Thursday 19 November 2009

In Herne Hill, London, I had a long lunch at the Regent pub with my old pals Ed Hillyer (top, with Hayley campbell) and Woodrow Phoenix (below, with me).

Woodrow's book Rumble Strip, first published in June of last year by Myriad, is worth your attention. It is a very human story told without the depiction of a single human, and for what seems for most of its duration to be an essay about road rage, it all comes to a potent and moving conclusion. Phoenix uses nothing but the iconography of the road, but while this is a somewhat depersonalized graphic language, I like that i always see the touch of a human hand in the artwork. Brushed black infill sometimes does not come all the way up to the holding line. Sometimes it spills over. And even though Woods has made a computer font of his own lettering, I have seen it enough in its early stages (eg. he lettered volume 4 of Bacchus), and remain fondly familiar with it, to still imagine his hand making every letter, and his voice in every word. This book is hugely underrated. It's a good solid piece of work at 200 pages and very nicely produced in black and white.

I wrote about Ed's upcoming prose novel, also from Myriad, back here. Meanwhile he's illustrated one of the manga Shakespeare line published by Self Made Hero (I realize I'm a little out of touch with the British publishing scene), King Lear. Just to compound idioms further, the story has been shifted to 18th century North America among the Mohicans.

Ed was one of the first people i knew, back in the '80s, to pick up on what would become the huge manga trend. I never feel that a book like this is aimed at me, but every now and then I enjoy seeing Ed going for a striking atmospheric effect with the grey tones and I recall how we used to talk about stuff like that a long time ago.



Blogger Matthew Adams said...

The cover for rumble strip is great, and reminds me slightly of white rapids by Pascal Blanchet.

Any clearer word on when the years have pants comes out in Australia? looking foward to getting my grubby hands all over it.

25 November 2009 at 18:41:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Johnny Walker said...

Holy crap. I just noticed that you mentioned "Herne Hill"... and then the Regent pub. I used to live around the corner from there and was just at the Regent a few weeks ago.

Nice area.

27 November 2009 at 17:33:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Johnny Walker said...

Also, beautiful pub.

27 November 2009 at 17:36:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


How might I contact you via email?

Michael C. Phifer

4 December 2009 at 19:39:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Eddie, I just saw this review of Alec on the US 'Publisher's Weekly' website, in their Best Books of 2009:

Ben Smith

7 December 2009 at 03:28:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh bollocks, it's looks like I spoke to soon and the 'best books' bit is a banner line, rather than capping the actual page. Please remove my comments. I've managed to take a great review and turn it into disappointing news. sorry, I'll go now.


7 December 2009 at 03:33:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

But they did give it a star, so let's not discourage anybody from reading it.

7 December 2009 at 04:34:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, my favourit Ed's in one place! Big hugs to both.
I owe Ilya some beers!


10 December 2009 at 11:30:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Stephen L. Holland said...

This is possibly the only time in my life that I've shown Eddie Campbell a comic or graphic novel that he hasn't instantly rejected!

It's not that I have bad taste in comics (apart from The Complete Alec - I love it, but truly the work sucks*), it's that Eddie has a more refined taste than I based on being a craftsman himself.

If Eddie loves it, it's a stunner. Please, everyone, buy Rumble Strips - it's changed the way I drive!

- Stephen @ Page 45

*Depending on which country you're in, you may or may not understand the concept of irony. I only type this because I got into terrible trouble once with Warren Ellis fans.

P.S. Looking good, Wee Hayley! xxx

15 December 2009 at 11:07:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at that sandwich!

22 December 2009 at 07:35:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Hayley Campbell said...

Hurry up and blog if only so that I don't have to see my big white moosh every time I check in.

29 December 2009 at 05:08:00 GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

Happy New Year, Eddie!
And listen to Hayley (please).

31 December 2009 at 16:24:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Koutsoupi said...

Dear Eddie,

I've been reading my copy of the Alec Omnibus. It's excellent. I'm lugging it around with me on my serves (I'm a process server). It's f-in heavy. Make another one.

16 January 2010 at 23:13:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Nulsh said...

I hope you haven't pegged oot Mr. C.! Just got my copy of Years Have Pants, massive book! Thoroughly enjoyed what I've read thus far!

24 January 2010 at 14:56:00 GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

Same here! That book is huge! looking forward to rereading most of it and discover the new stuff.

11 February 2010 at 05:04:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We'll miss you, Eddie, even here in Hungary.

12 February 2010 at 08:35:00 GMT-5  
Blogger bob said...

Just got my copy of THE YEARS HAVE PANTS. Nice looking book, going to take a while to take it all in, even having read most of it before.

One quick thing, in the Shorts section you mention you don't know where you eventually used "How to Avoid Sex" after it was rejected. It was in THE CHEQUE, MATE (Fantagraphics, 1992), along with a reprint of "The Crow" and various other things.

12 February 2010 at 13:37:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Ian Eisenberg said...

Hi, thank you very much. good job.

28 February 2010 at 19:06:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taking a punt that you might enjoy this Eddie:

Ben Smith

12 March 2010 at 03:23:00 GMT-5  
Blogger MarkSullivan said...

Can anything be done about the athletic shoe spammer above? I've had to unsubscribe from a bunch of old threads to avoid all the spam emails.

