5 May 2012

Adam Dant: Have a Nice Day!: How Modern Life Drives You Mad (2008)

Adam Dant's Have a Nice Day!: How Modern Life Drives You Mad is published by Redstone Press, the same publisher that has produced a number of David Shrigley's books, such as Ants Have Sex in Your Beer (2007).

In another incarnation Adam Dant was Donald Parsnips, who published Donald Parsnips Daily Journal for five years (roughly 1994 to 1999) and distributed one hundred copies of the free paper (printed line drawings and handwritten text) very day in the East End.

In a brief Introduction, Emma Tennant compares Dant with Thurber and Bateman, claiming that he 'sums up the sheer agony of existence'.

The book consists of cartoons in which one person says something provocative but a second speech bubble is left blank for the second person (or, occasionally, group of people) to reply to. Dant says that his inspiration for this is the Rosenszeig picture-frustration study test devised by psychologist Saul Rosenszeig.

Example: man with camera calls to woman with small boy 'Excuse me! I'm doing a picture book called "freak-boy" and I wondered...'

Some cartoons here show a keen eye for the modern absurd, others the universally absurd, others a mischievous what-if notion of wish fulfilment. This is resolutely anti-technology, anti-authoritarian, often deliberately politically incorrect, oddly self-censoring, with an Oulipian feel.

It also has an Appendix with Donald Parsnips-type stuff.

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