The cover of a comic that looks way more exciting than this one was.

Publisher: Image

Creator: Howard Chaykin

I didn’t read the first volume of Hey Kids! Comics! So I was coming into this cold. I don’t know if that was a good thing or not. I didn’t do any research either because as we know I believe that ignorance is a useful reviewing weapon. And as usual my belief proved unfounded. 

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of Prophets & Loss. It’s telling a fictionalised based on truth(?) kinda story about a particular time and place in the development of comics. The problem is unless you are interested in that particular time and place and the machinations of a bunch of inherently unlikeable characters it won’t really excite you. 

It might be because I am a female reader from the UK who has never bought a comic from a newsstand, but honestly I do not care about a white male aged 13 who is a serious reader of comics. It’s not like that serious comic book reader even is important. He’s a mere white male cipher (he’s in 2 panels) in a book chock full of wink-wink nudge-nudge references that only a serious reader of comics would probably pick up. Or care about. 

And to be honest I am still not sure what the opening in 1970 has to do with much of anything except to say hey look kids in 1970 thought comics were boring. Or some of them did? And climate change wasn’t a thing because there’s a whole plot point based on enough snow to cause a whiteout. Oh and of course there’s a Vietnam reference because hey it’s 1970. That opening went precisely nowhere before we went back 19 years.  

I will say though the opening did lead me down a Wikipedia rabbit hole that eventually led me to an article on Chuck Norris so that’s not an entire waste. Maybe it was a commentary on the comics code making comics so boring no-one read them anymore? 

That’s another thing, although we are basically in the 1950’s it doesn’t feel like it. These dramas do not entirely fit into the whole perception of that time in comics. Is it because it’s a bunch of businessmen who at one point are quite literally cranking out titles with a toilet on the cover? Or is it because it feels performative? Or both?

Unless you have an interest in comic book history, but from the side of people who you just don’t care about at best and want to fail at worst then really there’s not much for you. There certainly wasn’t much for me. 

I would probably prefer to read the comic with the toilet on the cover. 

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