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Beyond Help: Stefan Bucher Completes the Canon

Written by in Profiles

The Wisdom of the Ages is Recorded.
A Gazillion Years of Knowledge in 140 Pages at Only $14.99!

But be warned. Do not read your freshly purchased copy of this long-titled book in a coffee shop while drinking hot liquids: You will burn your nasal passages and anyone within two feet of your nose holes. The book is funny. Double-shot, hot vanilla soy lattes dripping off  your neighbor’s face is not. Well, not to them.


Enjoy it with a box of salt!

Excerpted:  Get the Answers You’ve Been Looking For! Are artists narcissistic assholes? When should you be a hypocrite? What’s more important to you—freedom or money? Are you willing to be treated like an exotic menial servant? What is your hair and facial hair strategy for the next ten years? How big a gap is there between your artistic ideals and your own practice? Are you afraid of feeling stupid? Have you registered an an organ donor? Who are your heros? How do you record your ideas? What are the top ten signs that you are exhausted? What is the worst, most horrible, filthy thing you can think of this instant? What would lettering teacher and logotype designer Doyald Young like to know? What kind of work would you like to do?


Yep, it’s an app, too.

Geared towards Hilarious All Knowing Creative Persons Like Us, Bucher’s offer generous guidance in 344 Questions: The Creative Person’s Do-It-Yourself-Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment. But why only 344? How about 365.25? Or 2,133.6 (Der Sagmeister’s height in millimeters)?  Does it have to do with the name of Bucher’s day job brand? That’s kind of suspicious, isn’t it? [There are actually 1,828 questions to improve by.]




I digress. This book follows in the hoof-steps of Stefan Bucher’s previous block-buster, You Deserve a Medal, Honors on the Path to True Love (2011, knockknockstuff.com), and previously reviewed on Against the Grain, and The Daily Monster, a web-site and animated opera based upon Stefan’s own doodles of Old World shibboleths, boogeymen apps and supersized-fantasies.


These three comic petite oeuvres have much in common — besides the fact the Stefan Bucher wrote and designed them in their entirety without need of any help or interference from outside meddlers of dubious intelligence or interns bearing wit-starved, talentless certificates from acronym-infested land grant art schools {Rule Exception: Tim Moraitis, who helped greatly with production here and is no “exotic menial servant” to anyone}.

Yes, much in common. They are Bucherian in content, form and function: small, loaded, funny, precise gems in which the sad truth is enwrapped in a sugar-coating of wickedly wonderful humor so that it is easier to swallow. With this book, Stefan Bucher, as Friedrich Nietzche before him, has transcended from temporal to eponym, achieving for himself a new genre in creative guides so singular, so stealthy, that we may now call them Bucheresque, Bucherite, Bucherian, Bucheric, Bucholistig, Bucherlean… whatever.

Smart, insightful, this devilishly funny little tract features flow-chart logic boxes that only a Teuton could convey without PowerPoint. Plus, for reasons green, frugal or otherwise, these books are no bigger than your grandma’s swatting hand, deceptively powerful little things that carry a wallop. This book, like the others in the Buchertolan Canon, deserve of an audience  beyond the smiling faces in the fecund bottomlands of Creative Appalachia.Call Cho, Chapelle, Penn and Teller: this stuff should go to Vegas.




If you see someone on a street corner near you hawking these cheerfully designed little tracts and shouting, “The End is Near! Repent! Repent!”, remember, they are speaking not of Nostradamus’ predictions but of Bucherolian brevity and precision. Look alive! The fun will be over before the fun has begun. This is the end of knowledge, the Last Self Help Guide! The canon is complete.

And while Herr Stefan Bucher may be beyond help… that glowering woman dripping with your double  shot soy-latte snotty nose will require assistance. Oh, Garçon!

  1. 09
    Neenah Paper said:

    What is your favorite question? Excuse me, sir, can I get a do-over on my career?