“The Economies of Scale” by David Collier

David Collier, “The Economies of Scale”, 1993 

Canadian cartoonist David Collier (born 1963) was first published in 1986 in Weirdo, the great anthology edited by Robert Crumb. I was able to include short Collier pieces in an anthology I edited, Pictopia. His work has almost exclusively been either autobiographical (influenced clearly by Harvey Pekar) or historical/journalistic non-fiction. The work is wry, self-deprecating and eccentric, which reflects the cartoonist himself. Collier, despite being an artistically-inclined punk rocker, inexplicably decided to join the Canadian army as a young man. Even more inexplicably, he decided to rejoin it at the age of 40, going through basic training again, in hopes of joining the Canadian War Artists Program.

Not all of his books are in print, but most are fairly easy to find. His most recent book, Chimo, portrays his attempt to rejoin the Canadian army. "The Economies of Scale" originally appeared in The Comics Journal, which regularly invited comics artists to contribute short comics about comics to its pages. Aside from its inherent cleverness (I quite like how Collier mixes the present, future and past in a single page), it is particularly relevant to this exhibit because it displays the act of comic art collecting.