THE LITTLE MAN collects several short stories from Chester Brown's seminal Yummy Fur and charts his development over the years as he taught himself how to use his own voice. Besides watching this most talented cartoonist develop on the page over the years are the annotations Brown has included at the end of the work, offering his thoughts on the pieces both then and now.
At best, short story collections like this don't add to a creator's canon per se but rather give readers and fans the chance to watch them flex muscles they'd ordinarily not use, to experiment and play freely with their ideas and to fall on their faces just as often as craft something clever and worthwhile.
From short autobiographical bursts to the free associative nightmares of the title piece, THE LITTLE MAN is a strange, rollicking little book as exciting as flipping through the pages of a master's sketchbook. You can feel Brown getting smarter with each successive piece.
Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.