- Paperback: 640 pages
- Publisher: Top Shelf Productions (January 18, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1603090258
- ISBN-13: 978-1603090254
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.9 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #978,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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ALEC: The Years Have Pants (A Life-Size Omnibus) Paperback – January 18, 2010
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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Starred Review. 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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"This impressive collection -- a high-water mark in the graphic novel's short history -- confirms that no one else in the medium combines emotional truth, literary intelligence, and formal daring with such adroitness and elegance." --Booklist (starred review)
"Witty and thoughtful ... a great and epic comic documentary novel like no other." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A profound piece ... Campbell makes it feel like the greatest adventure imaginable." --Alex Pappademas, GQ<br /><br />
"Eddie Campbell's Alec stories were among the first of the modern era of autobiographical comics, and they still rate among the best -- witty, brilliantly illustrated, self-mocking without ever being mopey or pathetic, and most importantly, forever changing style to suit the needs of the story. After many years of sporadic availability, they're finally all available in one volume ... Watching Campbell's storytelling and approach to art progress and evolve as these stories unfold is as close as you can get to watching a real human life change on the page. One of the must-own releases of the year." --The AV Club
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Top customer reviews
I can say it's great to have so much of his material in one place, and even at the hardcover price it is cheaper than buying all of his books separately.
I can also say that I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the book itself. For example, it is not cloth bound or fancy, but instead has a very simple, no frills binding. It is simple, but solid, and stands out well among the other books on my shelf.
I was also expecting a book this thick to have thin pages, slightly better than newsprint. Instead, the pages are luxuriantly thick, allowing Campbell's simple artwork to really stand out.
If the folks at Top Shelf happen to read this review, please, please put something like this together for Glenn Dakin's comics as well.
In “Alec,” Eddie Campbell compiles decades of his autobiographical works in one volume, from his young bachelor days as a Scottish member of the wild King Canute bar crowd in Great Britain, where he scrapes out a meager existence in a manual labor metalworking job. He dates, hones his artistic craft, and begins a journey of self-discovery. We follow him through marriage, children, and the world of self-publishing to see him emerge a mature family man and reasonably-famous artist based in Australia. We even get behind the scenes stories of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and other famous writers and artists he comes in contact with. Through it all Eddie Campbell, through his alter ego Alec MacGarry, shares with us the ups and downs, through good drawings and hurried, the real and the surreal. Most of all, however, we share with him the honesty of life that he unfailingly paints on each page. There is very little self-importance here. We get the randomness and seeming irrelevance of the day-to-day through the colorful yet very real characters that flow through Alec’s life.
I have the hard bound edition from Top Shelf and it is wonderful. The spare, no-nonsense artwork on the cover and spine goes perfectly in tone with the gorgeous black and white drawings inside. The paper is heavy and displays the ink well. We even get bonus material in the back of the book. The whole project is well-realized, done in the right way, and I am glad to display it in my home. Highly recommended.