Old dogs…

by

I stopped reading comics sometime in the early ‘90’s like many guys my age.  My reading at and prior to that point was limited to a few sporadic superhero books only; “Daredevil,” “Iron Man,” “Spiderman,” “Batman.”  Basically, it was whatever my older brother was into.  He stopped reading them around the time he was entering high school and since I basically worshipped him (ask me sometime about the leather Africa medallion I wore for a year straight when he was militantly against Apartheid and had the t-shirts and rap albums to prove it) and since I really didn’t have any money of my own it was the end of comics for me.  It would be over a decade before I was reading anything regularly again leading up to this moment when my pull list is almost as long as my arm.

So, when I was reading comics I was a mainstream kid all the way.  Marvel and DC was it.  Since then I’ve become a much more adventurous comic reader but that has come too late and I missed any of the major comic book touchstones of the 80’s and 90’s that weren’t dressed in spandex or capes.  As far as the ever ebbing and flowing independent comics scene, oh, sorry, comix scene goes, I was oblivious. 

As a result, I lost out on all three of the biggies; the Mount Rushmore of the creator-owned universe, as it were.  They are, in order, Dave Sim’s epic “Cerebus,” Jeff Smith’s “Bone,” and Terry Moore’s “Strangers in Paradise.” 

Now, “Cerebus” I can mostly be forgiven for since Sim started building that universe in the year I started learning to walk.  As for “Bone” and “Strangers in Paradise,” each of those kicked off after I dropped out of the world of comics altogether. Interestingly, all three series have ended within the past three years and folks have been waiting for each of these singular creators to debut something new.  As if 10, 15, or 30 years of the good stuff just wasn’t enough.  I suppose you’re only as good as your latest solicitation. 

But, indeed, these three indie icons are all coming back with new creator-owned series over these next couple of months and I’ve decided that it’s never too late to jump on a bandwagon, or three.  Maybe you’re like this too, but I find that as a comic fan I often am measuring myself against other fans and how long or short they’ve been reading in comparison to myself.  Not only that, but I always feel a little pang of guilt or envy at anyone who’s been around for a while and got in on the first issue of some landmark series or run that I completely missed out on.  It’s a stupid thing to obsess over and a stupid thing to feel envious of, but there it is.   (I’ve felt that way most recently as I listen to the throng of devotees to the world of the Sinestro Corp.)

In the past I’ve considered picking up collections of Cerebus, Bone, and Strangers but each time I have just gotten downright intimidated by the sheer history and breadth of issues that stood before me. 

Rest assured, I will get to them all at some point, but in the ever-burning crucible that is the monthly war I wage against my wallet and my disposable income I continue to lose ground again and again to the capes and the spandex.  They’re too strong, people.  Don’t you understand!?!?  Look at the muscles!!! 

Regardless of my inescapable nostalgia and arrested development, I’m getting in on the ground floor for all three of these new independent creations.  I may not last on any of them, but I’m intruiged by what little I’ve read about them and am especially drawn in by the scant artwork I’ve seen.  It hasn’t taken much preview art for me to see that these are three artists working at the top of their craft.  

Take a look at some upcoming covers, some tantalizing solicitation text (But, isn’t it always tantalizing, people?  I happen to remember some great solicitation text for “World War Hulk.”  Ouch.), and links to their official sites…

Echo by Terry Moore

“Echo is the story of Julie Martin, a photographer taking pictures in the desert when she finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s all I’m going to tell you about the plot at the moment. The Diamond solicitation coming out in January will reveal a bit more. Echo #1 will be in stores March 5th. It will be 24 pages, B&W like SiP. The first printing of issue one, and only the first printing, will feature a silver foil cover. Why? Because that’s not rain, or hail.” (source:  Terry Moore)

Official Site:  http://terrymooreart.com/blog/

Glamourpuss by Dave Sim

 

“Master graphic novelist Dave Sim – the creator of Cerebus – returns! Glamourpuss is three comic books in one: a parody of fashion magazines, a history of photorealism in comics (starting with Alex Raymond’s Rip Kirby in 1946), and the strangest super-heroine comic book of all time! Featuring the first appearance of Glamourpuss, her evil twin sister Skanko, and the heroine’s long-time therapist Dr. Norm. Available with two covers – a ‘Comics Edition’ with a classic EC-style cover, and a ‘Fashion Edition’ that parodies fashion magazines.” (source: Previews)

Official Site:  http://www.glamourpusscomic.com/

RASL by Jeff Smith

“Titled RASL, which Smith pronounces “rassle,” the new series is being self-published in black and white by Smith through his company, Cartoon Books. Focusing on a character who hops across parallel dimensions to steal art, the series is tentatively planned to run for approximately two years and, like Bone, will be solely created by Smith.” (source:  Newsarama)

Official Site:  www.boneville.com

I’ve pre-ordered the first issues for all 3 of these books and I’m hoping that I’ve got years worth of great comics from auteur creators with wholly unique voices and stories to tell waiting for me.     

If not, then I guess I’ll go back to plan A and get caught up on some Cerebus, Bone, and Strangers in Paradise instead. 

Naturally, reviews will come for these new series as I read them!

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