My latest piece is up at http://www.tcj.com/reviews/belgian-lace-from-hell-the-mythology-of-s-clay-wilson-vol-3/
“Belgian Lace From Hell,” the third and final volume of Patrick Rosenkranz’s “The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson,” has landed.
Rosenkranz is our leading historian of underground comics. His “Pirates in the Heartland”(Fantagraphics. 2014), took Wilson from his birth in 1941, through his ground-breaking, taboo-shattering work in the glory years of the UG. His second, “Devils and Angels,” (2015) carried the narrative from 1977 into 1989. Now “Lace” brings readers to Wilson’s diminished present, in which a traumatic brain injury has left the once charismatic, Hell-rattling artist unable to care for himself.
The book is generous in its display of Wilson’s art. It is rich with quotes from past interviews of Wilson, who was among the most engaging interviewees known to man. It is replete with anecdotes from his friends, fellow cartoonists, and women that capture his color and complexity, his genius and his impossibilities. It features a tender, brilliant, heart-breaking introduction from his wife, the unsinkable Lorraine Chamberlain, and extracts from a journal (or diary) she kept that honestly, bravely, painfully details the quality of their post-injury life. “Lace” is, at once, rewarding, both in the comic and the tragic sense.
And it left me often feeling like a crabby shit.