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2010.09.19

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New Statesmen is quite possibly the most post-Watchmen superhero comic in all the history of superhero comics published after Watchmen. There was a collected edition released in the US a while back, which shouldn't be too hard/expensive to find online... it was the first big extended work by John Smith, an occasional Grant Morrison/Mark Millar cohort and one of the 'big' 2000 AD-and-related writers to never entirely catch on in North America. Art by Jim Baikie, with support by Sean Phillips & Duncan Fegredo, so yeah, nice looking too...

The old DC/Rebellion alliance released a few Smith books, two for his Devlin Waugh occult action man character and one for his Indigo Prime dimension-hopping series...

Ha! There was a stack of that New Statesmen collected edition sitting right alongside the boxes of Crying Freeman/Sanctuary 2/Lone Wolf & Cub back issues. Somebody's calling your name, Joe...

Oh, man, CRISIS? God damn it. I bought that when it came out - it prefaced or paralleled a whole lot of stuff that informs indy/alt/counter- comics even today - and what did I do with issue 1?

Cut it up to paste into an RE report.

Goddamnit, Craigy.

Goddamnit, British Comics.

I read New Statesman years before I read Watchmen, and while I won't pretend it's high up on my list of Important Superhero Comics, it's a shame it's been lost in the post-Watchmen conversation. I suppose Marshal Law and Zenith have superceded it.

I remember enjoying NS for the art and the world - which now, of course, seems like the most utterly ludicrous setup imaginable (Britain as a state of the American Union, complete with ultra-radicalised nationalist terrorists trying to secede, etc.)

I have issue 3 of the Fleetway/Quality US-format reprint. I suppose I could hunt down the remainng issues - five? Is that all? Damn! - but for now, just look at those covers.

http://www.comics.org/series/3926/covers/?style=default

I repeat:

Goddamnit, British Comics. ♥♥♥

//\♥♥/\\

Oh man, I have a copy of that issue of TCJ. That "Seduction of the Ignorant" essay is worth it's weight in gold.

Has any of Carter Scholz's comics criticism every been reprinted anywhere in any way, shape or form? Because I'm under the impression there's absolutely no way to access that stuff without tracking down '80s back issues of the Journal, and that's a damn shame.

Like Matthew, I read New Statesmen before getting to Watchmen. I might be suffering from some sort of cognitive bias, but I distinctly remember it being pretty fucking good. John Smith is definitely one of the lost greats of British comics. "Lost" in the sense that I can't find any of his comics, that is.

The New Statesmen is fantastic. Much better than the boring ass Watchmen. No pirates and no previous insider comic geekdom necessary to read it.

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