The Crow Special Edition

Written and drawn/inked by Jamie O'Barr

272 pages

Published by Gallery 13.

You can buy it HERE.


This is why I make comics.

Have you ever run across something that jogs your memory to that moment you were inspired to start what you're doing now? Or at least spur you on? If you're a skateboarder maybe some sick moves Tony Hawk threw down on YouTube? Or if you restore old cars somebody who's doing just that while trolling the junkyards?

For me it was picking up -long ago- a copy of a comic book from J. O'Barr's The Crow some years back. Opening up the pages for the first time I could see I was reading something different. It was outsider. It was self-taught. It was raw, definitely not something you'd see coming from a big publisher. AND, most importantly, the pages didn't all match. What do I mean by that?


It meant that while Mr. O'Barr was telling his story about Eric who lost his girlfriend in an ugly assault by a violent criminal gang on a dark country road he was also experimenting with many different styles. There would be a passage of pastels and soft grays. Then high contrast and dark black shadows.

What it said to me was that you can try out different stuff, even in the same comic. The Crow's aesthetic is to wander, deliberately throw with abandon people scenes and images that were made with little concern for proportion or continuity. You have anatomically perfect torsos combined with cartoonish barrel chested villainy and scratchy outlines.

One significant detail that stuck in my head many years later was The Crow's (Eric's afterlife alter-ego) flash of a gun repeated several times, letting an object move in space in the confines of one panel, something I 'copied' in a way a few times in my comics.

Comics as therapy.

Jamie O'Barr's back story was that he had a lot of grief to release. An actual loss of his love drove him on to tell a mirrored story with a character going through the same thing, only in The Crow there's the existence of villains and bad guys to snuff out, get revenge on. This book literally drips with emotional sorrow and blackness. Yet no part of it seems out of place or for pandering to an audience. I believe Mr. O'Barr would've made this same comic whether anyone read it or not. It exists as a powerful poetic message from his soul.

I can't say personally if there's the same emotional tone in my work. It's more like I'm witnessing his contribution to the world of comics from the sidelines as a fan might. Picking up this hardbound edition was like a homecoming for me. I got that same tingle in the back of my skull looking at the pages. I remembered why I wanted to make comics.

Next Tuesday:

That Texas Blood
By Chris Condon and Jacob Philips

Read Mayfield Eight Part 1: Into the Rat Hole!

Calvin Ryder, a young fry cook agrees to go on a motorcycle road trip to celebrate his birthday. He runs into a Biker Gang: The Banshees!

Read Part One

Read Mayfield Eight Part 2: White Meat!

Trouble ensues for Calvin as his friend conducts a back- room drug deal. He didn't count on it taking place at The Banshee's headquarters!

Read Part Two

Read Mayfield Eight Part 3: Faster, Faster!

The Banshees are onto Calvin and out for revenge. He gets the help of a lone confederate: A woman named Angelina.

Read Part Three
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Buy Mayfield Eight Here:

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