Rating: 5/5 – A Fabulous Look at the Life of a Comic Creator.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall
This is a different kind of comic and one well worth your attention. Phase 7 is creator Alec Longstreth’s “personal” comic, self published in an extremely limited run (but you can read it on-line for free!) 400 copies of this issue were created (I got #62, via my subscription) and there are still some copies left that can be ordered at the link above.
So what this issue is all about is Longstreth’s beard. How about that? He did a 43 page magazine-sized comic about his life while he was working on his magnum opus graphic novel ‘Basewood’. He did not cut his hair or his beard from August 1st, 2008 to December 10th, 2011. That’s close to three and a half years. He examines how people treated him when he had short hair vs. how he was treated with long hair and a huge long beard. I was fascinated to see him show both the overt and subtle prejudices of society that crept into play as his hair lengthened.
More than just a “beard story” we get a look behind the curtain as a creator moves through life, jobs, love, and the creative process over a fairly lengthy interval. Seeing behind the scenes of creating Basewood adds a whole new layer to my appreciation of that work (a fabulous OGN, by the way). I love Phase 7 and am going to renew my subscription as soon as I finish writing this review! If you’re a fan of real stories with a lot of heart, you should check this out. Read the first 8 pages of this issue on-line for free (and whole issues of some older out of print issues)! If you love it, consider supporting Longstreth by buying a copy. Previous issues of Phase 7 had a fascinating exploration of his life as a Weezer mega-fan and I’m looking forward to upcoming issues that will explore Longstreth’s life long love of Star Wars. I’ve only been following him for a couple of years, but I look forward to many more years of being a Longstreth fan. Check out his work and drop me a note if you love what you see as much as I do!
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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