18 April 2010 at 12:30:00 GMT-5  
Blogger bob said...

Is Campbell still around? I'm surprised he hasn't resurfaced to at least announce that THE PLAYWRIGHT is coming out in a few months.

# Hardcover: 160 pages
# Publisher: Top Shelf Productions (July 29, 2010)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 1603090568
# ISBN-13: 978-1603090568
# Product Dimensions: 11 x 7 x 0.8 inches

18 April 2010 at 16:39:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow I do suck I only just found this blog. It's a very enjoyable read Eddie. Plus you do make comics seem fricken cool.

2 May 2010 at 11:37:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anthony Thorne said...

Eddie, just bought and enjoyed THE YEARS HAVE PANTS, a terrific read. Hope you are well, wherever you are or whatever you're up to.

4 May 2010 at 04:04:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous kp said...

Eddie, having only just discovered your blog it seems you aren't updating it any more. Will you be posting again in the future? With great admiration.

7 May 2010 at 19:05:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

thanks for the comments, But I decided this blog thing is too much of a time-waster and I'm busy on my next book.
best to you all


7 May 2010 at 19:59:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Nulsh said...

Heh-heh! Fair dos. I enjoyed it while it lasted!
Years Have Pants was superb! Kept me quiet for ages.
All the best!

8 May 2010 at 17:01:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a boring middle-aged wonderer who deals with 3 teenaged children and life in the slipstream of rural Ohio, thanks for Pants. You reach those in need more than you may realize. Also, apologies but I got Pants from the local library, so if you need the purchase price, will happily send it to you. Best of everything on your future work.

23 May 2010 at 12:14:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Roxanne Armfield said...

Hello Eddie

This may seem a bit weird (coming from Essex nothing new there)but I was watching J Depp in From Hell and my mum said "I'm sure that's from Eddie's work".
Did you work at Airflow in Wickford - in a past life? If so Alison sends her love.
Best wishes,

14 July 2010 at 13:39:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

Wow! Love to Alison. How are Beryl and Arthur after all these years? Your Grandmother is the sweetest woman. I do hope she is alive and well. She was younger than i am now when i knew her. Anne is remembering the lovely baby clothes she knitted for Hayley.
very best to you Roxanne, and thanks for writing.

14 July 2010 at 17:40:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Ray Davis said...

I've just had an essay about some genre battles published in an academic journal named Genre. Now, one of the peculiarities of academic publishing is that authors are expected to cite authorities. As sensible and discerning gentlemen, you and I have developed very similar opinions over our many decades -- you in your role as a dedicated artist; myself in my role as a loudmouth dilettante -- and I cited you with grateful abandon. However, another peculiarity of academic publishing is an insistence on being as inaccessible as possible, and I would therefore like to email you a copy of the thing. Ping me if you're interested.

25 July 2010 at 13:30:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Eddie. I love your books, but your daughter is even better. She is gourgeous!

Best wishes,


2 August 2010 at 20:21:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Eddie
Sorry taken a while to reply - just got back from Jersey!
Unfortunately my grandmother - Beryl is no longer with us - Grandad still lives in Wickford.

If you can email my Mum sometime

Lots of love to you and family

Roxanne Armfield

26 August 2010 at 13:37:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Steve said...

Hello. Just thought I'd mention I loved the Playwright, and also I thought I'd pass this link on: sort of thing you might enjoy reading.

5 September 2010 at 14:34:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I check back here once in a while to see if anyone's added any interesting comments. I don't know about anybody else but I'm enjoying the gambling spam-comments current debate about the state of 'Britisch' comics. With that spelling it's hard not to mention the war but I'm going to try.


5 October 2010 at 02:58:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Pepo Pérez said...


(In spanish, I'm afraid... : )

Happy New Year, Mr. Campbell.

29 December 2010 at 07:29:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Leigh Walton said...

Hey Allan,

Chris Staros says he spoke with Eddie recently and they were fine. Hope everyone comes through this horrible mess all right.

11 January 2011 at 12:36:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

Everybody is well at Castle Campbell. the worst we suffered is blue mould mottled all over the front door. And Monty has a skin ailment caused by the humidity. I'm off to bathe him in his expensive medications.

Our thoughts go out to the poor folks who are being hit hard.


11 January 2011 at 14:44:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Daniel Vignolli said...

Hi Eddie,
I hope you are still checking this blog. I wanted to contact you by email but couldn't find it, so...
I am new in Sydney and found your website. How is the industry over here?
I have make some comics online and I am trying to get my work out there. My latest work is Superman - Last Son of Earth.

Superman – Last Son of Earth is a tribute to the biggest hero of all time. It is a trailer in storyboard format for a possible new movie about the man of steel.

Krypton wasn’t destroyed by a natural disaster. It was destroyed by the Kryptonians. In the same way, mankind is close to destroying Earth. Superman, who lost his own planet, is about to lose his adoptive home.

In this story, Superman symbolizes the sentiment that, even in the worst situations, things and people can change. We show Superman as a resident of the world, as someone who looks after the whole world.

We hope you enjoy the trailer and, who knows, maybe one day it could become a movie,

Best wishes,

28 March 2011 at 07:15:00 GMT-5  

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