Embarrassed By My (Not-So-Young) Youth, Part 23

In a moment that’s oddly fitting — or, at least one that’s demonstrative of my weeks these days — I ended up being too busy to remember that this past Wednesday was the 10th anniversary of the start of Fanboy Rampage!!!, the blog that started me down the road to my current career. I’d meant to do something to mark the anniversary, but could never quite work out what that something would be, which says something about the weird way with which I regard the blog now.

My feelings towards it are complicated but mostly affectionate, if only because it’s FBR that directly led to Newsarama and to io9, from which everything else followed. Without that blog, without that shamelessness and self-righteousness and everything that came from it, I wouldn’t be where I am today, etc. But, man. That that was 10 years ago makes me feel weird, both in the sense of “I’m so old now,” and also “I was as old as 29 when I started it?”

Happy Belated Birthday Rampage!!! You know I love you really.

I’m The Most Important Guy in This Bestiary

eddiecampbellalecGot myself a copy of Alec: The Years Have Pants from the recent online sale from Top Shelf Comix, and read through it last night — it reminded me how weirdly important Eddie Campbell was to my development both as an artist back when I was in art school, and as a writer. There’s something remarkably amiable and offhand about his work, as if he’s effortlessly just sharing something with you, that I strive for even now with non-work writing (and, usually, fail). Thinking about my shortlived late ’90s diary comics — honestly, created as somewhere between decompressor and way to have another sketchbook full of something for my final year of the BA (Hons) program I was in — I can see Eddie Campbell’s fingerprints all over them, alongside (slightly less obviously) those of Kyle Baker, Evan Dorkin and Nick Abadzis.

I don’t have those comics now, for the most part — I got rid of almost all of my student work when I moved to the U.S., because it meant less to move and I was trying to travel light to save money  — but I think about them sometimes. For some reason (Perhaps a Facebook posting that reminded me that it was 20 years since I matriculated for art school, holy crap), I’ve been thinking about that whole era of cartooning and writing and everything recently. Somewhere out there, there’s a me who kept doing all of that stuff. I wonder what happened to him?

(Image above from Graffiti Kitchen, one of the stories in the Alec book; probably my favorite, and possibly my favorite comic of all time.)

“More Super-Heroes Than Ever Before!”


How to lose a ridiculous amount of time in a weekend: Discover a wonderful website dedicated to the British comics of my youth which, because of the way comics fandom works, have been pretty much forgotten for the most part. These were the things I was reading when I was, what, five years old? Maybe younger? These comics, reprinting American comics from the same time for the most part, were a big part of my youth, and what turned me into the person I am. What a horrifying thought.

(This really is a great site, though.)