But Doctor, I’ll Get Out of It!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Now THAT is an angle.

Goaded by Santoro I had planned to write a post on Jack Kirby’s collage work. Lucky for you, I didn’t. Instead I have this:

1) My biggest comics thought in the last week has been about Deadpool. I read issues 1 and 3 and was “dismayed” by its transparent attempts to shock, it’s sub-Apatow humor, and cynical Tarantino x 10000 retread of outre tropes and “dirty” sex jokes anchored by some deeply strange but very uneven artwork and not any kind of satire and certainly not good comics.  It’s trying to be funny, but instead, like Lapham’s Stray Bullets, it just makes the motions of a genre without having any gravitas or unique ideas underpinning it. So naturally I wrote a heartfelt email to Jog pleading with him to explain to me why I should care about this series. Why? He didn’t try to convince me. But I do find Baker’s artwork interesting because, as Jog said in his email: “My interest is mostly in seeing Baker contort his weird digital style into something increasingly po-faced and funny in the ‘funny pictures’ sense.  I like that Deadpool constantly looks like an action figure – it feels like a presence that needs to exist on the Marvel scene, which is heavier than ever on posed, ‘realist’ shiny art.” Yes, with this I agree.

2) I have yet to see this posted anywhere, but here’s the Wall Street Journal weighing in on the recent upheavals at L’Association. It offers a pretty good overview and ties in the OuBaPo comics movement, which I’d never really considered in this context. I kind of love the Jerry Lewis reference in the headline while also hating it, but mostly because the confluence of Jerry Lewis and comics makes me think of Bob Oksner, and that makes me smile.

3) Over on Facebook someone posted a bunch of Neal Adams Ben Casey Sunday pages from 1964. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them and, man, is there some amped-up drama in there. I hadn’t realized that Adams was working those massive figures and impossible angles so early. It’s Stan Drake on steroids and I like it.

And that, my friends, is that. Happy weekend!

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10 Responses to “But Doctor, I’ll Get Out of It!”
  1. DerikB says:

    I hope we’ll see that post on Kirby’s collage work someday.

  2. Robert Boyd says:

    That the only reporting we get on this comes from The Wall Street Journal suggests that the comics press in the U.S. needs to be a little less parochial. That said, the WSJ article, by focusing on the more interesting OuBaPo (look at what these weird Frenchies are doing with comics!) miss what I think is the bigger story–what’s happened to L’Association since Menu effectively alienated most of the other founding members? What happens when a small publisher sees the defection of its best known and best-selling authors all at once? How has L’Association fared since then? Their website seems semi-dead. But they have published books in the past couple of years, some of which look interesting, like Caroline Sury’s “Cou Tordu”.

    • They also released Pakito Bolino’s SPERMANGA in 2009 — a big hardcover, about the size of JIMBO’S INFERNO — so presumably relations with Le Dernier Cri remain good.

      • They have indeed been publishing quality books, although the general line has been more exclusively geared toward experimental and ‘artcomics’-type work, as well as reprints of forgotten antecedents of same. They never really had a website, but have been talking about launching one for years.

        The WSJ piece, by the way, is not only totally misinformed, but very misleading. It tends to substitute the OuBaPo for l’Association and blurs the difference between the two hopelessly. They are separate groups that involve some of the same people and their books have been published by l’Asso, but as Robert says the real story is that of the publisher, not that of the experimental group.

        I’ve posted some more speculation on the strike and what is happening, by the way.

    • Dan Nadel says:

      Yeah, there has not been much at all except for what Matthias Wivel has been reporting. The larger ideas you mention would be fascinating to explore.

    • DerikB says:

      Their website has always been like that. Which considering their recent issues with distribution isn’t a good sign (I’d love to know what they’ve published and order direct from them if they got the damn site working).

      They put out the most recent Dominique Goblet book this past year: http://www.tcj.com/hoodedutilitarian/2010/08/monthly-stumblings-4-dominique-goblet-nikita-fossoul/

  3. Tom Spurgeon says:

    Dan, I always think of you as Charlie Brown and the rest of the critics out there as Lucy with a revolving cast of mainstream comic book footballs.

    What was the last big corporate book you read you sort of liked? I’m curious, I don’t mean that as a sly Internet attack circa comicon.com 2002.

    • Dan Nadel says:

      Tom, that is the best description of how I feel (and also how stubbornly stupid I am) ever. The last one I liked… oh, y’know, I really liked the Chaykin/Fraction Punisher. That was pulpy fun. And I presently like Fraction’s Thor. What else…uh… All Star Superman? That was great! So I get these little nibbles, these little punts, and then I want more more more! There was a run of Daredevil that Chippendale lent me (the Bendis run, I think) that I liked very much as well. And… that Corben Luke Cage. See, I’m not that bad. I just get baffled and then, like a moron, post about it when I have nothing else to post about. It’s all my fault.

  4. James says:

    Some nice coloring in those sundays.

  5. Just so you know says:

    IDW’s LOAC is working on BEN CASEY:


    “We’re still in the gathering strips phase for Ben Casey. Believe it or not, Neal still has 40% of the original art for the dailies (!!). While I’ve scanned the entire run of dailies from clipped strips, we’re holding out for better source material. I just located syndicate proofs for all the dailies we’re missing from the first year. The bottom line is that we–and Neal most of all—want to present the finest quality possible. So, the search continues. I’m confident that we’ll find the strips, and will make an announcement on the website when we do.

    Best, Dean Mullaney “

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