Not only can local cartoonist Ivan Brunetti draw ’em, he can pick ’em too: An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories, a hefty, gorgeous tome he edited, featuring work by more than 70 artists, was published in October by Yale University Press. The scope is staggering. In addition to the usual suspects–Lynda Barry, Kim Deitch, Adrian Tomine, the brothers Hernandez, to name just a few–the volume is a showcase for a diverse collection of Chicago-area artists, from Henry Darger to Jeffrey Brown, with Daniel Raeburn (The Imp) contributing a concluding essay. Organized associatively, with comics from multiple eras grouped by shared themes and aesthetics, the collection ably illustrates Brunetti’s vision of “cartooning as a continuum.” Brunetti appears here with Saint Louisan Todd Hignite, the editor of Comic Art magazine and author of In the Studio: Visits With Contemporary Cartoonists (also from Yale), a big, beautifully illustrated collection of conversations with superstars like Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Robert Crumb, Chris Ware, and hey, Ivan Brunetti. The “visits” read like intimate chats with like-minded friends, with the artists revealing their creative processes and their influences and inspirations (Charles Schulz gets mentioned a lot, along with Mad magazine and Famous Monsters of Filmdom). Taken together the books are an exhaustive history of comics as told by its leading practitioners. a Sat 12/16, 5 PM, Chicago Comics, 3244 N. Clark, 773-528-1983.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Ivan Brunetti, Todd Hignite illustrations by Ivan Brunetti (top), Ted May.