Very Casual Paperback – 16 May 2013
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Winner of the 2013 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Artist
"One of the most exciting and unpredictable cartoonists working in comics, Michael DeForge has a unique perspective that juggles humor, tragedy, whimsy and horror to create unforgettable stories." - Oliver Sava, Los Angeles Times
"Michael DeForge is well on his way towards enshrinement as one of the seminal cartoonists of his generation ... His work displays obvious and pervasive influences - Chris Ware, Hideshi Hino - but DeForge doesn't merely borrow style tricks from these masters, instead transforming them into something entirely original." - Jason Michelitch, Wired
"The guy is more than just a dabbler. He's a mad scientist of comics ... Michael DeForge makes comics. We get to read them. It's an ideal relationship, really." - Timothy Callahan, Comic Book Resources
"Often compared to "Ghost World" author Daniel Clowes, DeForge creates bizarre, complex, nuanced art that will stay in your head long after you've turned the page." - Bookish
"DeForge is having a moment; he took home three Ignatz Awards at this year's Small Press Expo, which almost never happens. As much as anyone in art comics, his monstrously creative, deeply surreal strips dump you into his head and let you wander around but never get you totally lost." - Joe Gross, Austin American-Statesman
"If you think stories about meat-filled snowmen, dog hybrids, or forest drag queens is your taste, then this is the book for you. Absolutely wonderful from front to back." - Iann Robinson, Crave Online
"DeForge is the current darling of the art-comics scene, and these body-horror-as-black-comedy short stories demonstrate why." - Douglas Wolk, TIME
"The author's first book, Very Casual is a collection of restive, peculiar tales that squirm as you read them like germs under a microscope, or like weird teens in love." - Sean Rogers, "The Globe Books 100: "Best Comics," The Globe and Mail
"This rising, Ignatz-winning star is already a master at making arresting images with clever narrative depth. He's a one-man theater of the absurd, the enchanting and the grotesque." - Michael Cavna, "Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2013," The Washington Post
"Prolific young Canadian-born avant-garde artist DeForge has become one of his generation's most admired cartoonists, and this is his first sizable collection...While often willfully unsettling, DeForge's work resonates on many levels." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"[Very Casual] collects perverse, funny, haunting stories by the Canadian cartoonist Michael DeForge, whose pet subject is the overwhelming creepiness of bodies. Everything and everyone in his drawings is dripping, bubbling and developing unsightly growths. He warps and dents the assured, geometrical forms of vintage newspaper strips and new wave-era graphics into oddly adorable horrors; his stories are prone to whiplash formal shifts." - Douglas Wolk, The New York Times
"I've discovered the work of Michael DeForge, which I'm really digging." - Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man, Powers, Alias), The Nerdist
"Laid out side by side, DeForge's sub rosa sense of humour is what comes through the most: it's so dry that it can slip by unnoticed in individual works, but taken as a whole, it's as stark and pointed as his lines are dripping and chaotic." - David Berry, National Post
"This brilliant compilation, which features his awesome b-ball comic among many others, sublimely grounds the strangest, ickiest, oozingest ideas into narrative forms that are both so familiar and so fresh that these feel as real as your hand and as strangely unreal as your REM sleep brain's best meanderings. And the jokes are funny, too! One of the best comix collections of the Millennium (so far)." - Roctober Magazine
"Post Fort Thunder indie-comics weirdness meets twisted body horror meets goofy bigfoot cartooniness. But weirdness aside- these are compelling stories told in an entertaining way. I really liked this book and I look forward to new things from Deforge." - Auckland City Libraries
"If you aren't reading Michael DeForge, I don't know what you're doing with your life." - Timothy Callahan, Comic Book Resources
"DeForge's world is not for the squeamish. But it is one whose grotesqueries increasingly mirror, rather than distort, the mundane world with which we think we are familiar." - Sean Rogers, The Globe and Mail
"DeForge a fantasist and a horrorist and a humorist who doesn't seem interested in any of the established rules for any of those genres. In his hands, they aren't even genres, they are something else. Impressions. Moments. Dreams of something else.His comics are the best of the year so far. And he's so prolific, I expect we will see more from him before the year is done." - Timothy Callahan, Comic Book Resources
