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Eddie Campbell's Egomania #1
By Eddie Campbell
Published by Eddie Campbell Comics
Available from Top Shelf Productions

Eddie Campbell has spent the past couple of years distilling his outstanding autobiographical comics into a series of sublime and rewarding graphic novels, the most recent being After the Snooter.

His journey as a cartoonist and chronicler of the human condition (his, at least) has now led him to a quarterly magazine that promises to reveal Campbell's interests, wisdom and brilliance. All of those are on display in the first issue of Egomania.

There's something for everyone here, as Campbell rolls out a cartoon essay (the first two chapters of a longer planned graphic novel) on the History of Humour, an interview with a Golden Age Batman artist, an article by Campbell's daughter on the From Hell movie premiere, and an essay about paintings.

The Batman article and interview is fascinating for how much it reveals about Campbell and his development as a cartoonist (I'm amazed and gratified he didn't end up doing Batman comics every month -- a bullet dodged, that). The From Hell piece is a behind the scenes glimpse of comics history that's uniquely appropriate to this magazine. The pieces on humour and painting didn't capture my immediate attention, but I'm not captivated by every word of The Comics Journal, either. A good magazine is about diversity, and Egomania has that in spades.

I found a second reading of the painting piece gave me a deeper appreciation of the depth of the magazine and even more fondness for Campbell and the way he magages to reveal himself when he's talking about something almost totally other from himself. There was much more here that I liked than not, and I'm gleeful with anticipation of the future of this magazine. Grade: 4/5

-- Alan David Doane



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