Fante Bukowski is a horrible writer, but that doesn’t stop him from aggressively trying to get his work out into the world. The titular character of Noah Van Sciver’s Fante Bukowski graphic novels is rude, ignorant, and belligerent, and when he sets his mind on something, nothing can get in his way. Bukowski’s debut was one of The A.V. Club’s best comics of 2015, and he returns in next month’s Fante Bukowski Two for another round of artistic suffering presented through Van Sciver’s distinct comedic lens. Van Sciver has established himself as a thoughtful cartoonist with a talent for exploring the complexities of the human condition with a pointed sense of humor, and this exclusive preview of Fante Bukowski Two highlights the combination of desperation and foolhardiness that makes this character an especially compelling trainwreck.
Bukowski discovers the wonders of the self-published zine in this excerpt, but he has no concept of the current market and its complete lack of interest especially in zines containing poems by an unknown name. With each new project, Van Sciver is refining his line work and coloring while gaining a deeper understanding of character expressions, and he does great work capturing Bukowski’s naive determination in these pages. His optimism is gradually worn down as he realizes nobody is going to buy the 20,000 zines he’s printed, and even though there’s no crying in zine making, there’s plenty to cry about in zine selling. Readers can learn more about Bukowski’s misadventures in the literary world when Fante Bukowski Two goes on sale May 16, but in the meanwhile, here’s a look at the character’s uncontrollable ego.