For the first time ever, the pioneering autobiographical comics of master cartoonist Eddie Campbell (From Hell) are collected in a single volume! Brilliantly observed and profoundly expressed, the ALEC stories present a version of Campbell's own life, filtered through the alter ego of "Alec MacGarry." Over many years, we witness Alec's (and Eddie's) progression "from beer to wine" - wild nights at the pub, existential despair, the hunt for love, the quest for art, becoming a ...
For the first time ever, the pioneering autobiographical comics of master cartoonist Eddie Campbell (From Hell) are collected in a single volume!
Brilliantly observed and profoundly expressed, the ALEC stories present a version of Campbell's own life, filtered through the alter ego of "Alec MacGarry." Over many years, we witness Alec's (and Eddie's) progression "from beer to wine" - wild nights at the pub, existential despair, the hunt for love, the quest for art, becoming a "responsible breadwinner," feeling lost at his own movie premiere, and much more! Eddie's outlandish fantasies and metafictional tricks convert life into art, while staying fully grounded in his own absurdity.
This Life-Size Omnibus edition of ALEC includes all the stories from The King Canute Crowd, Three-Piece Suit, How to be an Artist, and After the Snooter, as well as the very early, out-of-print ALEC stories and a staggering amount of bonus material.
Just about the last thing that the comics world needs (apart from more action/horror mashups) is another dry and inspiration-free autobiography—thankfully, Alec shows with thrilling certitude that quotidian observations make just as great comic art as the most action-packed fiction. This monster of a book (billed as “the definitive edition”) contains a life's worth of Campbell's previously published Alec MacGarry stories. Running from 1981 to the present, these witty and thoughtful pieces (etched with the prolific Campbell's typically scratchy impatience) show Campbell's alter ego progressing from irresponsible Scottish pub crawler to striving graphic novelist to responsible and reasonably successful Aussie father. Along the way we can trace Campbell's rise from penny-pinching obscurity to relative fame, sketching an engaging portrait of the comics community. Though best known for his Alan Moore collaboration From Hell, Campbell shows in his MacGarry stories a breezy comic touch that can still flirt with darker topics of artistic responsibility and mortality without weighing down the narrative. The book can drag in its earlier, more minutely observed pages, but taken as a whole, delivers a life-size work, a great and epic comic documentary novel like no other. (Nov.)
This Edinburghian transplanted to Australia is best known for bringing to life From Hell, Alan Moore's Jack the Ripper masterwork. Also responsible for the well-regarded The Fate of the Artist and The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard, Campbell published numerous autobiographical improvisations in small press publications, starring his Alec persona. Pants collects most of these, plus new material, in one wry and monumental 30-year opus. The detailed depiction of daily life in Campbell's work invites comparison to the American Harvey Pekar, but their characters are very different and Campbell stands out for his exquisite skill at depicting the Gordian knots of human relationships. Alec shares endless and congenial glasses with friends and acquaintances, philosophizes in quirky and perceptive nuggets, and manages his life in an endearingly ad hoc fashion from factory hand to full-time comikker while confronting his own inner killjoy (After the Snooter). VERDICT Campbell's sketchy, fluent black-and-white chronicle is highly recommended for all sizable and serious adult graphic novel collections and everywhere autobiographical stories are popular. [See Martha's Q&A with Campbell in BookSmack! 11/5/09.]—M.C.
Eddie Campbell was born and raised in Los Angeles. He has a bachelor’s degree from USC Annenberg School of Communication and USC School of Cinema-Television. His background is in art direction for both TV and film, creative direction, and graphic design.