Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Steve Bissette writes about Rick Veitch

I first met Steve Bissette probably 30something years ago at at comicbook show in New Hampshire that was being hosted by a very good friend of mine named Mark Ernst. Shortly after this Steve announced that he was releasing Taboo, and trading on the fact that I had met him (and had the foresight to have gotten his number) I pitched a story about it to Amazing Heroes. Well AH was interested, but, as Steve had the reputation to not be anything close to the fastest artist in the world, he was no wheres near ready to publish.

In fact, it took him a full year to get to the point where he was ready to publish. Well, my editor, Kim Thompson, was understanding, and told me to keep after Steve, and whenever Steve was ready to publish,, he would run the story. So I would regularly call Steve every month or two until he was ready. Then I wrote the story, which eventually wound up as a cover story in AH.

For several years afterwards whenever I would meet Steve, he would be extraordinarily friendly to me, introducing me to all of his friends and being quite nice to me. I never really understood why, until some 10 years after the publication of the article, Steve said to someone, “Bob was the first one to write about Taboo.” Suddenly the light went on in my head (hey, I never said I was very bright).

Flash forward another 20 years and I again reconnected with Steve (who has long since left comics and is now teaching in Vermont), on the Internet. Well, as it turns out, Steve wrote a book (he’s apparently written a few, actually) about Rick Veitch’s decades-old comic/Graphic Novel, Brat Pack. Well, Steve sent it to me and I recently read it and posted my review of it over at Examiner.com (where I write about comics and movies).

Well, the book is an amazing look at not only Brat Pack, and what went into influencing Veitch to create that marvelously subversive tome, but Bissette’s book Teen Angels & New Mutants, is an enlightening expose of the entirety of the pop culture landscape that surrounded his and Veitch’s growing up and becoming part of the comicbook community. Steve’s book is currently available (as are updated graphic volumes of Brat Pack), and we strongly urge you all to check out both of them.

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