An even larger collection, An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons & True Stories Vol. 2 (Yale University Press, $28) reflects editor Ivan Brunetti’s fascination with parody, perversion, and the dark side of imagination. The selections from some 85 cartoonists, all exquisite in their depth and imagination, flow together in transitions sometimes based on content, sometimes on mood, sometimes on style. There’s a long tribute to Mad magazine creator Harvey Kurtzman (including an essay by Adam Gopnik) and occasional Sunday strips from 50 or more years ago suggest the inspiration for contemporary work by Chris Ware and others. Brunetti’s own work is a glimpse into his selection process. Fantagraphics has just issued a second printing of his Misery Loves Company ($24.95), and this sickest and most psychologically troubled of cartoonists is worth seeking out to see how deranged—and revealing—the art form can be. Just don’t let the kids get ahold of it.

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