Order Brief Histories of Everyday Objects Now!
If you like non-fiction comics, make sure to order Brief Histories of Everyday Objects now! It’s available through your local comic shop with Diamond code AUG16 1842, for a $20 hardcover out in early October.
I’ve previously covered Andy Warner’s minicomic The Man Who Built Beirut, so I know I like his work, but this promises to be even more entertaining by exploring how common objects — including the paper clip, roller skates, and the sports bra — came to be.
Warner’s got a strong line, skill with layouts, and a great sense of humor. Here’s some of the book description:
Chapters introduce readers to a cast of inventors whose ideas led to the ballpoint pen riots, cowboy wars, and really bad Victorian practical jokes. Structured around the different locations in our home and daily life — the kitchen, the bathroom, the office, and the grocery store — award-nominated illustrator Andy Warner traces the often surprising and sometimes complex histories behind the items we often take for granted. Readers learn how Velcro was created after a Swiss engineer took his dog for a walk; how a naval engineer invented the Slinky; a German housewife, the coffee filter; and a radical feminist and anti-capitalist, the game Monopoly. This is both a book of histories and a book about histories. It explores how lies become legends, trade routes spring up, and empires rise and fall — all from the perspective of your toothbrush or toilet.
I like the idea of grouping the elements by location, and since some of the strips are online, I like that Warner tackles the situation behind the invention as much or more than the object itself. For instance, I saw a preview of his “canned fruit” piece, and it’s really about the inventor — who was inspired during a seance — having her all-woman company taken away from her. Find out more at Andy Warner’s website.