"Behind every great fortune there is a great crime"
I have been meaning to write about Hicksville as a friday forgotten book for a while.
It is a graphic novel that tells the story of:
"World-famous cartoonist Dick Burger has earned millions and become the most powerful man in the comics industry in the few short years since the publication of his first Captain Tomorrow graphic novel. But behind this rapid rise to success there lies a dark and terrible secret, as biographer Leonard Batts discovers when he visits Burger's hometown in remote New Zealand. For Hicksville is no ordinary small town. In Hicksville sheep-farmers and fishermen argue the relative merits of early newspaper strips, while in the local bookshop and lending library obscure Mongolian minicomics share the shelves with a complete run of Action Comics. But why does everyone there seem to hate Dick Burger? And what is the secret of Kupe's Lighthouse? Weaving together real and imagined histories of the much-maligned medium of comics and the often marginalised country of New Zealand, Hicksville is a moving comment on art, business and the importance of turangawaewae - finding a place to stand... " (descrpition from the Hickville Website)
I discovered the book via the WEF (The Warren Ellis Forum) back around the turn of the century. Old Man Ellis was one of the many champions of the book, and so am I. Not only is it an entertaining and engaging, but it made me think about the culture that sorrounds comics and what role I as a reader and fan play in that culture. The book is very much a reaction to the celebrity of comic creators and the fascism of fanboys. It's a great story and well worth spending an afternoon with. The TPB looks to be currently out of print, but your local comic shop should have copies. A new edition has been promised for the near future. I should also mention the follow up series Atlas (which has had all of three issues in the span of almost a decade), which is a related book (sorry it's been so long since I read the last issue that I really don't remember how it is related)