On the 11th March I recieved the following somewhat breathlessly excited missive from my paintbrush jockey, Wheeler.
"Okay stop what you are doing and take note. Homework this week, the greatest comic of all time. Elektra Assassin by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz. It has all them qualities we are grasping for, poetry, pace, epic story, amazing and original artwork, sheer brilliance! I missed this on account that I took it for granted, wasn't interested in Elektra as a character and sort of hadn't seen the artwork enough, but the recent refinding of Bisley had me realising his inspiration was sienkiewicz, and so one of the boys at work lent me the graphic novel. Its amazing!"
Some time later I found myself on Amazon with some money in the bank and thought I'd have a gander. Here is a picture of the book in question for all you jittery image obsessed readers who need a photo in between every par to keep you smiling...
Anyway I read it and it did blow me away. I still haven't fully got my head around it and I hasten to add that I'm not about to review it right now. It got me thinking about my relationship with comics. You see I came to Leo Fox as an outsider really, not having ever considered myself a comics fan. Paul on the other hand has grown up reading hundreds of the things.
In the past two years that we have been working on this project I have been systematically reading 'the greats'. I've gone through the Watchmen (In Spanish, because I can jejeje), the whole of the Promothea series, a wide range of Will Eisner and now Elektra. I'd also read Sin City, Dark Night Returns and a smattering of Batman in my youth alongside loads of Tintin and Asterix. I keep meaning to try some journalistic comics having dipped into Joe Sacco's Palestine and having absolutely loved the Waltz with Bashir movie, but I haven't got round to it yet. (BTW There is a fantastic set of video podcasts available on iTunes detailing a Stanford University project to make a docu-comic book called Shake Girl.) I am also certain I'm going to love the Sandman when I finally get to it.
I'm not eager to get into neurotic indy stuff like Robert Crumb. I'll try and keep an open mind to it and I did enjoy the Ghost World movie so maybe I should give it a try. And as for manga I tend to fall in and out of like with it but I do have a place in my heart for Bleach at least. (Again Bleach was a research suggestion from Paul - we see Leo Fox as a kind of European Manga) ((Incidentally Manga means sleeve in Spanish))
So what the hell is this post about? I'm still not sure but it's been fun to track my personal journey into comic books. What was yours?
Oh and as with love, the first cut is the deepest...