Comics Journal, The,: #267, $9.95, 204 pp. By Norb

Mar 05, 2007

Wow, i think i used to cut up copies of this magazine in the ‘80s to make collages for my fanzine, except it used to be a little more... uh... geez... "normal" back then. You know, it had staples in the middle, and superheros on the cover, and black and white newsprint on the insides—kinda what you'd expect from a magazine about comic books. Somewhere, in the interceding years, The Comics Journal has become this sort of dry, scholarly, almost academic square-bound tome that has little more graphic gusto than a tech school course catalog. SAMPLE DIALOGUE: " is graphically the reason why most moderns cannot be brought to any penetrating or rupturing realizations about the culture that has them in thralldom. 'Postmodernism' is a presumptuous academicist school of theorizing that assumed the previous and arcane 'death of modernity' bestows some kind of privileged standpoint on their thinking. In actuality postmodernists are nothing but crypto-modernists par excellence, selective and self-unreflective enforcers of the modern ideological imprisonment: they are bourgeois intellectuals who imagine they can intellectualize their way out of being bourgeois." ... uh... okay, so we won't be discussing New Avengers any time soon, i take it? I mean, geez, i'm all for high thinking and such, but i tend to like my comic book related discourse a bit more lowbrow, i'm afraid. I also tend to like my comic book related discourse to not cost me ten bucks. Then again, i'm kind of a comic book dumbass who has read little else but Marvel and DC superhero books for the last thirty-five years, so consider the source. In any event, this issue is heavy on features on the recently departed Will Eisner, which is cool... they actually devote about forty straight pages to reprinting some of Eisner's early work, but the fact that two big chunks of said forty pages are given to "A Medal for Bowzer" and "The Sad Case of Waiting Room Willie"—essentially pro-animal experimentation and anti-socialized medicine propaganda comics—kind of seems like a poor choice of materials, if you ask me. I'd write a letter of complaint, but i can't spell "bourgeois" without using spell-check, so i guess they're off the hook. –Rev. Nørb (Fantagraphics Books, 7563 Lake City Way NE, Seattle WA 98115)