A few days ago, I bought some comic books and I felt so strongly about them that it compelled me to write about the experience. The first comic wasn’t great, to tell you the truth. Halfway through reading it, my suspicions were confirmed: what a load of horseshit. This low level, “bad ass” poseur drivel strikes a pose SO HARD that it shatters like crystallized mulch. I hated myself for giving this cliche ridden gem the benefit of the doubt… but what’s one to do? I had to try it out. Check it out for yourselves. Just go to your local comic shop and ask for — for — uh, I can’t believe it. The name escapes me.
Thankfully, I had apparently been saving the best for last. I’m sure you’ve seen the commercial or read all of the praise the book’s been getting, but NIGHT BUSINESS totally made my night. The creator behind it all is Benjamin Marra. You can say that Marra’s using “bad ass” tropes as well, but the thing that separates his work from the previously mentioned shitty comic is that Marra actually has a sense of humor. Equal parts old school Paul Gulacy and Faust’s Tim Vigil, Marra’s making his comics on his own terms with a dedication that’s pretty admirable. Thank God he’s not waiting around, hoping for a publisher’s permission to start his comic. And thank God he’s using newsprint. Oh, and wish him a happy birthday today, folks!
While I’m recounting the couple of things I dug this last week, I really liked Gary Groth’s recent 3 part post over at The Comics Journal site/blog (which was a response to Jeet Heer’s essay “The Mid-Life Crises of The Great Commercial Cartoonists” over at Comics Comics). Not only does Groth amusingly compare comic aritsts and creators to prison inmates (check in the comments section; Carmine Infantino really WAS the Warden’s assistant), but he also posted his previously published essay (as well as a preface): Mid-Life Creative Imperatives, detailing the flux in the opposition of commercialization, the struggles of the co-opted artist and what that represents in these times. The original piece was written 15 years ago, but it is no less relevant today.
With that in mind, here’s an old, cool, Rick Leonardi cover. It’s rare when he inks himself, but it’s so much better like that!
That’s enough for now. More comix and more love coming soon. And don’t you forget, my hate is really just a love filled eclair of emotions.