posted October 10, 2012

VWS to Feature Hope Graduate Jeffrey Brown on Oct. 23

The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series of Hope College will feature 1997 Hope graduate and graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown during the Fifth Annual Tom Andrews Memorial Reading on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

His multi-media presentation will feature his forthcoming graphic memoir “A Matter of Life” (TopShelf, July 2013).  During the event, he, Hope students and a band will perform with pages of the graphic memoir projected on a screen.

Brown will also participate in a question-and-answer session on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 11 a.m. in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.  The public is invited and admission is free to the Q&A as well.

Originally from Grand Rapids, Brown graduated from City High Middle School in 1993 before attending Hope, where he majored in art.  He moved to Chicago, Ill., in 2000 to pursue an MFA at the School of the Art Institute.

By the time he completed his MFA, he had abandoned painting and started drawing comics seriously. He splashed onto the comics scene with the self-published relationship memoir “Clumsy,” which earned praise from cartoonists and readers alike, and was eventually picked up by Top Shelf. Many acclaimed graphic novels followed, establishing Brown as both a hyper-sensitive chronicler of bittersweet romance (“Unlikely,” “Any Easy Intimacy”) and a deadpan master of absurdist humor (“Incredible Change-Bots,” “Sulk,” “I Am Going to Be Small,” and “Darth Vader and Son”).

His work has been featured in Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and he occasionally teaches comics at the School of The Art Institute. A film he co-wrote, “Save the Date,” starring Alison Brie and Lizzy Caplan, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and will be released by IFC Films later this year. Brown lives and works in Chicago.

Brown is also among the Hope alumni with work in the Alumni Art Show featured in the gallery of the De Pree Art Center from Friday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Nov. 18.  Following an opening reception on Friday, Oct. 12, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., the gallery will be open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission is free.

Every year one reading in the Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series is done in honor of Tom Andrews (1961-2001), a 1984 Hope graduate who was born and grew up in West Virginia. Following Hope, he earned his M.F.A. at the University of Virginia. In his lifetime, Andrews published three books of poems and a memoir, “Codeine Diary,” about his coming to terms with his hemophilia and his determined refusal to let it circumscribe his life. He also edited two collections of essays, “The Point Where All Things Meet: Essays on Charles Wright” and “On William Stafford: The Worth of Local Things.” In 2002, Oberlin College Press published “Random Symmetries: The Collected Poems of Tom Andrews,” a posthumous volume comprised of two previously published books of poetry, “The Brother’s Country” and “The Hemophiliac’s Motorcycle,” and other works.

Additional information is available online at hope.edu/vws.

The De Pree Art Center is located at 160 E. 12th St., on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.  The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St.  The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.