Thursday, May 18, 2006
The Fate of the Artist
Anyone who ran into me at WHC last Friday might have noted that I was a bit distracted, at least for the first few hours of the day, my nose buried in the pages of Eddie Campbell's latest opus, The Fate of the Artist. A tour de force that pushes the medium of comics in more directions than any other single work of recent years I can recall (up to and including photo comics--fumetti!), The Fate of the Artist is an autobiographical story in which the author does not appear. The role of "Eddie Campbell" is portrayed by an actor, Richard Siegrist, while Campbell's daughter herself is presented in a series of photographs, accompanied by a typewritten transcript of a taped interview. A brilliant portrait of life with a creative personality, warts and all, the book is insightful and often fall-down funny. Anyone who's read Campbell's other autobiographical work--in particular the Alec strips--will find more to love here, and anyone who knows Campbell only through his collaborations with Alan Moore owes it to themselves to see the man working on his own and without a net. A virtuoso performance, and arguably Campbell's best work yet.