Eddie Campbell

Eddie Campbell

Infobox comics creator
name = Eddie Campbell

imagesize = 150
caption =
birthname =
birthdate = birth date and age|1955|08|10
location =
deathdate =
deathplace =
nationality = Scottish
area = Artist
alias =

notable works = "Bacchus"
"From Hell"
awards =
website = http://eddiecampbell.blogspot.com/

Eddie Campbell (born 10 August 1955) is a Scottish comics artist and cartoonist who now lives in Australia. Probably best known as the illustrator and publisher of "From Hell" (written by Alan Moore), Campbell is also the creator of the semi-autobiographical "Alec" stories, and "Bacchus" (aka "Deadface"), a wry adventure series about the few Greek gods who have survived to the present day. His graphic novel "The Fate of the Artist", which playfully investigates Campbell's own sudden disappearance, was published in May 2006 by First Second Books. His latest graphic novel, "The Black Diamond Detective Agency", was published in June 2007, also by First Second Books.

His scratchy pen-and-ink style is influenced by the impressionists, illustrators of the age of "liberated penmanship" such as Phil May, Charles Dana Gibson, John Leech and George du Maurier, and cartoonists Milton Caniff and Frank Frazetta (particularly his Johnny Comet strip). His writing has been compared to Jack Kerouac and Henry Miller. [cite journal | last =Yang | first =Sam | authorlink = | coauthors = | year =1991 | month =October | title =A Loaf of Bread, A Jug of Wine and Eddie Campbell | journal =The Comics Journal | volume =1 | issue =145 | pages =58–87 | id = | url = | format = | accessdate = ]


Alec and other autobiographical work

Campbell made his earliest attempts at autobiographical comics in the late 1970s with "In the Days of the Ace Rock and Roll Club". This evolved into "Alec", with the character of Alec MacGarry standing in for the author. Campbell self-published these early comics in the amateur press association "BAPA" and then as short-run photocopied pamphets in London in the early 1980s, selling them at conventions and comic marts and via Paul Gravett's "Fast Fiction" market stall. When Gravett founded "Escape Magazine", Campbell was one of the artists featured. In 1984 Escape published "Alec", a slim collection of his semi-autobiographical stories. This was followed by two further collections, "Love and Beerglasses" (1985) and "Doggie in the Window" (1986). In 1990 all three were collected, together with some unpublished material, as "The Complete Alec" (republished as "The King Canute Crowd" in 2000).

Two further slim volumes, "The Dead Muse" (1990) and "Little Italy" (1991) appeared through Fantagraphics Books. "Graffiti Kitchen", which Campbell considers the highpoint of the series, was published by Tundra in 1993, and "The Dance of Lifey Death" followed in 1994 from Dark Horse Comics.

Campbell then followed up these works by self publishing two larger works. "Alec: How To Be An Artist" (2000), a study of the art form and of Campbell's own artistic journey, and "After The Snooter" (2002), in which Campbell appears to have laid Alec McGarry to rest. Both works were originally serialised within his Bacchus magazine, but were reworked upon collection. "The Fate of the Artist", in which Campbell's family and friends investigate his disappearance, undermining the image of himself he had presented in his previous autobiographical works, was published by First Second Books in 2006.

The character of Alec received a nomination for the Squiddy Award for Best Character in 2000. The graphic album "Alec: How to Be an Artist" was nominated for the Harvey Award for Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work in 2000.

All the Alec stories, including the early out-of-print ones, will be published in volume by Top Shelf Productions. It is currently scheduled for release in 2009 (ISBN 978-1-60309-025-4).


The success of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" led to a short-lived explosion of black and white independent comics in the mid-1980s. Campbell joined in, creating the series "Deadface" for small British publisher Harrier Comics, telling the story of Bacchus, god of wine and revelry, and the few other Greek mythological figures who have survived to the present day. Harrier published eight issues of "Deadface" and two issues of a companion comic "Bacchus". Campbell then began publishing short Bacchus stories in a number of anthologies, such as the British anthology "Trident" published by Trident Comics, and the American anthology "Dark House Presents" published by Dark Horse Comics. Dark Horse reprinted the Harrier series as "Immortality isn't Forever" in 1990 and a selection of the short stories as "Doing the Islands With Bacchus" in 1991. Campbell continued to produce Bacchus stories for Dark Horse until 1995 as a series of miniseries.The entire Bacchus saga is to be published in two 500 page volumes by Top Shelf Productions. They are currently scheduled to be released some time in 2010 (Vol 1 ISBN 978-1-60309-026-1, Vol 2 ISBN 978-1-60309-027-8).

From Hell

Beginning in 1989 Campbell illustrated Alan Moore's ambitious Jack the Ripper graphic novel "From Hell", serialised initially in Steve Bissette's horror anthology "Taboo". Moore and Bissette chose Campbell as illustrator for his down-to-earth approach which gave the story a convincing realism and did not sensationalise the violence of the murders. After "Taboo" folded "From Hell" was published in installments by Tundra and then Kitchen Sink Press, until the epilogue "Dance of the Gull-catchers" saw print in 1998.


Under the influence of Dave Sim, Campbell founded Eddie Campbell Comics and began self-publishing in 1995, after the film rights to "From Hell" were optioned. The monthly series "Bacchus" reprinted and completed the story begun in "Deadface", as well as carrying new and reprinted "Alec" stories. He went on to collect both "Alec" and "Bacchus" as a series of graphic novels. He also published the collected edition of "From Hell", and comics adaptations of two of Alan Moore's performance art pieces, "The Birth Caul" and "Snakes and Ladders".

