Friday, May 29, 2009

1990 James O'Barr's The Crow against barbed wire

Back in the early '90s, my access to comic shops was limited, so I got a lot out of my brother's keeping copies of CSN around his house for me to peruse. For instance, my first exposure to the Eric Draven Crow character was on the cover of the 1990 Comic Shop News Winter Preview!, pictured here. I think this is a fantastic image, which inspired all sorts of fevered dreams and imitations from my own mind based on my imagining of who or what this guy was. I didn't manage to read an actual Crow comic for another couple of years, when Tundra released the complete series in three prestige editions. You can imagine my sitting down to finally read the graphic novel after all that build-up, and being utterly disappointed by it. I saw the film at the theater in 1994, and haven't bothered with it again since. I sold the Kitchen Sink, London Night, and Image Comics series in my shops at an erratic trickle, even factoring in subscribers, of which there were few. I've known of many idiots who've dressed as the Crow for pretty much every Halloween for fifteen friggin' years now. All that devotion, based on a turgid comic, a tepid movie, a dubious "curse" and some admittedly wicked soundtracks. Oh, and cool as shit images like this, which explains why the Crow remains one of the only great comic book creations since the Silver Age, even if Jim O'Barr makes more money off licensing than anybody ever did off the actual comic books. Someone should really look into that.

Meanwhile, I couldn't find this exact image anywhere else on the internet, in part due to O'Barr's having drawn almost nothing but Crow pin-ups since 1989. I scanned and cleaned up the above from that old copy of CSN I've had in a box for decades, so sorry for the extraneous crap at the bottom.

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