Man-Size (man_size) wrote,

Chaykin Divides

Howard Chaykin picks up the baton from what he started in American Flagg!, only that baton is now a chainsaw oiled with aloe vera as he eviscerates and rebuilds what he hates and loves about America in his new comic book series, THE DIVIDED STATES OF HYSTERIA.

And, speaking of division, there's been a lot of negative chatter about the first issue (of six) based on events that takes place at the beginning of the story, but it's not fair to judge 1/6th of an entire tale. You can not like it and decide to not finish the story but I don't believe it's right to suggest censorship, as I've seen advised in social media.

Chaykin has basically stated publicly that he's writing what he's compelled to show and tell despite the audience...despite the reactions (pro or con). Chaykin is a true artist whether anyone likes it or not. Don't like it? Don't buy it.

And, I personally don't fully react to previews and clips of a whole. I either indulge the entire work and react after I've finished it or I don't indulge it at all because it didn't initially speak to me. And, I rarely react to what I like or don't like in pubic. I understand the function of marketing and provocation but it's old hat to me and I usually know better than to knee-jerk react. I often discover that the post-outrage narrative twist is more uniting than dividing when all is said and done -- and that's a good thing.

I try to take the "your opinion of me is none of my business" stance. It's too time consuming and exhausting to parlay online these days. I prefer my work to be my statement, no matter how it's interpreted. I just hope readers of MY work take the time to fully indulge it (pro or con).

EDITED TO ADD thoughts about the cover to issue #4 (7/1/2017):

That cover is meant to disturb and revolt. It's horrible. But, Chaykin's not celebrating and/or advocating lynchings, etc. It's a reflection of current events (I wish I could say its a heightened reflection but, actually, it's not, which is even worse) brandishing a story that needs to be indulged in order to fully criticize. This isn't your standard comic book. Chaykin often pushes the proverbial envelope (and you can like it or not). I can respect not being interested diving into that kind of story. Don't read it/don't buy it -- but -- you can't have a fully formed opinion based on an image that's meant to provoke and push buttons with the intent to pique your interest, ergo, sell the work. Meanwhile, everyone and their mother loves Game Of Thrones which flexes more rapes and beheading's and torture than I've ever seen conveyed in a story before. It took me awhile to "see" the bigger picture as the story unfolds but I quit watching GOT several times before I fully got on board. And, I'm a guy that loves horror films. Bottom line: Chaykin's current comic is meant to piss people off but not because he's a hater. Because what's happening to America is (as is some of our entertainment) FUCKED UP. Dollars to donuts, new kinds of antiheroes will rise from THE DIVIDED STATES OF HYSTERIA. And, if I'm wrong? Fuck me.
Tags: #4

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