Brother Power the Geek #1 and 2 (1968)

I just finished writing a piece for my pal Jim Kingman’s fanzine Comic Effect on the infamous 1968 series Brother Power the Geek. If you’re not a hardcore comics geek like me, you probably don’t know the reputation this comic has always had in fan circles. Let me tell you, it’s not a well loved comic book. It’s hated, despised, laughed-at. And, you know, it’s for good reason. By any logical way of assessing quality comic books, this is a wretched book. It makes no sense, it’s weird, annoying, ridiculously dated… so why do I love it? Why did I feel a compulsion to write 2600 words defending this comic?
Because sometimes that which is awful is sometimes great. Brother Power is as much an auteur comic as Love & Rockets or Dark Knight Returns. Its unique setting in the the then-contemporary world of the hippies and its incredibly unconventional lead character could only have emerged from the mind of the comic’s creator, Joe Simon. This comiic is the full expression of the world of that era, filtered through Simon’s mind. It’s mainlined straight from Simon’s mind to the printed page, unfilltered and unfettered by anyone else’s vision of the book. For all its rambling, shambling awkwardness, all it goofy and bizarre pointlessness, all its wacky aimlessness, there is a soul and mind and spirit at the core of these comics that animates them in an almost magical way. The fact that people despise and laugh at these comics even after all these years shows the bizarre power of Joe Simon’s vision.
These are great comic books. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. No matter how they suck, they are also pure genius.

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