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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Birthday, Christopher Butcher -- One of the comics internet's most valuable commentators celebrates his birthday. Christopher Butcher maintains one of my few must-read comics blogs, comics212.net and was also the inspiration for one of the funniest elements of the Scott Pilgrim series, Scott's former roommate Wallace Wells.

Christopher is also the manager of the greatest comic book store in North America, The Beguiling, and is one of a handful of comics critics (along with Rob Vollmar and Tom Spurgeon) whose taste in comics I trust implicitly. I've spent a lot of money over the years on his say-so, and found many excellent comics I might otherwise have never heard of. As an advocate for quality and innovation in comics, Christopher Butcher is unequaled.

I've often said the goal of Comic Book Galaxy is to help push comics forward, and Butcher's managed to do this on multiple fronts; in his comics criticism, in his advocacy and work at The Beguiling, and in the occasional, groundbreaking thinkpieces he posts. He often says things many of us know are true, but figures out a way to express them months or years before anyone else can get their shit together. He sees the future of comics like few others, and it's a future I fully endorse and hope for mightily.

And a few years ago, on my most recent trip to Canada, he broke bread with me and Jason Marcy, taking us to a very cool Toronto restaurant where we got to have dinner in a former bank vault and eat some of the best garlic bread I've ever had in my life.

Chris and I haven't always agreed on everything about comics, maybe because we're both kind of grumpy bastards. But there's no one whose writing about the artform and industry of comics I admire more.

Happy Birthday, Christopher, and many, many happy returns of the day.



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