After the cancellation of "Bacchus", Campbell published two issues of "Eddie Campbell's Egomania" magazine, in which he began to serialise another work, "The History Of Humour". Facing an increasingly indifferent market for his work, and the collapse of his U.S. distributor, Campbell ended his publishing imprint in 2003 after releasing the second issue of "Egomania".

The Black Diamond Detective Agency

In June 2007 First Second Books published "The Black Diamond Detective Agency", Campbell's adaptation of an as-yet unmade screenplay by C. Gaby Mitchell. Set in the closing months of 1899, it features the eponymous private detective agency investigating a conspiracy to blow up a train, and their prime suspect's efforts to find the truth.


* "Alec":
**"The King Canute Crowd" (2000)
** "Three Piece Suit" (collecting "Graffiti Kitchen", "Little Italy," and "The Dance of Lifey Death", 2001)
** "How to be an Artist" (2001)
** "After the Snooter" (2002)
* "Bacchus":
** "Vol 1: Immortality Isn't Forever" (1995)
** "Vol 2: The Gods of Business" (with Ed Hillyer, 1996)
** "Vol 3: Doing the Islands with Bacchus" (1997)
** "Vol 4: The Eyeball Kid - One Man Show" (with Ed Hillyer, 1998)
** "Vol 5: Earth, Water, Air, Fire" (with Wes Kublick, 1998)
** "Vol 6: The 1001 Nights of Bacchus" (2000)
** "Vol 7/8: The Eyeball Kid Double Bill" (with Wes Kublick, 2002)
** "Vol 9: King Bacchus" (with Pete Mullins, 1996)
** "Vol 10: Banged Up" (with Pete Mullins and Marcus Moore, 2001)
* "" #1-5 (writer, with Pete Ford, 1994)
* "From Hell" (with Alan Moore, 2000)
* "The Birth Caul" (adaptation of an Alan Moore performance art piece, 1999)
* "Snakes and Ladders" (with Michael Evans, adaptation of an Alan Moore performance art piece, 2001)
* "Egomania" 1-2 (2002)
* "" (with Daren White, 2004)
* "Captain America: Homeland" (pencils and inks, two-part "Requiem" story with writer Robert Morales and inks by Stewart McKenny, Marvel Comics, 2004)
* "A Disease of Language" (hardcover reprinting "The Birth Caul" and "Snakes and Ladders" plus miscellany, 2005)
* "The Fate Of The Artist" (2006)
* "The Black Diamond Detective Agency" (2007)



*cite web | title=The Comics Journal Message Board Thread | work=The Comics Journal Message Board: NYTimes Mag Article 7/11/04 - within which Eddie Campbell formulated his Graphic Novel Manifesto) | url=http://www.tcj.com/messboard/ubb/Forum1/HTML/007792-2.html | accessmonthday=May 1 | accessyear=2005
*cite web | title=The Eddie Campbell Interview | work=(September, 2004) Graphic Novel Review In Depth - The Eddie Campbell Interview - Sidebar - Eddie Campbell's (Revised) Graphic Novel Manifesto | url=http://www.graphicnovelreview.com/issue1/campbell_interview.php | accessmonthday=May 1 | accessyear=2005
*cite web | title=The Eddie Campbell Interview | work=(January, 2005) Campbell and Dirk Deppey discuss "comic book culture" vs. "graphic novel culture"| url=http://tcj.com/273/i_campbell.html | accessmonthday=April 17 | accessyear=2006
* [http://users.rcn.com/aardy/comics/awards/index.html Comic Book Awards Almanac]
*gcdb|type=credit|search=Eddie+Campbell|title=Eddie Campbell
*comicbookdb|type=creator|id=1846|title=Eddie Campbell

External links

* [http://eddiecampbell.blogspot.com/ Eddie Campbell's Blog]
* [http://www.weisshahn.de/bacchus/ Eddie Campbell: The Comics Index]
* [http://www.topshelfcomix.com/creators.php?artist=9 Top Shelf: Currently Available Work]
* [http://www.lambiek.net/campbell.htm Eddie Campbell] at Lambiek's Comiclopedia
* [http://marvel.com/catalog/?artist=Eddie%20Campbell Eddie Campbell] at Marvel.com
* [http://www.topshelfcomix.com/catalog.php?type=14.html Info on Future Eddie Campbell Publications]


* [http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6570745.html?nid=2789 The Amazing Remarkable Eddie Campbell] . "Publishers Weekly", June 17, 2008
* [http://www.theliftedbrow.com/?p=38 The Lifted Brow] , 2007
* [http://www.powells.com/ink/campbell.html Eddie Campbell interviews himself in 8 cartoons] , 2006
* [http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/resources/interviews/4621/ Tom Spurgeon] , 2006
* [http://www.tcj.com/273/i_campbell.html The Comics Journal (excerpted from #273] , 2005
* [http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=9501 Ain't It Cool News] 2001
* [http://www.comicbookgalaxy.com/campbell.html Comic Book Galaxy] , 2001
* [http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/smallpress/98507630239086.htm Silverbullets.com] 2001
* [http://web.tiscalinet.it/ultrazine/ultraparole/campbell_english.htm Ultrazine] , 28 December 2000
* [http://www.marsimport.com/feature.php?ID=1&type=1 Mars Import] May, 2000
* [http://www.tabula-rasa.info/AusComics/EddieCampbell.html Tabula Rasa] , 1994


* [http://www.time.com/time/sampler/article/0,8599,128668,00.html Alec: How to be an Artist] review at Time.com
* [http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/index.cgi?column=cia&article=412 Warren Ellis on ALEC: The King Canute Crowd]

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