Noah Van Sciver
Fantagraphics; 1 edition
I was a huge fan of Noah Van Sciver’s first iteration of Fante Bukowski; so much so I swiftly studied up on some of his other comics – but I loved this despicable character of Fante Bukowski, a self-appointed literary hero; self-assured but also clueless – a gross caricature of almost every single writer or the vestiges of various neuroses that float around inside the skull of pretty much every writer you’ve any met or any writer you’ve wanted to be. So it’s super news that he’s back, Fante Bukowski Two is a continuing version/story – our hapless (anti-)hero is still sure he’s the greatest undiscovered writer of his (or any?) generation and is getting more and more furious about that undiscovered bit.
In increasingly toe-curling situations Fante Bukowski gets embarrassed and is embarrassing – whether dissing other writers, proclaiming his own readings to be better than they are or in his late-late-late discovery of the ‘zine medium.
Every hopeful writer should be issued with a copy of Fante Bukowski Two. It would solve a few problems and/or start a few more perhaps. But there’s something profound lurking in the intentionally absurd, immaculately drawn pages here. This guy is so real – despicably so. We’ve all had our time as a version of him, or spotted people operating just like him.
I think Fante Bukowski Two goes further out and is deeper, more fulfilling, richer – darker. And though it’s good to have read the first – to get the full picture (some stories from the first, slimmer volume are alluded to) you could in fact start here and still get enough of the story. It’s both sequel and rewrite in that sense. A superior volume at any rate.