in December, Brunswick is a
weekly Flash comic. Each week there will be a new 30-90 second episode.
The file size will be kept between 200-500k, because New Zealand
lacks a widely affordable broadband service. This year's storyline
will eventually appear in a book of some sort.
to look out for: in June 2007 the play Fitz Bunny:
Lust For Glory
is on at Bats Theatre.
Auditions in March, I think. If you live in Wellington and are
female, funny, and aged 15-25... and can sing a bit... we want
you. More details as I get them.
and thank you for visiting. This website contains the complete
archive of all 900+ Brunswick cartoons
which have appeared since 1993. Brunswick,
to quote a sadly deleted Wikipedia article,
is best described as "an Antipodean version of 'Bloom
County", and first appeared in the student magazine Salient,
published in Wellington, New Zealand. It quickly spread to
every other student magazine in the country (not a big deal
when you consider there's only
eight universities in NZ) and lingered for exactly 10 years
and 259 weekly episodes. Immediately on its print withdrawl
it became a daily webcomic, and remained so until September
2006. It's now a Flash cartoon, play, and psychological test
of audience patience.
a daily cartoon strip following the adventures of Alex Kincaid,
her friend Brunswick (a giant yellow rodent) and Fitz Bunny. There
is a character guide here. It is
written and drawn by Grant Buist, who is a graphic designer from
Wellington. He has three degrees (arts, design and business).
He also paints murals and directs music videos. His email
is firstname.lastname@example.org. Brunswick belongs
Ltd, which is a collection of a dozen quality cartoons
from around the world. It is run by Chris and Pascalle of ‘Zap!’.
expect a helpful plot summary to date is optimistic to the point
of clinical derangement, but so far Alex
Kincaid (the blond one) has discovered a large yellow
rodent named Brunswick (the short
yellow blobby one) in her shower, and this has had
an adverse effect on her
social life, i.e. her boyfriend Brent has
run away screaming. Alex is being comforted by her
friend Finn (the
studly one with black hair) when she discovers that
Finn never really liked Brent at all. This has lead
to arguments and recriminations
and all that other cutting edge narrative dialogue
stuff which wins writers Pulitzers and makes dopey
strips like this worth
returning to daily and telling all your friends about,
etc. etc. especially if you live in Singapore or Denmark
or on a US military base...who'd've thought it? Also Fitz
pink one) has turned up with potential for much mirth
and violence...namely, after her and Brunswick have
a picnic overlooking their strangely generic town they
visit Rick's Cafe, where they encounter the owner Rick,
who set up his establishment with the proceeds from
a number one
single twenty years previously and now employs ex-band
members to make coffee and brood on what Might Have
Been. Alex and
Brunswick and Finn have also gone to a concert put
on by Fitz's band 'Myxamatosis'
and met Alex's friend and workmate Leilani.
Fitz has acted as Finn's lifecoach and is abusing
this position as you would expect when a nasty little
rabbit gets a speck of power. In fact, she's been sidetracked
into arms dealing, which is a perfectly respectable
career unless the arms in question happen to be...
And now the mysterious Mapplethorpe Dragon (the
tiny green and purple one) has turned up in a package...
actually all that happened years ago and things have
quite complicated since with a lot of new characters.
I'm sure you'll pick it up eventually.
The Early Years
by David Thomsen
I first came to university in 2001, my first impressions of university
magazine cartoon strips were that they were either humourless,
soulless, directionless, or – as in the case of Brunswick – utterly
bewildering. My first impressions were correct, and as the would-be
cartoonists seemed to realise that they had no commitment to their
work, or actual talent, they fell away one by one to do other things.
But one cartoonist seemed to be more committed to his work than
the others, and Brunswick stayed afloat to tenaciously bewilder
me week after week.
