Sunday, July 5, 2009

Leather Underwear

Here's how this works. I read a book or two and tell you about them and try not to get too long-winded. This time, a review of Leather Underwear "#1" (Fantagraphics, 1990, this was actually the only issue).

This weekend, we were in Nashville and visited this very nice, new comic shop. And it was lovely, don't get me wrong, except that they didn't stock anything that any other comic shop couldn't get their hands on from the Previews catalog. No, for real treasures, you've got to find a store where you can get your hands grubby in a box full of old magazines. Atlanta's Book Nook on North Druid Hills is a perfect place for this. It's there that I found Roger Langridge's lovely 1990 effort here. It's 32 pages of gloriously mean-spirited, clever and funny comics, featuring the debut appearances of Sister Knuckles the Malevolent Nun.

Even more interesting, for those who met the character via the 2003 collection No More Mrs. Nice Nun, it turns out that her original ten-page appearance was substantially re-lettered and the dialogue rewritten. That was arguably a big improvement, but it's absolutely fascinating, archaeologically speaking, to see how Langridge found Knuckles' voice over time, and to look at the growing confidence in his artwork over the last couple of decades. Worth tracking down a copy!

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