Apr 12, 2015
The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 47: 1602 #1, November 2003
Each issue of Gaiman and Kubert's 1602 contains a verse from "The Ballad of the Fantastick," a seventeenth-century adaptation of the origin of the Fantastic Four. My project this week is to read all eight issues by next Sunday, and arrange and record a version of "The Ballad of the Fantastick," which I'll post on YouTube at the end of the week.
Can I admit something to you about Neil Gaiman? And this is after having met him last year when he was U of C's distinguished writer, and him really seeming to be a genuinely nice guy. I feel like he betrayed us.
Us who? you might ask.
Comics people. The splash Gaiman made in our little pond in the late 80s was revolutionary in the most fundamental meaning of the word. He changed, forever, the way things play in comics. He gave us one of our first English-language long-form literary works in the medium, and then basically fucked off and became a novelist.
I honestly felt like he made his mark with The Sandman, and then moved on to "proper writing."
That's not fair, I acknowledge that, but when 1602 first came out, that's how I was thinking about Gaiman, so I didn't enjoy it very much. I read it, because it's Gaiman, but I felt like it was too little, too late. And, to be honest, I thought the story was kind of second rate.
Going back to it now, I'm appreciating the level of historical detail he is trying to go for, and I think he largely succeeds in transplanting major MCU characters to the early seventeenth century. I'm going to hold off on any real opinions until tomorrow. As I mentioned yesterday, we had a whiskey party last night, and I'm tired and want to go to bed.