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May 16, 2006

THE FATE... progress notes on the media storm

It really is a media storm Eddie Campbell is provoking... We need to keep up with editorial reviews on the Fate of the Artist catalog page...

From Jeff Lester, who works at Brian Hibbs' THE COMICS EXPERIENCE store in San Francisco:

FATE OF THE ARTIST is not only far and away the release of the week but at this point in time, it's the release of the year, and, I think, the best book Campbell's released in about a decade.

Actually, the whole thing is too good not to post.... See what I mean:



FATE OF THE ARTIST SC: Really should be reviewed in the trade section, but since First Second launched all six titles on the same weekend (and then nothing for another six months! Just like a real comic book company! Woot!) and Graeme's review said everything I would've said (and, of course, said it better) I might as well hit it here so I can review another First Second book in the Trade section.
Fate Of The Artist is not only far and away the release of the week but at this point in time, it's the release of the year, and, I think, the best book Campbell's released in about a decade. When I first read the review copy a few months back, the book struck me as ineffably sad (although streaked through with rueful humor) as the artist prepares himself for his inevitable fate by ruminating on artists dead and forgotten, or remembered but not for their work, all while recounting his family's exasperated recollections of his absent-minded, pointlessly specific, self-amused artistic ways. I thought the book full of regrets that were twisted about, like ballon animals, in an effort to amuse.
But rereading the book yesterday, what caught me was how deeply funny it was, starting with the hilariously bold conceit of composing a self-elegy--Lycidas as written by...Lycidas!--and moving on through all the funny anecdotes, pastiche comic strips, that damn dog Monty, etc. Through all of it, there's an appreciation of how funny life can be, even at its most frustrated and unfulfilled, and that appreciation is infectious, giving the work not only the most difficult of emotional victories, a love of life that feels genuine yet unsentimental, but also something unique--a comforting sense of dread. Finishing The Fate of The Artist, I realized that if I was lucky, I would get to deal with sorrows, regrets, fears, fights and alienation, and if I was smart, I'd look forward to all of it.

As I said, it's the release of the week and quite possibly the year. Excellent work, and highly recommended.

And Eddie sent this in:

John Milton. Lycidas A Lament for a friend drowned in his passage from ... For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime. Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer: ...

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