"Very Causal collects a number of Deforge's non-Lose stories - his contributions to websites, anthologies and mini-comics. Also weirdly excellent." - Benn Ray, Largehearted Boy
"Very Casual is a great introduction to DeForge's work, and is essential reading for fans of the strange or bizarre...DeForge is really starting to make waves, and those waves will only get bigger; make sure you get on board now." - Nate Derr, Darling Dork
"Michael DeForge's art style is so on-point and pretty to look through, just peering from panel to panel can make anyone interested in his deranged, psychedelic cartooning." - Kevin Cortez, Drawn Words
"His [DeForge's] newest releases-a collection of convention minis and other short run one-offs called Very Casual, and the fifth issue of whatever-he feels-like Lose series-is exactly what one arrogantly screeches all cartoonists should be doing all the time: great, unique comics that only that individual could make that are a little better than their previous work, hearty and head-rushing experiences that plainly demand attention and then reward it easily." - Tucker Stone, The Comics Journal
"Michael DeForge is one of the most striking and popular talents in alternative comics...Even within the most outrageously creepy narrative setup, they [DeForge's comics] still reflect his generation's joys and concerns: their tentative explorations of life, from sexuality and relationships to education, jobs and drugs, their attempts to come to grips with their places in the world and to achieve a measure of comfort inhabiting their own skins." - James Romberger, Publishers Weekly
"This generation's Chris Ware-meets-Dan-Clowes-meets-Charles-Burns, darling of the art comics world-and rightfully so...This is a work of supreme skill and unique sensibility. And, perhaps most importantly, it's an exciting book-filled with comics that don't look or read like the pages produced by anyone else-that could only have come from the singular talent of Michael DeForge." - Tim Callahan, Comic Book Resources
"Michael DeForge's work exists in a universe where the creative overlap between William Burroughs and David Cronenberg is the biological fabric of the universe." - Brian Heater, Boing Boing
"DeForge is a major new alternative comics talent who applies his rapidly developing skills to a range of short stories, many of which skew towards the unnerving or horrific, all of which are rendered in a signature avant-garde style." - Sam Costello, Full Stop
Praise for Cody
"Cody is, I would submit, a very "Lynchian" work in that it exposes a secret society that exists quietly all around you, whose existence can only be measured by looking at the bottoms of fences or in rain gutters or skidding across the road when the wind picks up." -Dylan Thomas, from ComicsAlliance's Best Comics of 2012
Praise for Spotting Deer
"Visually, Spotting Deer is a delight, a virtuoso display of stylistic variety. The colours are startlingly unnatural as are the appropriations of different art styles, ranging from newspaper comics to video games to record cover art. It belongs to the line of artists like Richard McGuire and Gary Panter, who possess the ability to seep into your eyeballs and rearrange the wiring in your brain. You see the world differently, with sharper eyes, after reading DeForge's comics. Like some of the best cartoonists of his generation, he's bringing to comics some of the visual intensity of painting and forcing us to realize that the visual range of comics is much larger than we thought possible." - Jeet Heer, from his appreciation of the book when it won the Pigskin Peters Award at the 2012 Doug Wright Awards.
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Contained in the pages of this book is a very wild, occasionally disturbing, ride. It's a collection of short comics and vignettes focusing on a wide variety of subjects, from the deer-like creature (actually a slug) on the cover, to an underground littering subculture, to even more. The stories have as many layers as styles he uses in this book, and in fact, Mr. DeForge has such a varied artistic style that I found it hard to believe that all of the different stories contained within this book were drawn by the same person.
In summation, if you're on the lookout for a comic book that's at times unsettling or disturbing, but always engaging, I can't recommend this work more. It's a real treat to read, and even after reading it a few months back, it's stuck with me as something wholly unique among comics that I have read.
Highest recommendation for anyone who's a fan of "art comics" or just likes weird, offbeat (and sometimes disturbing) art.
Have been a fan of Deforge for a few years now and this book did not disappoint.
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