Fugging Around

My latest is up at http://www.tcj.com/reviews/fogels-underground-price-grading-guide/

It begins:

In the early 1970s, not having read a comic book in 20 years, my interest was re-drawn to them by the question of what gave value to art. I had considered comic books worth a dime, since this is what I had paid for them. But this was no longer the case. Value, it turned out, was affected by such factors as the amount of stain from staple rust and whether a woman was being stabbed in the eye on the front cover by a hypodermic needle.


I had already planned yesterday’s EC blog when the e-mail arrived. Professors of English are not over-represented among my correspondents, so I paid attention. More surprising was the request for my contribution to a book/catalogue to accompany an art exhibition. Most surprisingly the exhibition was to be of EC art.

The professor, Benjamin Saunders, was complimentary of my work. This was not necessary to have won my assent — just to have been asked was plenty — but to hear “…Most Outrageous deserved to win the National Book Award” didn’t hurt. Then the topic he suggested — Graham “Ghastly” Ingels — sealed the deal. Ingels was “Mr. Horror” at EC, yet I had never considered writing about him until that moment and wondering why I had never had this inclination, given his achievement and distinction (and peculiarity) made me unable to wait to get started.