THE AUTEUR is going to confound a lot of readers. It will no doubt disturb, anger and offend a great many more. The first issue of the new comicbook from Oni Press boasts the kind of non-linear, violent, misanthropic storytelling you'd expect to hear during group therapy at Arkham Asylum, and I loved every panel of it.
So, what's it all about? THE AUTEUR follows the exploits of Hollywood producer Nathan T. Rex, most of which are internal. Rex wants to make blockbuster, popular movies with "real" emotional content, but is oblivious to how those concepts are diametrically opposed. His fantasies/nightmares look like the unholy offspring of a "Third Eye" blacklight poster and an issue of TALES FROM THE CRYPT.
Luckily, you can read the first issue online for free. I can't promise you're going to connect with the book the way I did, but you have nothing to lose by giving it a try. Especially if you're bored with watching superheroes in shiny underwear punch each other.
It takes a lot of planning and discipline to create a comicbook, and the deadlines associated with script, art and production duties have a tendency to drain the spontaneity from any story. Reading THE AUTEUR almost felt like watching a live performance, and the book always feels like it's on the verge of going off the rails. Spears, Callahan and Anderson manage to keep the train on the tracks for the duration of the first issue, and it's going to be interesting to see if they can maintain the book's energy in later issues without devolving into self-parody.
What I'm trying to say is, "Can I have the next issue, please?"
UPDATE: My preferred comic store just informed me they have issues 1, 2 and 3 on the shelf. This is what getting old feels like.