Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eddie Campbell - Alec "The Years Have Pants", and The Playwright

So, this has been Eddie Campbell month for me. First I read the Playwright, a story about an aging Playwright whom is obsessed with sex and has a miserable life going about his everyday routine and falling in love versus writing. It brings about a question about whether good art can be produced when with someone or whether you have to be completely in love with your craft to produce art? In that regard it is some heady work, but gloriously rendered in Campbell's scratchy style, and it is a great diversion, or a different look into someone's life that isn't mine.

I am only partially through Alec, Eddie's autobiographical comic (life-sized omnibus edition) and I have to say the first part of Eddie's life seems to be a blur of pints and women. What's of note is that I am at a part in the book wherein you can see how things are going to change in a huge way, and that he is going to break away from something that used to seem fun, and is now becoming a pain in the ass. He is breaking up with his former life and moving onto something else. I believe we all reach impasses like this at some point in our lives, and it is interesting to be a witness to someone's life in such visual detail. This book is also great because you get to trace how Eddie changes his style. If this is because he becomes a better draftsmen or because he becomes bored with the way he has inked and drawn things, either way it makes for a visual history in more then one way.

Really Eddie Campbell had already been canonized in my books for being able to make From Hell, but reading his back catalog has been truly intriguing. If you can, take a look at the man and his works. It is definitely worth it.


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