by Norm Breyfogle

Detective 592-3 review

Metaphysique 1 Prelude

Metaphysique 2 Prelude

Metaphysique 3 Prelude

Metaphysique 4 Prelude

Metaphysique 5 Prelude

Metaphysique 6 Prelude


Cerebus letter

Norm's Recommended Reading

Anarky Farewell

Anarky Trade Introduction

Dream Big:
   Meaning over Market

Evolution or Anachronism?

Letter to Wizard

Angels, Reason & Love

Madhouse Economics

Wizard: Basic Training
Anarky Farewell

Anarky 8
Anarky's cancellation might laughingly tempt conspiracy theorizing. After all, the main character's views are potentially politically sensitive. And you should see the two issues that were already completed but will now never see print! (I'll just say two words: "East Timor".) When all the smoke clears, however, the marketplace, for good or ill, whether manipulated or not, rules the roost.

Ultimately, unless proven to be factual, conspiracy theories are just mental exercises. They are fun or unnerving, depending on one's attitude, but generally ineffective for real social change. This is why Anarky, though often thought-provoking, is mainly just plain fun. He can fulfill the theorist's fantasy of acting in situations where we normally feel so impotent.

Alas, the topics Anarky addresses with such wish-fulfilling effectiveness may be somewhat unsuited for certain genres. The obvious trend for many "blockbusters", with some exceptions, is toward more escapism and less social relevance. An alchemical mix of the two is far less commonly successful. For those who DO want anti-establishment politics in their comics, super-heroes may seem a bizarre venue for it.

Anarky is a hybrid of the mainstream and the not-quite-so-mainstream. This title may have experienced exactly what every "half-breed" suffers: rejection by both groups with which it claims identity. Certain young aggressive bulls prefer straight energetic power-fantasy (a large part of the super-hero fan base.) These turks may be bored by anything even remotely resembling a political manifesto. Others write off the super-hero genre as intrinsically juvenile. I personally enjoy full integration of both modes, but if Anarky's cancellation is any indication, I'm possibly in a minority.

The battle lines between "escapist" art/culture and "relevant" art/culture were drawn long before Anarky was even conceived. Any character not immediately fitting in snugly with either faces an uphill battle. It requires time to build a fan base, something a periodical business is not liberally willing to put to risk. Alan and I knew from the beginning that Anarky probably wouldn't last in this environment.

But cheer up, Anarkists. Anarky is not "really" dead. He's still in the DC universe. He's still camped out underneath the Washington Monument. He's still hunting down, exposing, and ostracizing the shadier and more taboo villains that the other super-heroes generally fear to touch: those parasites cloaked in the guise of the respected elite. View his absence from comics pages not as an extinction but as symbolically fitting. After all, if someone were really exposing corruption in high places, would his adventures be available in a monthly forum? Superman may be dramatically saving the planet from destruction (and more power to him; I'm a fan) but I consider Anarky still working to make this a better, freer, and more just place to live. Consider him on a highly secret case, and we just don't have a "need to know."

And every now and then, maybe an adventure or two of his will see the light of day...

Norm Breyfogle
July 1999

Anarky in the Gallery
There's an enormous amount of original Anarky artwork on display in the Gallery section, most of which is available to purchase at a very reasonable price!
Anarky Gallery


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