Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
rob + = email

2012 September 07 • Friday

You can add my name to the list of iPad fans. I received one for my birthday and made it indispensable right away by buying my first app, Eddie Campbell's Dapper John: In the Days of the Ace Rock 'n' Roll Club.

This is a reprint of material Campbell created in the late 1970s and published in the 1980s, initially as photocopied pamphlets. The stories themselves, inspired by the work of Damon Runyan, concern the behavior, attitudes and movements of a teddy-boy nostalgia scene in a seaside town.

The app is valuble not just for illuminating the formation of the concept of Alec, but also for supplementary material that maps Campbell's artistic and professional world as it was at that time. This adds detail and texture to the picture of the British comics/small press scene presented in Campbell's masterpiece, How To Be an Artist (a triumph not just of comics, or of autobiographical comics, but of literature and memoir).

I suppose this is technically an ebook, and the first such I've ever read. I don't expect to make a habit of it but I will admit that comics fare well on the iPad. I've seen people on the subway reading manga on their iPads and had to concede that it looked good. Dapper John is quite handsome—dapper, even—in this new gizmo.