söndag 18 september 2011

Bryan Talbot: The Naked Artist. Comic Book Legends

Comics artist and writer Bryan Talbot (The Tale of One Bad Rat, among other things) has written a book compiling a huge load of gossip about comics biz people, mainly British comics creators and US. superhero creators. It's both anecdotes he's got first-hand knowledge about and those that are the stuff of legend, told and retold among the professional brotherhood. Some of them are a bit meh, some are absolutely brilliant, but most of them are at least entertaining, or even highly entertaining.

You'll learn what can happen at signings – especially if you bother Simon Bisley too much – and what happens it you foolishly offer British comics creators free drinks, and why it's in many cases probably better to just immensely enjoy reading the work of your favorite comics writer rather than actually palling around with him.

My favorite anecdote in this volume isn't all that funny, though. It has The Question artist Denys Cowan having made loads and loads of money selling art and doing sketches at a San Diego Comic Con, and deciding to pay off the hotel bill with some of that cash rather than carrying all of it around.

Having paid the bill, Cowan goes back to his room to pack up his bags. After a while, he hears an odd sound outside his room, so he opens the door to check it out – staring straight into the barrel of a Highway Patrolman's gun.

Denys Cowan is black, you see, so when he showed the hotel that he had a lot of cash, the conclusion they reached was: drug dealer. It took Cowan twenty minutes to convince the officer that his earnings were legit.

Anyway, the book also carries illustrations by by Hunt Emerson, whose Firkin the Cat and especially the excellent Lady Chatterley's Lover are highly recommended, and who's characteristically funny here as well. Recommended.

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