Saturday, November 19, 2022

Hey kids! Not quite comics!

Howard Chaykin's Hey Kids Comics! series is a hell of a lot of fun - a razor-sharp look at the history of the American comic book business that would absolutely be 1000 percent better if he just gave all his surrogates their proper names.

It's obvious why he hasn't done it, since many of these people do not come off well. On a legal level, it can hide under satire, and while almost all of the creators whose ghosts appear in these pages are gone, they had plenty of kids and heirs who may be very protective of their legacy.

Chaykin knows that the vast majority of his audience are going to be wondering who the Alex Toth analogue is anyway - is it this asshole, or that asshole? - and there is some obvious amalgamation and invention of certain characters to keep the narrative pumping, but I would give anything for a bootleg version with the real names.

Who cares if it's not true? Most of us are old enough to figure that out when you say it's a exageratted fiction. It's just a shame the creator of Black Kiss is being so tasteful and respectful. That's not why we like him.

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