by Dan Nadel
Friday, February 25, 2011
Via Sean Howe, we present these fine examples of throne readings.
Via Sean Howe, we present these fine examples of throne readings.
Thumbing through my collection of Cartoonist Profiles looking for tips on Hi-Fi stereo equipment, as I am prone to do, I stumbled over this buff nug from issue #40, 1978: An early (the earliest?) story on Jim Davis and “Garfield”. I audibly exclaimed, thanked my Johnny Harts and put down my Frank Robbins and ran to the scanner. Here, kind people, is an early testament.
Hi there. Over on Art Info there’s a report on the Brussels Antiques and Fine Art Fair, which included a few comic art dealers who commanded some very high prices for original work by Moebius and Milton Caniff. It does seem like prices run higher in Europe overall, and based purely on my conversations with various U.S. galleries and dealers, a tremendous amount of non-hero based comic art (i.e. underground old and new) is sold to European collectors. 180K may seem like a lot in the comics racket, but it’s cheap compared to a masterpiece by a comparable contemporary artist (let’s say, for the sake of argument, Ed Ruscha. Ignore dopey headline.
Speaking of dopey: Dear Chris Arrant at Robot 6: It’s not nice to quote from my article without attribution (that is, directly swiping from an interview I did). Here’s the piece I wrote (with its own dopey headline) about one aspect of Mike Kelley’s current show at Gagosian L.A. Mike’s work couldn’t have less to do with Lichtenstein, but such is life in the dopey-verse.
UPDATE: Robot 6 updated the post appropriately.
Oh yeah, and Frank would like to point out that Dave Sim responded to Jog at length in the comments section yesterday. Check it out.
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!
Tonight in sunny Los Angeles our own Frank Santoro is opening an exhibition of new drawings. Go see him (yes, he’ll be there!) and be sure to ask him about Scorpio Rose. That works every time. I got to see a bunch of the work in progress when I was in Pittsburgh last September and this stuff really is stunning. You’re in for a real treat. I posted a preview over on PBox, and here’s the info:
7914-B SANTA MONICA BLVD T. 772.202.2733
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA 90046
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 20th, from 7 to 10pm
Thursday, January 20th – Friday, February 18th , 2011
“Better you look corned beef hash in the face than live in constant expectation of a warm bird and a cold bottle.” So advises Eugene Zimmerman in his recently reissued 1910 how-to book, Cartoons and Caricatures. First, I like this “face facts, you might suck” advice to a young cartoonist, and second I like the idea of Corned Beef Hash (now making a big comeback at old-timey restaurants all over Brooklyn!) having a face. It soothes me somehow.
Anyhow, this reissue is one in a series of books from Lost Art Books focusing on forgotten turn-of-the-century cartoonists, most of whom did caricature, illustration or gags for now-forgotten magazines before these things were avidly reprinted in book form. (more…)
Well, it’s Friday afternoon and I’ve got nothin! I wrote year-end lists for other sites, worried about my own books place on such lists, and made almost all the way through the now-canceled FX series Terriers, which is basically Charles Willeford on TV. Check it out! Anyhow, comics and such. So, casting about for a post only marginally less lame than Tim’s (I blame Jog for making us look so bad) I now present you with, you guessed it, links!
The end of 2010 has put me in mind of the end of 2000, at which point, I think, we launched the awesome old Ganzfeld web site. It’s still online here, and is full of dated material and goodies like comics by T.E. Powers and Frank King, not to mention an Ben Jones classic. You could pretty much kill the weekend wandering through the site. Boy, the internet used to be really different.
Depending on your days, Facebook has become this weird trove of comics, illustration and graphics history (and the same for other media, I’m sure). But for some reason, artists of the 60s and 70s seem to be particularly prolific, and are posting photos and anecdotes that are pretty new to me. It’s bar-talk stuff, in the best possible way.
Artist Alan Kupperberg has lately been putting up really fun photos and commentary on life at Marvel and Atlas in the 1970s. Here’s a doozy of and about Chip (son of Martin) Goodman.
And the great Bobby London has been posting pix of his original Popeye strips from the 80s, a run about which I know almost nothing (the one book collection is rare and pricey) but would love to learn more.
And thus, with other people’s memories dancing in my brain, I close out 2010. Have a great holiday!