Sunday 22 April 2007

It's a mystery.

This is how we should write about Hogarth: see Matthias Wivel's Essay on the Marriage a la Mode.
"However, Hogarth’s wealth of visual detail is only bona fide ‘chicken fat’ because it works on its own terms. Elder’s brand of the stuff is incidental and “noisy.” It is not only unrelated to, but often supplants the narrative as the main attraction of his stories (just as does the proliferating gags in Tati’s cinema, incidentally). As mentioned, this is not really the case with Hogarth, whose narratives almost invariably remain undisturbed by his piling on of the good stuff. But it is nevertheless clear that his visual inventions are also meant to be enjoyed in their own right, independently of the narrative."
It's clear that he has actually looked at the work.
And understood it.
(via Tom Spurgeon)
hayley campbell is home for a couple of weeks, so we had a bash at the house last night to celebrate her 21st. I didn't mention it in advance lest we suffer the same fate as that poor lass in England last week, 17-year old who invited her friends to a party via her Myspace blog;: Police arrest girl whose MySpace site led to £20,000 party disaster
"Rachel Bell, 17, was questioned by detectives then released on police bail, pending further inquiries, after she emerged from hiding to blame internet hackers for the £20,000 chaos, and to apologise profusely to her parents.
She said she was too scared to face her mother, Elaine, and father, Alan, who have been forced to rent temporary housing and are pressing for criminal charges against partygoers...
But although she spoke to her mother by phone, her remorse was undermined by the appearance of a message ascribed to her on a friend's MySpace site saying: "haaa ... well i hope u liked the party ... was fuckin wild like!!!! hmmm another lol???xx" (lol standing for laugh out loud).
Although her parents, who had gone for a caravan weekend with her sister and two brothers, had forbidden guests while they were away, she admitted asking round 60 friends and a couple of DJs.
Said the mother: "Rachel has got to take blame for organising the party in the first place. I can imagine she is in an awful mental state and fear she could do something to herself. But I don't know the full story and whether it was 200 or 300 people."

See, that's why I don't leave town any more.
drjon in comments yesterday drew my attention to a flickr group posting then and now picrtures of London, of potential education to anyone following the same kind of thing in my Alan Moore's London series of posts. A commenter who left no name sent us to Reel Streets for a postgraduate course.
When I saw drjon yesterday he gave me, for curiosity's sake, a copy of the glossy full colour brochure for an exhibition of Australian comics at the State Library Of Victoria (ended 25 Feb 2007). My foreign readers may be puzzled to find that I am the invisible man here. For 21 years I have been living and working in Australia, and for seven of those self-published my work out of Brisbane. I put out a monthly comic book for sixty issues and collected and published the first five printings of From Hell, and though I've now handed it over to Top Shelf, the number of copies out there is in the region of 200,000. One might conjecture that I could have been wedged into this paragraph:
"Few Australian publishers have successfully established a presence in America's 'direct sales' market, where comics are sold exclusively through specialty comics shops. A notable exception is Sydney-based Phosphorescent Comics, which, since 1999, has produced a range of superhero, horror and science-fiction comics for the North American market, and has repackaged some of its titles as 'graphic novels'.
It's a mystery.
Pam Noles alerts me to this great blog titled Comics en extinción which has a multitude of older European Bande Desinnee album covers. Those Giraud Blueberrys make me want to tear up my attempts at drawing the American west.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend game me the same brochure. Right beside the picture of Deevee there's a bit that goes:



I think you've fallen into the gap between those paragraphs, somehow.

22 April 2007 at 01:41:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are advantages to being the Invisible man, no "Zap! Pow! Comics aren't for kids anymore and here's Eddie Campbell to show us why!" type articles in the popular press.

Would you rather be the Jack Kirby of Brisbane and have fanboys continually knocking on your door, eager to sit at the feet of the master and ask you what sort of brush you recommend?

22 April 2007 at 02:49:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Kevin Patrick said...

Hi Eddie

This is Kevin Patrick, Curator of Heroes and Villains: Australian Comics and their Creators, which was held at the State Library of Victoria between Oct 2006 - Feb 2007.

Your blog post was forwarded to me via email, so I thought I'd take a moment to respond.

While there is admittedly no mention of you or your work in the essay I wrote for the exhibition catalogue, I did include a sample of your work in the show itself.

It was an issue of Fox Comics, and it was your comic strip about the "Pyjama Girl" murder case from the 1930s.

Just for the record, here's the text from the label (which I wrote) that accompanied the comic on display.

"Eddie Campbell became a prominent contributor to Britain’s ‘small press’ comics’ scene throughout the 1980s. His work also appeared in Australia’s Fox Comics.

Campbell uses this comic strip to recount the infamous Australian ‘Pyjama Girl’ murder case of the 1930s against the backdrop of his own visit to northern Queensland.

Born in Scotland, Campbell migrated to Australia with his future wife. He illustrated and published a graphic novel about Jack The Ripper, titled From Hell, while living in Queensland."

There! Happy now? :-)

- Kevin Patrick

23 April 2007 at 06:24:00 GMT-5  
Blogger drjon said...


I thought I'd mentioned that The Pyjama Girl was in the exhibition to you previously. My bad: my apologies, to both you and Kevin. (But Kevin, Maaaate! You should have mentioned Eddie in the programme!)

It was a pretty good exhibit, for all that. Well planned, well laid out, enjoyable to stroll through. All the people who should have been mentioned, were (except for Bunny Wilson being missed--sad omission, that!).

23 April 2007 at 07:28:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

speaking of comics historians. I see Paul Gravett just wrote review of your Fate of the Artist in Comics International in which he just tells the whole plot, including giving away the ending of the O Henry story.

I've never met a comics hostorian who isn't an idiot.

23 April 2007 at 16:07:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

"Happy now?"

I don't follow your logic. Showing a page from my small press days twenty three years ago should make me feel less invisible? It occurs to me that you haven't actually seen, let alone read, any of my books, but in writing a ten page historical resume, surely you should have felt duty bound to dig a little below the surface. How is Phosphorescent a 'notable exception' when they followed in Deevee's footsteps and Deevee supplied them with all the necessary information to make a start in that market, and Deevee followed me in the same way?

You apparently wanted to make the show very much about Australia and what is done in Australia and what Australia specifically has to offer. If you had ever looked in my "After the Snooter' or even "Fate of the Artist' (or Little Italy and The Dance of Lifey Death for that matter) you would know that they are almost entirely set in Queensland Australia.

In my opinion you have made a very poor representation of the art of comics in this country, my friend. And librarians all aound this country will have taken home your brochure imagining that it speaks with authority.

not happy at all.

23 April 2007 at 18:21:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The thing is, Australian comics are categorically and historically complete rubbish. Stop trying to be King of Shit Mountain.

a concerned citizen

23 April 2007 at 19:54:00 GMT-5  
Blogger drjon said...

Dear Concerned Citizen,

If you're ignoring Eddie's work (and you obviously are) then the only thing that need be said to refute your statement in toto is this:

Platinum Grit.

There's a lot more that could be added, but I'll leave it with this: you're full of shit.

23 April 2007 at 22:45:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that refutation falls at the first hurdle: if PG were so splendid, then surely they would be widely known and distributed in North America and collected into "'graphic novels'", just like standard-setters Phosphorescent Comics, rather than bunging their old stuff on t'web and having to rely on POD?

25 April 2007 at 05:14:00 GMT-5  
Blogger drjon said...

Thanks for your comments. They certainly carry as much weight as the rest of your "informed opinion".

My comments stand. Thanks for playing.

25 April 2007 at 22:50:00 GMT-5  

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