Cayetano Garza, Jr.
TEEN ANGELS & NEW MUTANTS
by Stephen R. Bissette
Rick Veitch's Brat Pack® and the Art,
Karma, and Commerce
of Killing Sidekicks
Introduction by Charles Hatfield
6x9 tpb, 412 p.
Writer/artist Rick Veitch's career bridges
the underground comix of the 1970s, mainstream DC and Vertigo Comics, and the self-publishing revolution of the
1980s and 1990s. In that extraordinary body of work, Brat Pack® remains a landmark, and Teen Angels & New Mutants is the first book-length, in-depth study of a creator and graphic novel worthy of the autopsy.
En route, Teen Angels offers a crash-course
on teen pop culture and superhero sidekick history, fresh analysis of Dr. Fredric
Wertham's seminal books, ponders real-world "new mutants" like Michael Jackson, The
Olsen Twins, and Justin Bieber, and charts the 1980s comicbook explosion and 1990s implosion--and more.
"Brat Pack® has been criminally
under-appreciated for far too long.… Rick Veitch's groundbreaking works on the dissection of the superhero myth
(The One, Brat Pack®, Maximortal)
were released at the epicenter of teen angst, and his work was gritty in a style that seems to have been completely
co-opted by the newest wave of comics journal darlings... With or without a cape or mask, his borderline underground
style has been copied ad infinitum without so much as a thank you. And that doesn't even begin to address the many
mainstream superhero works derived from his incendiary ideas."
-- Matt Kennedy, Curator, La Luz de Jesus
Gallery; blog columnist, Exploiting the Media
at Forces of Geek.
"Teen Angels and New Mutants is a
headlong, vaulting, risky work of cultural criticism that just happens to be a companion to an already risky comic.
Bissette, with the right mix of outrage and suspicion of outrage, exposes how we fetishize childhood in popular
culture yet at the same time exploit and abuse real children. The result: chilling, fascinating, and unforgettable."
-- Charles Hatfield, author, Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature
Brat Pack® is a registered trademark of Rick Veitch, and is used
READ THE REVIEWS:
There aren’t many books which name check Batman, David Cassidy, Naomi Wolf,
Arthur Rimbaud, Lindsay Lohan, and Justin Bieber. But then, there aren’t many books like Teen Angels & New
I'm not easily impressed, and while I'm possibly prone to fanboy zeal when
presented with a rare opportunity to laud a work I feel is worthy, I don't know that it is possible to overrate
this book. It is a work unique to the subject matter, and I speak not only of the genre of comic book analysis,
but of pop-culture autopsy. Bissette has pioneered a new field of criticism nearly thirty years after he helped
reinvent the horror comic. With this project, as author, he has attained equal footing with former collaborator
Alan Moore, and if they don't give him an Eisner Award for this, they might as well quit handing them out all together.
Forces of Geek
Teen Angels and New Mutants… uses Brat Pack as the central reference point for a complete
pop cultural autopsy of teenagers throughout the history of media. It’s the greatest reference book you never knew
you needed. If you have even a passing interest in comic books or pop culture, you can do a lot worse than read
Bissette’s book, and you should run right out and buy the collected Brat Pack.
Pop-Sequentialism (La Luz De Jesus Gallery, May 6–29, 2011)
There's comics history, pop cultural insight, film analysis, and a very intelligent
and informed look at the entertainment business at large (and our inevitable symbiotic relationship with it). A
good read, scholarly (but not academic), entertaining, and vastly informative. Thoroughly illustrated. I honestly
couldn't put it down. Enthusiastically recommended.