Interview (from 1994)
- From Hell
- Alec: The King Canute Crowd
- Alec: How to be an Artist
- Alec: Three Piece Suit
- Bacchus Book One: Immortality Isn’t Forever
- Bacchus Book Two: The Gods of Business
- Bacchus Book Three: Doing the Islands With Bacchus
- Bacchus Book Four: The Eyeball Kid: One Man Show
- Bacchus Book Five: Earth, Water, Air and Fire
- Bacchus Book Nine: King Bacchus
I know, he was only the artist on this book and Alan Moore was the writer, but he deserves almost as much credit as Mr. Moore. The book would have felt totally different with somebody else drawing it. It probably wouldn’t have disturbed me nearly as much.
This collects a lot of the old Alec stuff. Alec, for the uninitiated, is part autobiography and part fiction. My second-favorite long running character of all time, right behind Cerebus. Not that you can really compare the two, as Alec deals with entirely different things than Cerebus does, but there you have it.
That being said, I didn’t like this one as much as I thought I would. The title struck me right away as being pretentious as hell, but he kind of dealt with that early on and dismissed it. He set a pretty high bar up for himself with Graffiti Kitchen and The Dance of Lifey Death (which are going to be released soon, along with another story, in one volume, and that should be the best thing ever) and, frankly, he didn’t reach it with this book.
His three best works to date, and that’s saying something: Graffiti Kitchen, Little Italy and The Dance of Lifey Death. Everyone who reads comics should read these, and now they’re all together in one book.
The story of the God of Spirits Bacchus in the modern day. It’s a shame that the comic series Bacchus no longer features this character because they were always entertaining, if too cartoony sometimes (notably when Eddie wasn’t drawing them).
My favorite of the Bacchus books, probably because it comes so close to the feel of his Alec work. Bacchus and his companions are trapped on an island and reflect on all sorts of things. Not much happens in terms of a story, which is probably what makes it the best of these books.
I think there's been something lacking in Eddie Campbell's work for me for the last few years, and I've been unable to put my finger on exactly what that was until I read the first couple of issues of his new magazine, Egomania. It's just not fun for me to read his stuff anymore. What that can be based on is open to interpretation, but I just don't get the same feeling of joy and whimsy on every page that I used to. When I first found some of his books 11 years or so, they were all about fun. There were stories about real life that were used with more than a little artistic license. That was the first time I had seen the concept used in comics and it changed my idea of what they could be. This issue is mostly an interview between Eddie and Alan Moore. That's something that would have fascinated me a few years ago and should have held some interest for me today, but it seems like the only reason Alan is even still doing comics these days is to talk about his theories on magic. That's all well and good, but I'm here to have fun with the books! Maybe it's my fault for not really wanting to read a 32 page interview mostly about obscure theories on magic, but I was bored to tears. These two issues have also introduced Eddie's new epic on the history of humor. A lofty goal, sure, and one that shows some definite promise. If I can't get some joy out of a series dedicated to investigating humor, I'll know that Eddie has moved past my tastes and it's time to move on. That being said, I think I'm going to skip these magazines and get the collected version when it comes out. It's always more complete anyway and the filler bits in these two magazines (the in-depth history of a painting, the From Hell Hollywood premiere as described by his daughter, and in interview with an old comics hero of his) were just plain dull for me. If anyone throws a "PHILISTINE!" my way, that's fine, I feel like I should be appreciating this stuff more, it's just that it's all so incredibly dull these days. I mostly like quiet books, don't get me wrong. Maybe I should go back and read some of his older works so I can remind myself what I liked so much about the guy to begin with...
Posted on December 18, 2004, in Reviews and tagged Alec: How To Be An Artist, Alec: The King Canute Crowd, Alec; Three Piece Suit, Bacchus, From Hell. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Campbell, Eddie.