I was 13. It was 1989. A friend had lent me his anthologies of R. Crumb and American Splendor comix. Until then, I’d only known comic books to be Spider-Man, Batman, and the like. Now, almost 17 years later, I still clearly remember staying up late pouring over these books, as a light seemed to emanate from them and my mind was opened to the limitlessness of the comix medium. It was a major turning point, for sure. I don’t know if I can pinpoint in just a few words, exactly how this sort of seminal experience has influenced me as an artist today, but it’s definitely a bright spot along the sentimental journey of days past. Hey, you never forget your first time, you know. I had been a total virgin to underground comix, aside from a vague knowledge of Zippy the Pinhead, and this was my deflowering. Things would never be the same after that. Stripped from my naive idolation (yes, I invented a new word) of spandex-clad he-men and thrust into the dark, perverse, underworld of the self-loathing antihero. And these things were autobiographical! Well, at least partially. Anyway, these guys really existed!
Or so I’ve been told. I’m going to get my empirical evidence tonight at the L.A. Central Library, when I see Harvey Pekar in a discussion with Robbie Conal. It’s part of the ALOUD series.
More info here and here:
Thursday, June 8, 2006 at 7pm
“Life as Art, Art as Life.”
A conversation between HARVEY PEKAR and ROBBIE CONAL
ALOUD at Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium
Fifth and Flower Street, Downtown Los Angeles
www.aloudla.org or (213) 228-7025
Admission is FREE