Bacchus #34 (1998)

Eddie Campbell is one of my favorite cartoonists of all time. His autobiographical comics are among the most charming and wonderful comics ever to appear. In contrast with American Splendor‘s Harvey Pekar, who seems to go through life with the weight of the world on his shoulders, Campbell always seems to be enjoying life, reveling in all the small things that make life with family and friends worth enjoying.
 
Campbell is the king of shaggy dog stories, stories that just amble along without point or conclusion, just endings. The telling of the story is the thing as much as the story itself. Just like life, interpretations of facts are outside of our experiences. Life is usually just a series of events, and such is the case in Campbell’s comics.
 
Thus we get "The Forriners", where Campbell and his family go back to his native Scotland, where they visit his old school. In the tale, the group eventually find their way to the place young Campbell was formed, only to turn around and go to Pizza Hut. "The Court Sketcher" tells about Campbell’s experiences doing court rendering for TV. There are some charming anecdotes in the story, but the tale ends rather than drives towards a conclusion.
 
Not everything Campbell works on has this shaggy dog style. His work on the Jack the Ripper story From Hell is justifiably praised, and he has a pantheon of mythological creatures who face off in the backup "Hermes Vs. the Eyeball Kid".
 
But i’s the autobiography by Campbell that I love. His stories are a lot like hanging out with a very pleasant and amiable friend. It’s a joy just to be in their presence.
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