Moving Drawings


Monday, January 26, 2009

A few odds and ends here. I’m sure I’m the last person to know this, but wow, Dark Horse is releasing the first volume of the Jesse Marsh Tarzan series now! His work has an incredible arc to it, from early drawings that look carved from stone to mid-period, more fluid pen lines, to his last scratchy, near-abstract images that Russ Manning claimed was due to his declining eyesight. He was a great artist, and the Tarzan work is among my favorite work of his. There’s a great Jesse Marsh web site here from which I stole the gorgeous image above. Marsh will be in the second Art Out of Time, which I should be working on instead of doing this.

Also, been thinking about Victor Moscoso lately for another project, and friend Norman pointed out an amazing series of animated shorts Moscoso made sometime in the late 60s or early 70s. What I love about these is how it takes him out of psychedelia and suddenly he seems wonderfully in line with drawers like Milton Glaser and Heinz Edelmann. He had the same transformative impulses and shared with Edelmann a pen line of such urgency and clarity that it’s impossible to look away. It’s a sharpness — a tiny bit of grumpiness. Moscoso was certainly the best colorist and overall designer of his S.F. (and perhaps North America in general) contemporaries, but people sometime forget about that wicked penline. The thing that stood out for me the most in the recent Crumb show in Philadelphia was, in fact, the original jam pages Moscoso worked on. Where everyone else looks like they’re carefully cartooning a gag, Moscoso’s marks come on like brush-fire — just decimating the very formidable competition. Just brutal and immediate and delineating modern-psych design forms. Anyhow, enjoy these little films. I don’t know much about them but maybe someone can fill us in in the comments.

EDIT: Someone just did.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

9 Responses to “Moving Drawings”
  1. Anonymous says:

    In 1972, Jacobs collaborated with Bob McClay and Chris Koch on a series of half-hour television programs for San Francisco public television station KQED. “The Fine Art of Goofing Off” was a sort of philosophical Sesame Street; each program would develop an open-ended theme, like “time” or “work” in an unpredictable collage of brief episodes in a variety of different styles of animation. Alan Watts, improv troop The Committee, artist Victor Moscoso, Woody Leafer, and Jordan Belson all contributed to the series.

    A DVD with the animation on it is included in the CD/DVD set “The Wide Weird World of Henry Jacobs”. It is an amzing set and highly recommended

  2. Dan Nadel says:

    Whoah, thanks Anonymous! That was fast.

  3. sammy says:

    does any one know what the quality of the reproduction is like in the tarzan book? I think marsh is so insanley underappreciated, it’s fantastic this book has been put together. How much more amazing would it be if the art was reproduced right?

  4. Anonymous says:

    You could also ask Victor directly through his website at

  5. Dan Nadel says:

    Well so far I’ve been pleased with the recent DH archives books. Herbie looks good, for example. So does Magnus. So, while it won’t be exactly what I’d want (crunchy scans of comic book pages, like Art Out of Time) I bet it’ll look really good.

  6. Ed Piskor says:

    These Moscoso animations are a great find. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  7. Frank Santoro says:

    …and there’s Nadel with a triple down the line…

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just a tip for the next Art Out Of Time – I don’t mind the straight scans from comics pages, but so much of it was reproduced so small I couldn’t read a word of half of it!

    Stuff like ‘The Wiggle Much’ only really came to life when you blew it up. I loved the book, but I loved it as COMICS ie. something I could read – so much of it ended up just ‘coffee table’ with the micro-printing.

  9. Anonymous says:

    … and hey I know you’re the editor and there’s printing limits, but you could give bit of of reading space to visually-great-but-way-too-shrunken stuff like ‘Dauntless Durham’ and ‘The Upside Downs’ (it shouldn’t be so painful to my 20/20 eyes to read such visually inventive strips!) by limiting pages for the the duller suff (like ‘The Bungle Family’).

    But looking forward to the next volume!

Leave a Reply