Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Bruno started in 1997. In a remarkable effort for a work so obviously imbued with blood, sweat and tears, Christopher Baldwin kept it going for eleven years, 3-7 times a week with a couple of breaks. It centered on the fairly mundane (by comic-book standards) adventures of an introverted, obsessive nonconformist. She drops out of college, tries to write, connects with other maladapted apes and loses these connections, tries to re-form them and abandons them again. She travels and gets scared of the wide world, she grows homesick and rediscovers her hatred for the places she abandoned. She gets run through the wringer for her egoism by those she's grown fond of even as they try to step in and save her from herself. She works menial jobs even as she tries to maintain her intellectual high ground.

In short Bruno is an amalgam of a great many qualities shared by misanthropes, self-hating narcissists and would-be philosophers. For those who can identify with such a personality, she makes a very appealing character. For those who cannot, she may still offer interesting glimpses of the inner life of introverts. At one point, i remember Baldwin himself saying that he likely semi-consciously created Bruno as a Jungian anima of himself. Certainly, the strip hit me pretty hard being one of the first i discovered that were worth reading while i was myself fresh out of high school and only beginning to butt heads with society at large.

There is little more i can say to present the strip. If you like Bruno herself, you'll like the rest of it. Her most concise characterization probably comes from one of the main recurring characters, in the last panel on this page.

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