My son went through a long comic book phase when he was a pre-teen, which involved me driving him to comic book stores and conventions and then standing around waiting for him. Having nothing better to do, I picked up comic books and began to read and in this way grew to love the form. One of my early attempts at novel writing actually was set in the world of comics–a sure sign something holds a lot of interest to me, cause I won’t write about it unless I really love it. (Except for ghostwriting. I’ll write about anything if you pay me enough.)
For the record, as far as I’m concerned the best comic ever is Concrete, written by Paul Chadwick, and published by Dark Horse comics which just so happens to be located in Portland, along with all the other hot comic companies. Concrete is the story of speechwriter Ron Lithgow whose brain was transplanted into a huge body of concrete by aliens. But the series is far more than what it sounds like, as Concrete muses on all kinds of things such as the nature of people’s passions and so forth. And, as I recall, there’s this sort of tragic The Sun Also Rises thing going on, with Concrete in love with a woman that he can of course never have. For an interview with Chadwick, click here. And to see what looks like a pretty complete list of the Concrete oeuvre, click here. Check it out, its worth it, I promise.
I’ve been thinking about comics because of the success this summer of Hellboy II, a Dark Horse project, and, of course, The Dark Knight, which I’ve not yet seen. Recently my local newspaper ran an article about how Portland truly is the Hollywood of the Comics world and you can read that article here.
So when I was looking at the ads that run alongside my gmail inbox (it fascinates and scares me how they are so keyed to whatever is being talking about in an email) and saw an ad for a comic book called The Elves of Iax, I had to click on it, just to check it out. Turns out the comic is produced by Jeremy Kayes, who apparently lives in Seattle, which we’ll have to forgive him for as he might not be able to help it. Anyway, Jeremy is giving away Chapter 1 of his comic until August 11, 2008. (You can give him a donation at the end of the process.)
I deeply admire people who do things like this, because it implies that he cares not so much about making money, but getting his work out in the world. He cares not so much about what the world can do for him as what he can do for the world. Excellent karma. So go check it out. The elves look intriguing and I can’t wait for my copy. And do check out Concrete, too.