Rude Chapbooks 07.23.12 | A Farewell for Now

Herein, with customary crankiness and prolixity, our columnist bids adieu for the foreseeable future to funnybook follies. Please hold your applause till Elvis has well and truly left the building (or, more precisely, been sent sprawling in the trash-strewn alley beside it).

At least for the nonce, this concludes the weekly upload of “Rude Chapbooks,” it saddens me to report.
To filch a trope from that most redoubtable of modern philosophers, Jimmy Buffett, changes in latitude if not—certainly not!—changes in attitude have compelled me to discontinue the column. At some point, after a necessary but indeterminate interregnum, I hope to resurrect it, whether as a weekly or in some other form. Only time will tell, as they say (whoever “they” are).
In the meantime, my gratitude goes to my long-suffering editor, Jason Green, who suggested and supported “Rude Chapbooks,” even when he disagreed (sometimes vehemently) with its assessments. My gratitude likewise extends to PLAYBACK.stl’s publishers, Laura Hamlett and Jim Dunn, who provided such a ready online forum for big words and a bad attitude. Finally, I wish to thank the column’s always-hypothetical habitués—especially my old friend (and fellow longtime fanboy) Steve Pick, of Webster Groves’ Euclid Records, who often responded to it in some way, shape, or form each week.
Since “Rude Chapbooks” started making the Web unsafe for those averse to polysyllables late in October 2010, I have striven to position it as an informal but informed critique of the contemporary comic book, a blissfully mongrel visual-and-verbal medium (a) viewed too often with condescension or contempt by “mundanes,” to borrow a phrase from science fiction fandom, (b) burdened with an attendant industry frequently so myopic or moronic as to prompt nausea, depression, or both, and (c) saddled with a commentariat, in print and pixel alike, largely bereft of both substance and style, whose ludicrous dispatches, with rare exceptions, have typically inspired nothing but disdain over time. Whether I succeeded in that admittedly quixotic endeavor, obviously, will depend on the judgment of a given reader.
In any event, for however long “Rude Chapbooks” remains on hiatus, please allow me to leave discerning readers with a caveat applicable both to creators and, most assuredly, to publishers, especially monolithic, manipulative corporations owned by even more monolithic, manipulative conglomerates. To wit, those who accept work that targets the lowest common denominator doom themselves to devolving to the lowest common denominator.
In sum, in words and pictures alike, keep striving to read between the lines. | Bryan A. Hollerbach

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