I’ve thoroughly enjoyed The Auteur by Rick Spears and James Callahan. I came across it because of an eye-catching cover, and frankly, didn’t expect too much but it looked interesting enough for a couple of quid. It is one of the smartest moves I’ve made in terms of comics this year.
There’s a lot of influences for the series worn large. Harvey Kurtzman is there, along with Wally Wood, Alan Moore’s Future Shocks for 2000AD, William Burroughs and in this issue, there’s Hunter S. Thompson in the first couple of pages. I mentioned Chris Morris in a previous review of the series, but I’m not sure if his work is a direct influence but it certainly is something feeling like the sort of thing Morris used to do. But this sadly, is the last issue & I’m sorry to see it end as it’s been a fantastically enjoyable experience.
This final issue opens with film producer/director Nathan T. Rex putting the final touches to his ‘masterpiece’ President’s Day, and going on a wrap party in Las Vegas with some of the assorted nutters who’ve been scattered throughout this series., including Darwin, the large psychopath/serial killer who killed Rex’s star in #3. As befitting any Vegas party there’s drugs with immense side effects…
There’s a wonderful few pages of dialogue between Rax and Coconut, the girl he’s desperately trying to fuck, or even fall in in love with but just when you think things are being a bit too normal, Spears pulls the rug out from under you and fucks up his cast with some unexpected side effects….
Does Rex get his girl? Does President’s Day end up being any good? Are there any more drug side effects? Buy the comic and find out.
The Auteur has been a fantastic series full of wit, cynicism, satire, gore, and wonderful joy as it hit a perfect tone in telling this story of fucked up Hollywood people trying to get fucked and famous in equal amounts. It’s not perfect as sometimes it’s laid on on a wee bit too thick, but you know what, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes art just has to go overboard in order to make it’s point, whatever that point is of course
So basically, this has been a great series that few people seem to have read. I hope I’m wrong and that this was bought by more people than I think it was but seeing as the market is crammed full of superheroes, or horror/zombie comics, or endless fantasy titles, The Auteur stood out for being utterly different while remaining unique in an increasingly crowded market where quality control isn’t what is should be by both publishers and readers. Buy this comic. Spears and Callahan are talents. This needs to be on your bookshelf if/when it gets a collected edition.