09 March 2011

die with your mask on

After months of teasing, Steve Bissette announced last week that his new book, TEEN ANGELS & NEW MUTANTS is finally available. Subtitled "Rick Veitch’s Brat Pack® and the Art, Commerce, and Karma of Killing Sidekicks," its 400+ pages analyze Veitch's career, his BRAT PACK, and the intersections between comix history, the superhero-sidekick phenomenon, and modern teen culture. Veitch shared the following that same day:

This book grew out of an article I commissioned from Steve Bissette when I was planning a special hardcover edition of BRAT PACK a couple years back. I asked Steve to write a short history of what was going on with me, the comics scene and my co-publisher while I was creating the original BRAT PACK. Steve dug into it deeper than I could have ever imagined... [H]e has produced what must be the most comprehensive, contextual, far-reaching and in-depth analysis of a graphic novel ever written.

You can order it directly from the publisher or from Amazon. I immediately ordered myself a copy, and I look forward to pouring myself into it ASAP.

I discovered Veitch's King Hell Heroica via THE MAXIMORTAL in the early '90s, which led me back to BRAT PACK. Burnt out by the Marvel, DC, Image and Valiant superhero comix hype-machines, the Heroica definitely spoke to my "fuck superheroes!" mindset of the time. The stories were raw, brutal and sincere; genuine artistic expressions from an independent creator. Looking back on it nearly 20 years later, they likely served as a bridge between what I thought comix were and what I realized they could be.

I had the pleasure of revisiting both books a number of months ago and they ring more true now than they did then. Here's hoping we get the continuing story someday... Until then -- I've got a 400-page thesis to read.