My comic-book collecting heyday was back in the 70s and early 80s. I quit upon enlisting in the Marine Corps, but when I got out in 1991 I resumed collecting for a couple of years until I became disillusioned by rampant speculation, multiple covers, inflated prices, and various cheesy sales gimmicks. Daniel Clowes' "Pussey!" perfectly captures that period of comics history while also managing to skewer both the creative and business aspects of the industry.
The titular character is a prototypical introvert geek that grows up devouring comic books and drawing superheroes at the expense of developing social skills. Dan Pussey eventually breaks his way into the biz as an illustrator, and we follow his rise and fall as an artistic force in comicdom. An omnipresent, Svengali-like publisher influences and dominates Pussey's life, manipulating our hero until he's cast aside and supplanted by the next hungry, young, and trendy penciller.
There's plenty of humor in the author's dead-on portrayal of weird comic fans, egocentric artists, and industry tropes, but Mr. Clowes goes beyond this low-hanging fruit by showing the darker side of comic creation, most tellingly with the character of the elderly publisher, Dr. Infinity. We see creative types like Pussey used and abused over the years by Infinity, who takes credit for their accomplishments and pays them peanuts while collecting the lion's share of the accolades and profits.
Real-life incidents (though thinly disguised), such as the Siegel and Shuster Superman debacle are woven into Pussey's tragicomic story to demonstrate this shocking abuse of the creative folks, making me thankful that legendary comic artist Neal Adams is fighting so hard for creator's rights. Any comic reader or collector, particularly those who lived through the wacky excesses of the 1990s, will want to add "Pussey!" to their bookshelf (alongside Mr. Clowes' "Ghost World").
Loved it. Very humorous and a biting criticism against the early days of the mainstream superhero-based comic book market. It's a satire of sorts, but as is the case with all quality satire, it's humorous in it's revealing truths.
This book is a scathing commentary about the comic book industry and a brutal look at fanboys. At times I was laughing, other times cringing when I saw myself in the book (adults who read comics when they "should" be moving on to more mature forms of entertainment). In the end, Clowes is a true original and this a book is not to be missed by anyone who has ever collected comics or attended a comic convention. Check out Clowes' "Wilson" for more laughs, but this one is just brilliant.
It's PuSAY! Man this book is a true look into the original comic book nerds, not the wanna be cool/nerd hipster readers of today. Clowes' hatred of costumed and superhero comics and of STAN LEE himself is never more apparent than in this book. So take it with a grain of salt if you're a Spidey fan. If you are a comic nerd and can laugh about it, pick this book up!
So I recommend almost any title by this author. He is a great writer, and a great pre-computer draftsman. I cannot walk out in public without seeing at least a few of his characters on the street [including me!].
PUSSEY! is a collection of short works by Dan Clowes that skewers the comic industry. Dan Pussey works his way up from a neurotic childhood to a position as artist in the Infinity Comics bullpen, finally becoming the comics superstar of the nineties... but in the end, what's it all worth? The stories are hilarious, but there's definitely an uncomfortable vibe running throughout the book, as the situations contained within are one step removed from real life in the industry. Stan Lee, Art Spiegelman, Los Bros. Hernandez, and other creators, both modern and classic, get their turns - almost always for the worse. I never could understand how an entire movie came out of the short "Art School Confidential" (contained in TWENTIETH CENTURY EIGHTBALL); however, the saga of Dan Pussey has more than enough material for the silver screen. So get ahead of the curve, read PUSSEY!, and impress your friends when the preview is shown at your next movie outing.
If a movie captures the true essence of Dan Pussey it could go down as one of the finest films ever made. Thinly veiled references to the way Jack Kirby was kicked to the curb when it came to creator owned rights. Other references are there, but mainly focus on how "Hot,young,artists" are treated in the comic industry and disgarded while the new batch of artists come into the fold. Nobody captures a character and modern society like Dan Clowes. One of his best works in my humble opinion.
GW is my all time favorite Clowes piece, but Pussey has got to be a close second! With a much better story than "Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron", it was a good read, and I don't think I put it down until I was finished! One gets the feeling that it is sort of an autobiography, in the way that Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories are. Great art, quirky characters, as always.