Tuesday, March 16, 2010


This is a monumental collection of work from an often overlooked artist. It brings together all of Campbell’s Alec books (with the exception of The Fate of the Artist, currently published by First Second), plus some previously unpublished material. The whopping, 638 page tome contains almost 30 years of autobiographical comics. The first books, The King Canute Crowd and Graffiti Kitchen tell the story of a young Alec MacGarry, Eddie Campbell’s alter-ego. We follow his comical adventures while he works a dead-end job, drinks with rowdy friends, and gets involved in various romantic troubles. How to be an Artist shows how Alec becomes a successful cartoonist. This chapter is wonderful history of comic books, and features cameos by numerous creators including Alan Moore and Harvey Kurtzman. The later books, such as The Dance of Lifey Death and After the Snooter deal with Alec’s marriage, the birth of his children, and coping with middle-age. The art style is loose and expressive, but never sloppy or confusing. One of the most fascinating aspects of this book is watching Alec and his cast of recurring characters slowly age. You really get the feeling of knowing these characters. Campbell’s body of work is an exceptional and unique achievement. This book is a must for anyone who appreciates comics as an art form.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.