Friday, November 04, 2005

Pekar in Wizard Magazine

Believe it or not, I’m plugging an article that appeared in Wizard Magazine. (Nov. 2005 issue169) I used to be a big fan of Wizard, but they seem to have entered the Hype-Machine that dominates comics these days. “Every books is great and there isn’t a bad book on the market” is the impression you get after reading an issue of Wizard. I understand the situation they’re in though, they can’t say anything bad about the Big 2 or they’ll be cut off. If that happens, they’re in a real bind. Maybe someday someone will start a magazine challenges Wizard’s stranglehold on the comic magazine market.

Actually, the thing that bothers me most about Wizard is their Top 10 Creators list. Brian K. Vaughn isn’t even on the Writers list. Meanwhile Runaways is probably the best superhero book on the market today. Not to mention his other books like Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina. And the Artists list? No John Romita Jr. and never, ever Mark Bagley. Romita Jr. is as good a penciler as any in history and Bagley is an anomaly in the field being that he hits his deadline every single month. He’s yet to miss an issue of Ultimate Spider-Man and I think they’re up around 90 issues now. That should be recognized before pretty pictures that come 2 months late, but it’s not for some reason.

Anyway, enough with the Wizard stinks rant. The reason you should pick up the November issue is because there is a really well written article on my favorite comic creator, Harvey Pekar. Written by Chris Ward, it’s a candid and honest interview. Which isn’t surprising, Pekar is always candid and honest. Pekar goes into everything from politics, to movies, to mainstream comics. He even makes a great point about the first graphic novel. Which most people attribute to the late-great Will Eisner. Pekar points out that Robert Crumb did his first graphic novel, The Big Yum Yum Book back in 1962. It wasn’t published until 1975, but that’s still a few years before Eisner’s book. A sensitive subject as Eisner is as revered as anyone is the industry’s history, but he has a point. Problem is, superhero comics seem to take precedence over other forms of comics. I wonder if attributing something as important as The First Graphic Novel to someone like Crumb is avoided on purpose by the “elite” comic creators… it is certainly a question worth asking.

The article is a great read and Pekar never disappoints. He’s honest almost to a fault. He’s not afraid to speak his mind and I admire that greatly. It’s something that I struggle with every time I sit down to write my Blog and every time I think about what comic I’m going to start working on next.

So, go pick up Wizard. (I can’t believe I just said that.)

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