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2012.09.27

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I remember Flight coming out pretty clearly. It debuted as a self-published, full color book at Comicon. That's where it caused a huge sensation, in part because no one had ever heard of this gaggle of cartoonists doing this slick, professional-looking book that looked like it should have a big publisher.

Then Image picked them up for volume 2, and not long after that they went to a big publisher.

I remember ordering volume 1 and being incredibly disappointed. Most of the stories were cloyingly cute and so slick that my eye could barely stick to the page. I also actively loathed the back-patting afterword written by Scott McCloud that declared this to be the future of comics by way of a cutesy construction wherein the afterword was written 30 years in the future, after Kazu, Mudron, etc had made an indelible mark on comics. I picked up volume 2 because Raina T and (I think) Derek Kirk Kim were in it, but I've been tempted more than once to rip out their pages and throw the rest of it away.

I agree with everyone on Amulet. Technically fine, but it feels more assembled than created, if that makes any sense.

Joe, have you got into Nemesis the Warlock yet? It's a few years later in 2000AD's run than the stuff you've been raving about. The style of it is pretty different from those comics - which are kind of traditional Brit action stuff with an injection of exploitation movie sensibilities - and it could be vaguely likened to Druillet or something else from Metal Hurlant, but no comparative description could really get across how ludicrously, furiously original and perverted the whole thing is. I'm sure you know Kev O'neill's recent art, but even if you go back to Marshall Law you're not getting the full idea of how bizarre his drawing could get. I suppose Metalzoic is more like it but his stuff on Nemesis was just this hideously, fully realised plunging into a truly unique and powerful imagination. (I loves it, I does)
Pat Mills as well, his writing on Nemesis, ABC Warriors, and the early Slaine was so firey, energetic, recalcitrant, anti-establishment - so absolutely refreshing in the context of heroic adventure fiction. It's a shame his McDonalds/Burger King satire from The Cursed Earth is banned from print, those two episodes are funny and pretty delightful. Mike McMahon on that, too.
Even Mills' stuff in early 70s girls' comics (Tammy) is like some underground Marxist dude has infiltrated the mainstream, compensating for all the hegemonic brainwashing that had been sppon-fed to kids for so long.
OK, maybe I'm going over the top but, anyway, it's always exciting to see someone getting into something you're fond of, especially when it's something that's not exactly ubiquitously celebrated.

Here's a page from the Burger Wars segment of The Cursed Earth, which takes place in the atomic wasteland that takes up most of North America in whatever century Judge Dredd is supposed to be set in:
http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/judgedredd10.jpg

I have read the earlier Nemesis stuff... i.e. the first two of the three big collections. Actually, the first one I wound up reading rather soon after it came out so... 2006 or 07-ish? Early enough that I don't associate it with the whole wave of 2kAD I've been swimming in for the last year, like some of the John Smith stuff I found. And yeah, early O'Neil was surely something... although that strip was blessed with pretty awesome art all around... Bryan Talbot, John Hicklenton, Henry Flint...

OK, they must be the Rebellion books. About an inch and a half thick, US format? The day Titan stopped putting out the old Euro format albums was a sad day in history, but at least with the Rebellion books you do get a bigger chunk of story for your money.
Hicklenton was astonishing, literally. When my craven teenage eyes first glommed his lines, I was flabbergasted. I think I still am.
2kAD definitely has waves, or phases. Quite a rapid evolution for the first 10-15 years, certainly.

Most racist classic cartoonist? I'd say the team that did Buck Rogers in the 1930s & 1940s. Lots of horrible "Yellow Peril" orientalism in that one, peaking in WWII when the Japanese are literally shown to be monkey-men. Others? Barney Google and Moon Mullins are pretty bad, in part because the low-brow rough-house humor of these strips led to some very broad physical comedy (in Mullins the black characters were constantly getting their heads bashed in -- but it's okay, folks, because as we all know blacks have hard skulls). I'd also add that I think Winsor McCay was a notch or two more racist than the American norm at the time, which was bad enough. Jack Cole is a special case. I don't think personally he was particularly racist but he had a habit of pushing racist tropes to their logical conclusion (his Yellow Claw looked demonic, his Ebony White knock-off was a monkey). Least racist cartoonists? Harold Gray, Roy Crane (bad during World War II but good before & after), Alex Raymond, Walt Kelley and Frank King (whose black characters looked bad were individualized & had agency).

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