Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sparkplug Highlights: Reich #1 and #2, by Elijah Brubaker

We hope that you've had a chance to see our awesome presale for Reich #11, which is the penultimate issue in Elijah Brubaker's comic biography of Wilhelm Reich. However, if you're just now coming to the series, you should definitely pick up the first issues! The biography does move chronologically and is much more powerful when read in order. To introduce our new readers to the series, we wanted to shine some light on the first two issues. Elijah writes in his intro,

"Most people who know of the man know him as a crazy character who battled the US government and paid the ultimate price. . . .Generally those that know or Reich seem to see him as nothing more than an accumulation of sound bites and weird ideas. Those privy to the minutia of Reich's life are dedicated to arguing the merit of Reich's science but often overlook him as a human being. All these conflicting viewpoints are equally intimidating to me and spur me to tell the story from my own point of view. I see Reich as human above all else. He was dedicated to the betterment of the human race and the advancement of his ideas. Reich the man was flawed and complex and that is what attracts me to him as a subject for biography."

Issues 1 and 2 cover Reich's early life at the tail end of his service in Italy during WWI and at the University of Vienna immediately after the war's end. In Vienna as a young medical student, he becomes swept up in the promise of psychoanalysis and sexology, leading him to take control of his academic seminars and become a protégé of Sigmund Freud. We see early on, though, behaviors that will continue to plague his relationships throughout his life: philandering, egomania, verbal abuse. For all his brilliance, Reich is a man filled with dark potential.

Elijah's series only gets better from here, we promise! Do yourself a favor and check out issues 1-10 before you grab a presale copy of issue 11, and then with bated breath for the explosive last issue!


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