Lowbrow Reader: The book!

The Lowbrow Reader is a lushly illustrated comedy journal founded by Jay Ruttenberg in 2001. Its eight issues have featured contributions from David Berman, Shelley Berman, Neil Michael Hagerty, Lee Hazlewood, Gilbert Rogin, and other kind souls moonlighting from the hallowed worlds of rock music, fiction, journalism, cartooning, and television. Each issue is designed by Matthew Berube and features on its cover an illustration by John Mathias depicting a man or woman at a toilet or urinal.

The Lowbrow Reader Reader is the journal’s first book, recently published by Drag City. It gathers together the best writings and drawings from the journal’s eight issues, along with a smattering of new material. Included inside:

  • Up-close encounters with Muhammad Ali, the White Stripes, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and Judaic comedian Jackie Mason.
  • Poetry by the comedian and actor Shelley Berman detailing his work portraying Larry David’s father on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
  • Margeaux Rawson’s rip-roaring interview about S-E-X with Mo’Nique and the Queens of Comedy.
  • Articles and illustrations by David Berman, Carson Ellis, Neil Michael Hagerty, Lee Hazlewood, Doreen Kirchner, Mike Reddy, and Gilbert Rogin.
  • Articles on Billy Madison, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Chevy Chase, Don Knotts, Gene Wilder, and all three of the Three Stooges.