I find that writing down my thoughts as I have them is always the best way to actually retain them, so I’m going to start adding some scattered observations on comics history to this blog as I try to pull together the proposal for what I hope will be my first book. Without further ado:
—The EC bust was a really astounding sea change, entirely inflicted from without by prudes and weirdos and well-meaning people who completely misunderstood. The books were progressive, lurid, and gorgeously rendered (there’s an amazing story about a guy who gets bullied by the KKK into burning down a Jewish neighbor’s house and the cornball Twilight Zone-style twist is that his mother has hidden his own Jewish identity from him). After they vanished, the subsequent pabulum from DC and Timely/Marvel had its charms but it was just *so* much less ambitious.
—My god it’s just impossible that George Perez is dying. One of the greatest artists of the last century. The 1990s get a bad rap because of the excesses of the artists who would go on to Image but his Avengers and Avengers-JLA stuff with Kurt Busiek is filled with such a wonderful energy. He inked Curt Swan. He did The Brave and the Bold with Mark Waid. What a loss.
—I’m trying to figure out how best to describe the influence of French (or Franco-Belgian) comics on US artists and am a little stumped. It obviously starts with Metal Hurlant, but I’m not sure how we get from there to Geof Darrow, who produced work with Moebius and who gets namechecked in Moebius’s big goofy Pirandellan memoir. I know people read Tintin but I don’t see the direct influence as clearly. Trying to nail this down.
—When did specialty shops become a thing? What was the first?