The original Real Stuff was a popular anthology series published by Fantagraphics in the 1990s. Eichhorn, its writer, churned out stories of his checkered past and present, fueling readers' interest with a steady diet of sex, drugs, fights and other staples of the hard-living literary life. Eichhorn enlisted the rising stars of the alternative comics scene to draw his tales, making the work a hipster version of American Splendor. This collection of all 43 stories includes the original cover images and other extras. The stories follow Eichhorn from his Idaho boyhood through football stardom, hippie days and stints as a bouncer, reporter, bartender and so on. The stories are funny and well-formed, akin to solid barroom conversation. Part of the fun is watching Eichhorn mutate from one artist to the other. Julie Doucet, Jim Woodring and Chester Brown all put their stamp on Eichhorn, and he seems to allow each artist free reign, in the process helping them produce some of their better work. Mary Fleener's color story filters Eichhorn through cubist patterns, while Dave Cooper's makes his disgust at the unmentionable topic of his entry ooze off the page. In one masterpiece, Ivan Brunetti draws Eichhorn and all the characters in the story in different styles, making it a microcosm of the entire book's stylistic variety. For fans of Charles Bukowski and other flouters of polite society and of alternative comics, Real Stuff will be an offbeat, light pleasure. Eichhorn's stories are humorous and entertaining, though not for the faint of heart. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.