The Least Painful Compromise Series
By Brandon Graham
Chicago, Illinois: Brandon Graham, 2008. Open Edition.

Brandon Graham: "I am an artist living and working in Chicago, IL. In recent years my work has focused on the place where artists' books overlap with alternative literary press projects. This direction was shaped by the philosophy professed by the Fluxus artists, especially related to the Democratic Multiple; as well as a belief that artists' books too often hold the text to a lower standard than all other elements of making and producing books. This is a lost opportunity. I have tried to balance text, typography, visual narratives and structural design in such a way that each element serves the main thesis of the artwork. I find this to be a project that is rewarding and endlessly challenging."

The Least Painful Compromise series: Six short graphic chapbooks that form a larger project called "The Least Painful Compromise." Experimental literature presenting multiple layers of an individual life. Each chapbook is 5.8 x 9" with 24 pages. Each is off-set printed with original photographs and text by Graham and has a saddle stitch binding.

The Decision
Brandon Graham: "In The Decision young Stevie is asked to choose between time with his mother or time with his father. The visual narrative helps to set the psychological tone of the piece as well as contribute information not contained in the written text."

The Dinner Party
Brandon Graham: "This work combines visual photographic narratives with short fiction. In this book the father Steve struggles with how to be a father, a husband and a man that his own father would be proud of. All the psychological drama takes place in the context of a mundane domestic event: the first time parents are meet the boys their daughters are dating."

The Eulogy
Brandon Graham: "This chapbook gives voice to a family that is mourning the death of a teenager. The father Steve, the Mother Savannah, and the twin sister Ella, all explain their feelings and understanding of the death of Nora. Finally Nora is able to try to explain her reasons for taking her own life."

The Gutting
5.8 x 9"; 24 pages. Off-set printed with original photographs and text by Graham. Pamphlet fold with a saddle stitch binding.

Experimental literature presenting multiple layers of an individual life: how childhood experience through the power of confused and confusing memory shapes the adult. A web as murky as the fish guts of the story.

Brandon Graham: "[The Gutting] combines original short fiction with a graphic short story. This combination of elements is a realization of my interest in exploring the place where experimental short fiction, graphic novels, and artists' books run together.

"The piece explores the ways in which the traumatic events that transpired during a childhood fishing trip … continue to have repercussions in [an] adult relationship. Part of the conceit for the design is that the fragmented and unreliable way in which memory works lends itself to a layered and fractured narrative. To that end the graphic portion underscores the central metaphor in the short fiction but is recounted simultaneously to the 'fictional now.'"

Brandon Graham: "Nora93 ... is a first person monologue told by Nora, a 15 year old protagonist, in which she reveals her perception of the complex web of relationships within her immediate family. The visual narrative helps to set a dissonant emotional tone and serves as a flashback to the textural narrative."

The Visit
Brandon Graham: "This project combines first person point-of-view visuals with a monologue, as young adult Steve visits his girlfriend's father who is in a coma. The terse one-sided conversation reveals the anger and pain that lay hidden under the surface of Steve personae as well as between Savannah and her sick father."