Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Review: Comics Journal #299

Today is new comic book day and I budget my time to include little work so I can enjoy the week’s releases. Typically I return from the local store with my purchases and tear into my favorite titles, but this week I started with the Comics Journal #299, the centerpiece of which is a long piece about an ambitious comic book project from the 70’s that started life as a 20 page Rolling Stone supplement then ballooned into a 500+ page international omnibus that was subsequently shelved when a publisher couldn’t be found.

Called "The Someday Funnies", the list of artists that would’ve been included therein reads like a who’s who of top comic talents of the day (Wood, Adams, Eisner, Kirby, Barry Smith, etc) but also encompasses high profile outsiders like Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones and William Burroughs. The story recounts failed attempts to engage Dali, Dylan, Lennon and Steinam, among others.

It’s a well-written and engaging article that was written with a great deal of support from the man behind the book, Michel Choquette, a Canadian who was an early contributor to the National Lampoon (a favorite subject of mine).

The story is incredible, although somewhat one-sided. Choquette appears a well-meaning, sensitive fellow with a completion anxiety that rivals my own. He seems to have really believed in the project, but let it get out of control. Reading between the lines, this seems to have ultimately derailed the publication.

The article is must-read stuff for any comics fan with an appreciation of history and lost work, much of which is reprinted here, albeit in very small scale.

The author mentions that googling the book only produces one result, which is crazy considering the list of contributors and the multi-year ordeal involved in assembling the work. Here’s hoping the book is finally published as a result of this story.

That said, the rest of the issue has some solid stuff, but this is clearly the centerpiece. A large section reprinting pages and pages of early animator Myron Waldman’s “Eve” drawings ought to have been published as its own book, as the pages just seem jammed in here, and take up a lot of space as well.

Sadly, the Journal continues it’s tradition of overwrought and overwritten articles that provide more fuel for its detractors. This issue has an article called “World, Soul, Psychetypes, Psychoecology – A New Logic of the Psyche. 3 – The Secret Language of Ineffable Self”. Seriously, fuck off.

No comments:

Post a Comment