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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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Alan Moore - Watchmen
To me, no comic has ever been written as well as Watchmen. It's on a level that most people don't even understand that it's on. They just think: "Oh, it's a really good comic book." But it's a work of literature in a way that no other comic has even attempted. It's not even the best of what it does, it's the only thing that has ever tried to combine that kind of narrative richness in the comic book form. So it's a shame that instead of being the first of a new level of a way of storytelling, even 30 years later it's still unique. But that's what's great about it too. The fact that it is a superhero story is immediately off-putting to so many people, that it maintains this misfit outsider status. It's never going to be accepted as a work of literature because it's obviously a pulp comic book - it has people in costumes punching each other in the face and flying through outer space - so it really has these completely unacceptable lowbrow elements that make it unappealing from an academic perspective. And yet in that way I think it's more interesting and more brilliant than if it was a straight literary work like any of these academically acceptable comics, like Maus, for example. I like the fact that it really can't be assimilated into literary culture because it is so lowbrow, and yet it's undeniably of a level of richness to which no other comic has ever come close.

I bought Watchmen and the Daredevil 'Born Again' collection with money I made from this Say No To Drugs poster contest when I was 12. I won $50 and used the money to buy some expensive comics that I wouldn't have the money for otherwise.


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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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