Posts Tagged ‘Alter Ego’

E-Z Post #Infinity


Friday, March 12, 2010

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A Pile of Kirby Originals for Fumetto

A few odds and ends today.

1) Via Sammy H., artist and Frank-favorite Kevin Nowlan has posted a couple of interesting accounts of learning the craft of storytelling.

2) Patrick Ford passed along these choice passages from Jim Amash‘s excellent Alter Ego interview with Jack Katz, covering Kirby and Mort Meskin.

Katz on Kirby at Timely: Jack would work at his own desk there and Joe would come in during the morning and subtly stare at us. Jack would go for lunch, and when he came back Joe would leave for the day. You know how I learned to ink? Jack sat me down one day, He said, “This is what you do.” He took one of my drawings, and he inked it with a brush. I’d never seen inking that good in my life. I said, “Jack if you could ink so good, why do you let—?” He said, “I don’t have the time.” He said, “This is what I want you to do. You apply the blacks like this. This is this is what you do with your camera angle to make the background stand out. Jack would fill in all kinds of black areas in the background. As an inker, I don’t think there could have been anybody better if he had done his own stuff himself. One of the things they had in the office was the Sunday Hal Foster Tarzan strips, almost from it’s inception…everyone in the office was using them for swipes. Kirby never used swipes. I’m being very straight about that. If he did it was for reference, I never saw him erase anything either. Jack would get in early, he was always there before I came in. He left late. Jack wrote as he drew, he also worked from scripts, but he would use them as a template.

Katz on Kirby and Meskin:

Jack represented a boss who was handling a very unusual art form. He was very much in command. The only one who could say stupid things to him was Mort Meskin. Mort had a window seat. He’s say, “Get up!, Get up!” and a girl would be walking around in a bathing suit. And Jack would say, “Would you sit the F**k down.”This happened almost every day. One day Mort brought in some pornographic toys, Queen-sized fake breasts. He shows them to Kirby. Jack says, “What are you doing?” Mort puts the breasts on the floor and starts jumping up and down on them. Jack told him to stop, and get back to work. Mort said, “I can’t because I had a date with a disgusting pig, and I’m taking out revenge.

Katz on Kirby and the War:

Jack was involved in horrific situations where he had to do the ultimate thing. He wasn’t ashamed, but he felt deep regret over the fact that he had to kill people. When he talked to me about these things, his eyes were very deep in the past. It was extraordinary. Sometimes I noticed him staring out the window, and from the look in his eyes it was apparent that he was reliving the war.

3) And finally, I really enjoyed this account of Kirby’s war experiences from Jack Kirby Collector 27, as posted by early biographer Ray Wyman. Like Jeet, I think Kirby’s war experiences are crucial to his output and kind of underplayed in contemporary accounts of his life.

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Quick Triple Update


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

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1. Speaking of the American Comics Group, the latest issue of Alter Ego serendipitously reprints more or less the entire contents of Michael Vance’s book-length history of the publisher, Forbidden Adventures. This is the most significant magazine event of its kind since the famous New Yorker Hiroshima issue! Well, maybe not, and I have only glanced at the contents so far, but this should definitely be a good resource for any Richard Hughes or Herbie fans out there.

2. Most everyone reading this blog probably already knows about the Penguin Classics that have recently been released with new covers by cartoonists like Chris Ware, Roz Chast, Seth, and the like. (I think Charles Burns’s version of The Jungle and Anders Nilsen‘s take on Hans Christian Andersen are the best so far.) Another similar, but lower-key, republishing effort is coming out from Small Beer Press, a generally reliable imprint run by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant. Their Peapod Classics line is reprinting forgotten or obscure old fantasy titles with new covers by Kevin Huizenga. (I learned about the series from a post by John Scalzi.) They just released Howard Waldrop‘s debut collection Howard Who? This isn’t strictly comics, of course, but I thought it might be of interest to any Huizenga completists out there. And Waldrop’s a pretty funny writer, judging by the two or three stories of his I have previously read. (Fun fact: His novella A Dozen Tough Jobs, which retells the story of Hercules in the deep South, is related to the Coen Brothers’ O Brother, Where Art Thou? in much the same way that Dashiell Hammett’s The Glass Key is related to Miller’s Crossing.)

3. I got a copy of that Tom McCarthy Tintin book I wrote about a while ago. I’ve only made it through the first chapter so far, but it really doesn’t appear to be a satirical take on overintellectual criticism at all—just an honest-to-goodness example of it. I’m not giving up on it quite yet, but it may be a while before it makes its way to the top of my reading pile. I feel like a sucker for taking the Economist review at face value. British humor is so dry, you know.

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Stop Gaps


Thursday, July 6, 2006

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Here’s the problem with running a magazine and a blog: there’s just not enough time. I’m in the midst of closing my Brian Chippendale and Julie Doucet books and editing the next Ganzfeld. Things are hectic. That said, I have been meaning to write a lengthy blog entry on some new Manga and Scott Pilgrim. So much so that I keep carrying the books back and forth from home to office and back again, looking for the spare hours to sit down and write. I expect to find them over the weekend. Until then, here’s a totally lame list format blog entry.

Current Comics Reading List (from memory):

Enigma by Peter Milligan. This odd 90s relic from Vertigo Comics is, well, really odd. I hope to write about it extensively when I’m done.

Sub-Mariner in Tales to Astonish. Bill Everett rules.

I tried to read Civil War from Marvel, just to see…like dipping a toe in the ocean. Man, what a drag. Superhero comics these days are so dour. This is no exception. Kinda boring and short on any real appeal or insight.

Monologues for the Coming Plague: A remarkable new book from Anders…it has the kind of light hearted philosophical heft of William Steig books from the 40s and 50s. Searching, funny cartoons.

William Steig original drawings at Adam Baumgold Gallery. 13 original drawings from The Lonely Ones. These are more lush, striking and daring than I ever imagined, and I already loved the book. Steig, like Steinberg, burns so bright on the page.

Power of 6 by Jon Lewis. One of my favorite cartoonists from the early 90s boomlet returns with this superhero comic. It works–funny, exciting, and authentic. It’s so nice to see his drawings again.

Various Paper Rad mini-comics. I’m combing through for some old material for an upcoming Paper Rad digest book.

Eddie Campbell’s Fate of the Artist. I’m not sure what to think yet. Campbell is a fascinating cartoonist, and this oddly formatted tome is no exception. But I’m still reading it and wondering about it.

Oh, and also various issues of Alter Ego. Hmm.

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