My bewilderment was almost entirely due to the fact that Brunswick
had an eight-year history that I had not been made aware of, and
featured characters that I had not been formally introduced to. Grant seemed to assume that
first-year students would somehow intuitively gravitate towards the
Salient archives in the university library to understand the history of the cartoon better – which,
after a length, I did, although I was actually a second-year student by
this time. It wasn’t until I discovered an early Brunswick anthology
in my cousin’s bedroom that I figured out why the cartoon so
found that in the very first cartoon, in 1993, and not unlike a certain
waistcoated lagomorph of Lewis Carroll, Brunswick the rat arrived to distract
Grant’s Alice from the serious issues of everyday life and lead her thoroughly
down the rat-hole. She has been there ever since, and seems to have grown
accustomed to it; she never did return to the pressing issue that had
been fatefully interrupted on her first week.
In the first cartoon we are also introduced to the contradictory nature of
Buist’s work. It can blend the serious with the frivolous, popular
culture with high art, the incongruous with the established, the topical
with the historical. What at first bewildered me about Brunswick, its scope
for experimentation and the audacity of its duality, is now the thing that
sets it apart from other cartoons for me. Few artists are talented enough
to successfully integrate contradiction and change into their work without
it resulting in discord, and not enough are appreciated for it; here Buist
is exploring the potential of locating his characters in a fixed-panel
daily cartoon and incidentally contradicting the story of how his characters
I have a feeling, now that I’m writing this introduction and putting
conscious thought into the matter, that Alex’s exploration of serious
matters has merely been postponed by the appearance of Brunswick and his menagerie,
and that when she is able to return to these issues, she will be better equipped
for a passage of self-discovery.
by Cat Spiers
many years the only reason to read Salient was Brunswick. As a
naïve eighteen year old first-year at Victoria University
I was familiar with Brunswick, but can’t say I fully understood
it. Everyone I knew began their week at varsity with “have
you seen Brunswick yet?” and then a brief discussion of the
contents of the strip, generally followed by laughter. I would
glance at Brunswick as I flicked through Salient as it was, in
truth, the only interesting thing in the entire magazine. My occasional
perusal turned to avid reading when I was introduced to its creator,
Grant. Knowing the following his esteemed strip had, I felt quite
star-struck when I met him.
Having a conversation recreated in ink is an odd experience, but being quoted
directly by a small pink bunny or a yellow rat is odder still. Even though
Grant claims I was only a Muse for one week, I feel I have had a considerable
impact to the genius that is Brunswick but not always on purpose. Mustapha
the Sex Zebra, for example was Grant mishearing me telling him I was wearing
a “sexy bra” while wearing a zebra print shirt. I claim no
responsibility however for Fitz falling in love with a nuclear warhead,
but it was my Sixties telephone Grant drew when Fitz called up possible
buyers. Whatever similarities we share, being small, cute with a thing
for pink and a fan of power tools, she is a creation of Grant’s imagination.
I am not. Baby Iris, however, is another story…
No longer appearing in Salient, Brunswick has moved on to greener, more Americanized
pastures in cyberspace with the “Daily Strip”. This is of course
a bonus for Brunswick fans as not only can we enjoy our favourite yellow
rat more than once a week, but there is the added advantage of Brunswick
being seen as he is intended in all his yellowy goodness. The title “Daily
Strip” is of course meant to be ironic, as for Grant to put up a
new strip each day means he has chained himself to his desk for several
nights in a row, or has been up for a period of twenty-four hours or more
and will be out of action for a similar period while he recovers. This
means if you decide to knock on his door on a random afternoon he will
probably be sleeping so one must perch on the foot of the maestro’s
bed reading his Q magazines and bounce occasionally as to ensure he hasn’t
fallen asleep when one tells him of your various essay related issues.
One must make allowances for genius.
Not being a Brunswick fan from the beginning, one never knows what suggestions
or ideas Grant will use, and what he will ignore. There has been at least
one occasion when I came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea, only
to be told “Fitz did a similar thing in ‘97”. Being a
Muse isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.