Thursday, June 23, 2016

#Top5ComicBooks of 2015: #1 - "The Eltingville Club #2" by Evan Dorkin

This was the best comic of 2015. What took me so long to write about it? was completed in 2016, followed by the hardcover volume that collected it. It's the second half of a mini-series; judging by how good the 1st issue was, I waited for it. I also posted fake #1 on this blog to coincide with April Fool's Day, but make no mistake: this is the one. You may continue reading or just start searching for it online or in back issue bins at your neighborhood comic store before it's gone. Or buy the hardcover before that also goes away...none of the non-superhero comics tend to stay in circulation long...I'm still holding on to my copies of Hopster's can go look that up.

Still lurking about? Okay. Read on..

Bill, Josh, Pete and Jerry. These four young men comprise The Eltingville Club. They are fanboys. They are frenemies. They are suckers. They were united because they had nobody else to compare notes with on their hobby. Although Jerry had become a more sympathetic character by the end, they're all at eachother's throats most of the time. This issue is the finale to a series of stories written and illustrated by Evan Dorkin during a 20+ year period; I heartily recommend you check it out, then be sure to check out the hardcover collection of all the stories, which was released on February of this year, also by Dark Horse Comics.

See, you look at guys like Kevin Smith, Chris Hardwick and others form cottage industries by branding comic book & pop culture fandom, but they skate lightly over this milieu; they'll use it as a springboard to just take what they can get and run...Evan Dorkin, on the other hand, steps deep in the $#!++y side of things and unveils the rotten core in a way that sometimes has reviewers downplay the canny accuracy by saying, "Oh, things aren't quite like THAT anymore, thank goodness"...when anyone with half a brain would beg to differ. All the bad behavior - across the board, from both sides, fans & retailers  (with a hinted thumbing of the nose at the publishers here and there) - is fair fodder for satire.

The "camaraderie" amongst the Eltingville Club is weak and toxic; this issue depicts what's supposed to be a "reunion", where they run into eachother at San Diego Comic-Con in their mid-30s. Pete and Josh have found careers, Jerry has found love, but Bill hasn't moved on, so the whole thing goes to hell. This must be read to be believed. Go now. Pick up this book. You will not regret it. Read the bits below for a taste if you're still not convinced. It should make you want to read more...then lament the fact that this was the end of it...then seek out the reprint book...and wish that wasn't the end...because that's what only the best comic book of the year can do.

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