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Baker's Dozen

Dr. Manhattan: Jeffrey Lewis' Favourite Comics
Aug Stone , December 15th, 2015 10:22

Aug Stone talks to the NYC musician and comic book creator about bizarre autobiographies, superheroes and (SPOILER) a whole lot of Alan Moore, as he finishes his UK tour in support of new album, Manhattan

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Chester Brown - Yummy Fur
This one I discovered buying the collection Ed The Happy Clown, which is one of the best comic books of all time. I found that collection somewhere and it looked interesting to me at the time when my brother Jack and I were both reaching out in the dark and trying to find some comics that would be interesting. We didn't really know anything about these alternative comics, it was just stuff in the back of the comics store. We would randomly pick up stuff that looked like it could be cool and Ed The Happy Clown was such a mindblower that I just wanted to find everything else that I could by Chester Brown. And then later I was able to buy the entire series of Yummy Fur in one stack when I was playing a gig in Toronto. The comic book store The Beguiling actually sold a whole sackful of the entire series.

I'd already been a big fan of Chester Brown's work, from Ed The Happy Clown to I Never Liked You to The Playboy. Basically anything that he touches is just so weird and idiosyncratic. Ed The Happy Clown was where his most imaginative, bizarre, grotesque and insanely creative work is and all of that is serialised in Yummy Fur. And that sort of series, much like Eightball, where every single issue contains short stories, gives free rein to the imagination where the creator can do whatever they want in each issue. They can explore different kinds of stories and different styles of art. It's like an anthology series all done by one person. I feel that that format is a really great thing that you don't get when you're reading comic book collections. That's what I want to do with my own comic series, Fuff, where each issue has different short stories in it. For a new issue, I can just come up with one whimsical idea or something I'm interested in saying without having to necessarily create a giant epic story arc or work on some huge novelistic architecture. Fuff is me trying to create that sort of thing that I feel is lacking in comic book stores nowadays. Very much inspired by stuff like Yummy Fur and Eightball, now that you can't walk in and buy a new issue of those.


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Rockin' Rom
Dec 15, 2015 11:32am

Great selections, eloquent descriptions. I haven't thought about Rom the Spaceknight in years, I must be a similar age to Lewis I guess, how I loved that comic.

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Jeff
Dec 15, 2015 7:46pm

The world of comics is extremely dense with amazing work, and has been for decades... but Alan Moore is one of those writers where, if somebody asked me about the single best author in the medium, it would be a no-brainer. Miracleman, Swamp Thing, and Watchmen alone... and that's ignoring a LOT. Those are my "big 3" from him.

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Ott
Dec 15, 2015 9:58pm

Very well written, great insights.

Do any of you know the book "Flicker's Fleas"? (http://www.amazon.com/Flickers-fleas-Ken-Struck/dp/B0006RXSA6)

I picked this up in early '00 in Tallinn Estonia, in a local comics shop. A completely bonkers story of a heroin addicted saxophone player, who has inherited a flea sircus. Wierdly delirious and a paranoid book.

I was just wondering if any of you has ever heard of it, or knows anything about it?

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Scott
Dec 16, 2015 12:39pm

Love Peepshow, one of my all-time favourite comics, great to see it mentioned here.

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Grimbo
Dec 17, 2015 7:32pm

In reply to Jeff:

Those are all fantastic, but I would add "From Hell" to that list. "Swamp Thing" is a gorgeous series, though.

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danlor
Apr 5, 2016 2:12pm

I'm always amazed at not finding these lists filled with 2000AD stuff, particularly Dredd. As far as I'm concerned Dredd is the best comics character ever made, and 2000AD by itself can easily compete, in terms of quality, with the entire American industry. It almost never gets a mention tho.

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