Posts Tagged ‘reprints’

Reproductive Strategies


Thursday, October 28, 2010

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This month has seen the publication of two anthologies of pre-Code horror comics. One was put out by Abrams, a prestigious art-book house of long standing, and the other was published by a small comics publisher named after the result of mashing together the words “Fantasy” “Fantastic” and “Graphics.” Covering similar territory, both books include several of the same stories, but follow very different presentation strategies—and possibly not the strategies you would expect, at least not based on the previous information.

Last night, it was clear to me which book’s visual aesthetic was preferable, and the contest wasn’t even close. This morning, I am not quite so sure that the matter is a simple matter of right and wrong. But, using images from Basil Wolverton’s classic story “Nightmare World”, why don’t I let you decide? Which do you think is a better way to publish a comic story more than a half-century old? This?:

Or this?:


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Thirteen (Going on Eighteen) Notes


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

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This isn’t a review. These are just a few different notes/ideas after reading Drawn and Quarterly’s recent collection of John Stanley‘s Thirteen (Going on Eighteen).

1. These comics are like a ping-pong match. Val runs right, runs left, right, left, back and forth. The dialogue is like this too, like Seth’s repeated image of Val and Judy in silhouette facing-off. If Val’s excited, she grabs Judy by her arms, and then Judy will pull back the opposite way.

If there are six panels on a page, the average page could be seen as battle between the right column and the left: running, bouncing back and forth, with each panel having two characters screaming, grabbing, pulling each other back and forth. It’s all motion. It’s all high conflict, high energy. It reminds me of how kids always run towards something. They never walk. They scream, “Nuh-uh!” If they don’t like something they run in the opposite direction. It’s super entertaining.

A scene where Val’s stuck in a doorway during a rainstorm, waiting for anyone to come by with an umbrella (anyone but Charles!) would be a static scene in any other comic, but here the rain substitutes for the running zig-zag ping-pong motion. Stanley took a quiet scene and made it an energetic back-and-forth riot. I love how Val balls together her fists and leans back when she yells. “Oh, I can’t bear it! I can’t bear it!”


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