Brian Charles Brooks
(born 1972)

Brian Brooks is a multidisciplinary artist living in Oakland, California. Brian was raised in Phoenix, Arizona and earned a BFA in printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1996. Brian works from his storefront studio and gallery Smokey’s Tangle in Oakland’s Temescal district, where he has resided since 1999.

Brian is most widely known for his hand in co-developing the character Emily the Strange® (Darkhorse Comics, Chronicle Books, Manic Panic, TUK, Gibson) [1999-2006] and creating the internationaly licenced character Oopsy Daisy™ (Chronicle Books, Sears, Target, Pac-Sun) [2000-2005]. Other notable projects include a cartoon mini-series Boyz on da Run (Disney Channel) [2005] and viral web comic Morrissey Gets A Job (Reddit, Fader, S.F. Weekly, Dangerous Minds) [1999]. Brian is also an author of humor and art books, which he self-publishes under the Smokey's Tangle name, titles including the "What If?" series, "Radd/Badd Tattoos" and "Give Paul A Chance". He is currently documenting his gentrifying neighborhood though a series of plein air paintings and photographs.



Header image

Current Titles (Smokey's Tangle)
• One Cool Coloring Book
, 2014
• What If? Volume 2, 2014
• Radd/Badd Tattoos, 2013
• Adventures Of Everything, 2013
• Earth Messages,
• Rock Stars, 2012
• Dogs: paintings by Brian Brooks, 2011

• Give Paul A Chance, 2006
• What If? Volume 1, 2012
• Rock N Roll Coloring Books, 2012

• We Like Bugs & Books Like That ,2012


This is brian's weakest area that needs concentration. Humor, check. Cheeky titles, check. Cartooning ability, check. A long continued reistance to traditional comic formats in combination with the computer and web issues, check. Current series include What If?, Letter Ranch & Snake Lady.

• Morrissey Gets A Job
, 1999

Brian's comics occasionally appear in LA Record.


Header image
Brian began painting in February 2010, after seventeen years without doing so, having painted after high school and stopping when arriving at art school.

In 2014 Brian began limiting his color pallet by eliminating red, to help with his red/green colorblindness. In 2014 he began plein air painting in his neighborhood, as inspired by local artists Paulette Nichols, and her cousin John Kilduff aka "Mr. Let's Paint T.V.".

Solo Art Shows
• Now That Looks Like Fun, Hive Gallery, Phoenix, AZ, 2013
• Dogs, Rock, Paper, Scissors Salon & Gallery, NC, 2011

Two-Person Art Shows
• Hang Together, Willo North Gallery, Phoenix, AZ, 2015
• Smokey's Tangle Takeover, Interface Gallery, Oakland, CA, 2014

Group Art Shows
• Not Much To Look At, Royal Nonsuch Gallery, Oakland, CA, 2015
• Mutual Friends, Brooklyn, NY, 2012
• Right Window Artists Shop, San Francisco, CA, 2012

Graphic Design & Collaborations

Header image

Album Cover Design

It's OK!, dream, [Moonlight Graham Records], 2014
Paulette Nichols, New Americana, [self], 2011
Chicken On A Raft [Antenna Farm Records], 2008
The Damned, Little Miss Disaster single, 2008

Logo & Tee Shirt Design
• Radio Free Phoenix, 2014
• Plan B Studio, 2014
• San Francisco Art Institute 140th Anniversary, 2010
• Central High School 20th Reunion, 2010
• Holy Piñata, 2008
• KALX, 1999, 2000

For Temescal Art Hop
• posters, 2010-2014

For Oakland Art Murmur
• postcards, 2009-2010

• Family Scavanger Hunt logo, 2014

With Emily Wick
• Smokey’s Tangle 5-Year Book (2014), Smokey’s Tangle
• Smokey’s Tangle Photo Booth #1 (2010), Smokey’s Tangle

For Cosmic Debris
• Oopsy Daisy Trading Cards (2003), Chronicle Books
• Oopsy Daisy's Bad Bad Day
(2002), Chronicle Books

With Cosmic Debris as artist, designer, and copy writer
• oversaw the graphics and themes and specs for the Emily Strange clothing line and licencing department. Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer clothing lines, and international licencees.1999-2006

With Cosmic Debris as collaborating artist, writer, and co-author
• Art of Emily the Strange (2010), Darkhorse Books
• Emily the Strange The Rock Issue
(2007), Darkhorse Comics
• Emily the Strange Lost Dark and Bored
(2007), Darkhorse Comics
• Emily the Strange Seeing is Deceiving
(2006), Chronicle Books
• Emily the Strange Dark Issue (2006), Darkhorse Comics
• The Dark Issue Emily the Strange Boring Issue (2005), Chronicle Books
• The Boring Issue Emily the Strange Lost Issue (2005), Chronicle Books
• The Lost Issue Emily the Strange Good Nightmares
(2004), Chronicle Books
• Emily the Strange Secret Book of Strange (2003), Chronicle Books

