent lighting flickered above his head revealing tobacco-steeped walls and ceiling tiles from a time when employees used to type with cigarettes hanging between their lips. The decrepitude of this bygone era would have served Ivan well or it could have catapulted him out of the greasy window and onto the alley rats below.
Once again...congratulations Ivan from all of us chickens back in Marketing Communications. We think you're the ginchiest.

This is the cover of Ivan's new anthology of graphic fiction. You can purchase it on amazon.

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