September 28 - Why do people drift apart? Various external, or internal, forces often cause friends to become....well, not necessarily enemies, but certainly not as close as they once were, either. In my experience, it's not any one thing, it's everything. Unfortunately, this natural, if not inevitable, process of "drifting" also has a tendency to leave hurt feelings in its wake. As the 1970's were wrapping up, the original hands behind The Crusty Bunkers were experiencing all of this. Some left the unique little New York comics community for greener pastures, some quit the business entirely for whatever reason, some "sold out," some went on "ego trips," and others tried to cobble the remaining pieces together into whatever they could salvage. Changed forever, but stronger for it, the comics business kept moving forward, and even Crusty Bunker continued, albeit with ever-changing personalities, inking new work as late as the 1990's, and being celebrated in various Essential... reprint collections even today. Moreover, though, the former Bunkers, "these young legends to be" (as Fred Hembeck called them), became so much more than just occasional collaborators masquerading as a fictional inker during the mid-70s. They have gone on to take us to new creative and artistic heights, producing some of the greatest examples of the comic book medium. A quick review of my own comics collection shows their influence literally from "A" (Action Comics) to "Z" (Zatanna: Come Together). Without a doubt, many of my favorite comic book creators were also once a Crusty Bunker. Yes, as artists, The Crusty Bunkers have left us an amazing artistic legacy...but what of their legacy as part of that once close-knit community? Surprisingly, that may have been their greatest contribution. I'll get into that tomorrow. Here's your "Crusty Bunker" of The Day - Al Milgrom!