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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 & Rick Veitch - Swamp Thing
More Alan Moore. Probably the best artwork in any mainstream comic of all time. Steve Bissette, John Totleben and Rick Veitch did really incredible artwork. And probably the best writing in any mainstream comic of all time. Like Eightball, I recommend that you read the original issues. There's something pulpy about the original pages, the way that the art and the writing are so much better than the cheap printing of the form creates this really exciting reading experience. It's like this piece of culture that's smuggled into you in a very unassuming form. The advertisements for bubblegum on the next page while you're in the midst of this very dark and hard-hitting, sharp storyline. That contrast of reading it in its original form in the original issues is a really unique experience.

Swamp Thing was a regular comic that you'd see on newsstands, you didn't have to go to a comic book store to find it. And in those days my brother Jack and I would buy a lot of comics that way, at a magazine store or newsstand on the corner. You would see Swamp Thing there. It seemed a little too adult at the time., I remember my brother buying an issue and saying: "Ah, you don't wanna buy stuff like that, it's for grown-ups. It's not as fun as reading The Fantastic Four." And then what really hooked us was the way that they were planning on hooking readers exactly like us - they had a Batman crossover around issue number 50. At that time in the late '80s everything that had to do with Batman was cool. So as a 12-year-old comic reader who is engrossed in things like The Dark Knight Returns, I was like, "Oh Batman's in the new issue of Swamp Thing, I'll get that." And then the writing and the art were so incredible that it made us wanna go back and seek out the other issues and eventually end up with all of them.


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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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