Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Star*Reach: Pushing Boundaries

Star*Reach Companion
On Sale: July 2013

The Star*Reach Companion by Richard Arndt is a complete history and bibliography of the 1970s independent comic, highlighting its importance to the comics field. Star*Reach's influence was enormous, impacting nearly every aspect of modern comics and genres, featuring Dave Stevens, Frank Brunner, Howard Chaykin, Steve Leialoha, Walter Simonson, Barry Windsor-Smith, Ken Steacy, John Workman, Mike Vosburg, P. Craig Russell, Dave Sim, Michael Gilbert and many others. Cover by Howard Chaykin.

MIKE FRIEDRICH:
(from a letter to Dave Sim dated 14 December 1977, reprinted in Cerebus Archive #15)
It's taken me a bit, but I wanted to write to say that, yes, I have accepted I'm God for publication in Star*Reach. In fact, barring a last minute schedule change, it'll be in the next issue, #7, going to press next month. I really enjoy I'm God. It's one of the most entertaining stories I've bought for S*R. It's fresh, unique, original. The script and art blend together very well. Fabio is definitely talented, with a very excellent sense of page composition and a unique cartooning style. All in all a fun story and one I'm proud to be running...

...In your critical reviews of Star*Reach that I've read you would talk about the potential of what I was (am) doing; it's fresh outlooks like your own that may someday realise this potential (I'm generally dissatisfied with my books, personally, except for Pudge and occasional single stories here and there). I want to encourage you to keep writing and I hope you can find a compatible artist or three and turn me in some more stories.

DAVE SIM:
(from Cerebus Archive #15, August 2011)
I'm not sure where Mike read my views on Star*Reach -- maybe in Comic Art News & Reviews? The zeitgeist opinion of the day on S*R (which I shared and occasionally expressed) was that when mainstream talents were given complete creative freedom, they tended to write and draw stories pretty much identical with the ones they did in mainstream comics, except for incorporating gratuitous nudity and violence. That would be central to my thinking as I developed Cerebus. That I needed always to be pushing boundaries in directions mainstream comics didn't and wouldn't go. Otherwise, what was the point of creative freedom.

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