Cartoonist Kayfabe takes a look back at James O'Barr's The Crow

In this nearly an hour and half video, Ed and Jim of Cartoonist Kayfabe take a deep dive into James O'Barr's The Crow, the hugely influential late-80s indie comic book.

As usually for a Cartoonist Kayfabe, they point out many interesting details as they do a page-by-page deconstruction of the book. They point out, for instance, the widespread distribution of The Crow through bookstore chains way before other indies. And how The Crow also showed up in mainstream comic book magazines and collections at the time, bringing readers from the superhero market into the indies. The also point how inspiring it was for young comic book artists to be exposed to it to see what an indie book could be when one person is the creator of everything, rather than mainstream team-based comics.

The influence of 80s Frank Miller and Alan Moore on O'Barr is also discussed. They also point out how ahead of his time O'Barr was in depicting Detroit as a post-industrial city (and how making a gritty city a character itself becomes a mainstay of outlaw comics going forward).

I love the way they point out all of the techniques he used, his inventive title lettering, his use of other arts (poetry, music, film) in quotes and references, and much more. Nice to see our pal, John Bergin, get a shout-out (he wrote the intro to the Kitchen Sink Press edition of The Crow that they page through).

If you're a fan of The Crow, indie comics, single-creator comics, and moody AF Gothic art, this is a very enjoyable and inspiring 73 minutes.