• Emily the Strange
(2001), Chronicle Books

With Rob Reger
• Boyz on Da Run (2006), short form animated series (3 episodes), Disney Channel

With Breakfast With Idiots
On The Rainbow Tonight 2011
• Purple Pigtailed Princess 2006
• Springend ab 2006
• Difficult to tell if the monster exists or not… 2005
• Storming Narcolopolis 2005
• Prelude to Adventure 2004
• Sweet Facilitation Suite 2003
• Sentimental Horse Fart Karaoke Assault 1997
The Last Breakfast 1997
• Can’t Afford to Rock 1997
• Hard Enough To Suck 1993
• We Still Rock 1992
• Flash Gordon’s Restaurant 1991
• Summer Medley 1990
• Breakfast with Idiots 1990
• Lovely Lemon Sisters 1990
• Stop that Please 1989

As "Sgt Rick Sings"
• Oh Great, Here Comes My Least Favorite Customer (2005), compact disc
• Raps, Sings & Plays (2006), mp3

Notable Mentions, Achievments, & Awards

Official judge, Be Kind Project's Creative Expressions Contest, 2015
Brian Brooks Appreciation Day Deep Oldies, 2011
Honorary Staff artist at Deep Oldies internet radio station, 2011
Oakland Magazine, Best of 2010 editors pick, “Most Memorable News Release” July 2010
Co-creator Temescal Art Hop, a bi-anual neighborhood event, 2010
named Best Art Murmur Off Shoot, East Bay Express, 2010
Emily the Strange clothing brand, Art Director 2003-2006
Bronze Roller Award, San Francisco Art Institute, 1996
Works Under Pressure Award, San Francisco Art Institute, 1996
Sobel Merit Award, San Francisco Art Institute 1995
Book Show Award, San Francisco Art Institute 1995
Spring Show Award, San Francisco Art Institute, 1994
2nd Place, Phoenix Community College Art Exhibition, 1993
named Outstanding Artist, Central High School, 1990
named Best Sense of Humor, Madison Meadows Middle School, 1986
Staff artist; 5th Grade Newsletter, 1985
awarded Ladmo Bag for drawing sent in to the Wallace & Ladmo show, KPHO, Phoenix, AZ, 1983


1. Woo, Stu “Oakland's Temescal Goes From Rundown to Reborn, How Local Merchants Found Success After Years of Work to Attract New Businesses and Reshape Their Neighborhood” December 3, 2009.

2. Virella, Kelly. ”The Strange Drawings of Brian Brooks, The artist behind Emily the Strange attempts to exorcise his creation from his art.” Eastbay Express Feature, October 31, 2007.

3. Morrissey Gets A Job in Fader magazine, 23 , 2005.

4. Smith, Brian. “Zine Buddha, Local artist Brian Brooks watches his work go from sticky barroom floors to flying off international clothing racks”. Phoenix New Times Feature, May 10 2001.

5. Searleman, Eric. The It Girl: As Emily Flourishes, Millions Turn and Face The Strange. Arizona Republic, March 29 2001.

6. Athitakis, Mark. “Riff Raff, Morrissey Gets Colored Black on the Outside, Because Black Is How He Feels on the Inside”, SF Weekly, October 13 1999.

7. Baird, Robert. New Releases From the Desert: Breakfast With Idiots S/T release, Phoenix New Times, September 1, 1993.

8. Lawton, Claire “Brian Brook's Phoenix Arm" 100 creative representations of Phoenix” Phoenix New Times Mon., Aug. 1 2011.

9. Deep Oldies “Brian Brooks Appreciation Day" "Brian Brooks Appreciation Day!!! And More!!!” DeepOldies.com Blog., Feb. 18 2011.

10.L'Heureux,Suzanne “http://www.artslant.com/sf/events/show/319331-smokeys-tangle-takeover" Feb. 2014.

11. Mark, Julian "http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/radically-sharing-temescal/Content?oid=4172033" Jan. 2015.

External Links

Brian Brooks on Tumblr
Brian Brooks on Twitter
Brian Brooks on Facebook
Header image
Studio & Gallery
4709 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland, CA 94609
website tumblr

Header image
Smokey's Tangle Shop  

on Square Market  

on Square Market

on Square Market

on Square Market

on Square Market

on Square Market

on Square Market
Header image