Posts Tagged ‘Gary Panter’

Regé’s house


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Saturday, January 22, 2011


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I’m sitting in Ron Regé Jr’s apartment in Echo Park. Morning time. There is a woman below the window who is clipping, pruning the green around the white flowers. Lots of birds. Sun. I miss the sound of birds outside my window. Just the lonesome raven calls out in the desert of New Mexico.

I’ve been here 3 nights so far and Ron has been kind to host. He lives in a second story apartment in one of those pre-war white adobe corner jobs. There’s four units and it feels quite comfortable if you know and like your neighbors – and Ron does. He said it’s like Three’s Company. The other day people just started stopping by. “This never happens,” Ron said. One after another long lost friends were appearing in the little apartment. Just as one would leave another would drop by. It was like a rolling party. It never stopped for two whole days. The second day was even funnier because a photo shoot was happening next door. So there was a make-up trailer parked outside with loads of pretty girls parading up and down the stairs. Unfortunately, I had slept through most of it – exhausted from the earlier parade.

I rummaged through Ron’s zine collection. I found a few CF zines, a Rozz Toxx manifesto, some Kaz Strepak zines, and Ron’s Cambridge Massachusettes city sponsered teen anti-drinking scratch-off postcard.

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Faith in Comics


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Saturday, December 25, 2010


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I wanted to do a post on the connection between illuminated manuscripts and comics but then I got sidetracked a little bit. From what I understand illuminated manuscripts were made like modern “assembly line” comics. They divided up the labor to construct the book. One guy did the calligraphy, another did the drawings, another did the “inking”, another the color and yet still others bound the book itself. Thinking about this also got me thinking more specifically about how I find it interesting that many of the leading alt/art cartoonists of yesterday and today come from interesting and varied religious backgrounds. Like maybe we’re all re-incarnated monks who used to sit for hours laboring over some miniscule drawing back in the 15th century or something. I’m kidding of course. But when I started thinking about my friends who are cartoonists who “had religion” I was surprised – or maybe I wasn’t – by the list I compiled. I dunno if there is a connection between “religion” – or “faith” – and comics – but there is something there. (more…)

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Interviews and Autodidacts Notebook


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Tuesday, July 6, 2010


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Gil Kane, an artist whose interviews are always worth reading.

A notebook on comics interviews and autodidacts:

Autodidacts. I often think William Blake is the prototype for many modern cartoonists. Blake was a working class visionary who taught himself Greek and Hebrew, an autodidact who created his own cosmology which went against the grain of the dominant Newtonian/Lockean worldview of his epoch. The world of comics has had many such ad hoc theorists and degree-less philosophers: Burne Hogarth, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Gil Kane, Neal Adams, Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Gary Panter, Lynda Barry, Howard Chaykin, Chester Brown, Dave Sim, Alan Moore. These are all freelance scholars who are willing to challenge expert opinion with elaborately developed alternative ideas. The results of their theorizing are mixed. On the plus side: you can learn more about art history by listening to Gary Panter and Art Spiegelman talk than from reading a shelf-full of academic books; Robert Crumb’s Genesis deserves to be seen not just as an important work of art but also a significant commentary on the Bible; Lynda Barry’s ideas about creativity strike me as not just true but also profound and life-enhancing. On the negative side: Dave Sim’s forays into gender analysis have not, um, ah, been, um, very fruitful; and while Neal Adams drew a wicked cool Batman, I’m not willing to give credence to his theories of an expanding earth if it means rejecting the mainstream physics of the last few centuries. Sorry Neal!

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Softly, now…


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Friday, July 2, 2010


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Hello!

Commercial interruption! We are doing a soft launch of the new PictureBox site… now! Over there you will find a whole mess of new stuff. Original artwork from Real Deal and Tales from Greenfuzz, drawings and paintings by Mat Brinkman and Milton Glaser. The new Jimbo comic by Gary Panter, a brand new Yokoyama book. The famed Garo catalog by Ryan Holmberg, a Japanese Jimmy Corrigan poster by Chris Ware, tons of vintage comics and more. The site is not perfect yet, but we’re working on it.

Besides all the “new shit” there’s a whole mess of new content, with much more on the way, to be announced shortly. For now I just wanted to do a quiet test with you, the CC faithful. Ease into it and enjoy.

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E-Z Post of the Moment


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Thursday, June 10, 2010


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Bob Zoell Rules

A couple things to bring to your attention:

1) Sir Gary Panter, recently knighted by the United Schwingdom, has relaunched his web site, and his holding a special contest to celebrate. He is also having a show in L.A. with Bob “50 years of genius work” Zoell and Devin “Lady Pants” Flynn.

2) Over on his “personal” blog, Frank revals that after some 150 years in the comics biz, he’s finally sold out. Thanks heavens. Now come stand over here, Frank.

3) Yuichi Yokoyama recently had an exhibition of new and recent work in Tokyo. Some tantalizing images here.

That’s it. Now go about your morning.

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The Kinkiness of Russ Manning & Other Notes


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Friday, March 26, 2010


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Who Wears Short Shorts? Robot Fighters, That's Who.

More notebooks, mostly relating to The Comics Journal:

Panter as Talker, Manning’s Kinkiness. Gary Panter was in Toronto last night speaking at our local art’s college and of course I went to hear him. Among his many other talents, Panter is, along with Lynda Barry and Art Spiegelman, one of the greatest talkers in the comics world, indeed one of the world’s great talkers period. He’s lived a great, rich life and has a storehouse of stories but more importantly he can, like Barry, talk about creativity with a directness and honesty that forces you to rethink all your fundamental assumptions. And, like Spiegelman, Panter knows more about the history of art than the entire faculty of your typical Ivy League university. During the talk, Panter mentioned that as a kid he was attracted to Magnus, Robot Fighter in large part because of the kinky short shorts (or was it a proto-mini-skirt) Russ Manning had the hero wear.

This reminded me of the great Arn Saba interview with Manning which ran in the Comics Journal #203. During the interview Manning asks Saba if he’s read the Tarzan novels. Saba says no and the following exchange occurs:

Manning: It is a superb novel. And in it, Jane is about to be raped by the big ape and that’s just the theme he used all the way through it.

Saba: I was aware of that from reading the comic versions of it, yours included. Yeah, I think it’s a fantastic thing, that imagery, because in this primeval jungle you can take primeval sexuality and symbolize it through all these various creatures: the women with the hairy brassieres and all these things … [laughs] I’m embarrassed to say I notice these things and react to them.

Manning: Well, I hope my readers do.

Saba: The fact that all the women in Opar have these strange, long, pendulous, fur things hanging down between their legs – they’re very penis-like things! [laughs] That’s what they look like to me, anyway.

Manning: Just cloth.

Saba: Cloth, but they’re so long and sinuous. [laughter]

Manning: I don’t know if that came out in just a design sense or instinctual or what. They probably look right, so I drew it that way.

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Toth’s Phallic-Sensitive Staging & Other Notes


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Wednesday, March 10, 2010


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Excerpt from Toth's Man Of My Heart

Toth’s phallic-sensitive staging. A 1950s romance comic, one that features a stereotypically weepy woman crying over her love life, is normally not where you would expect to see a commentary on erectile dysfunction. Yet take a look at “Man of My Heart,” (New Romance #16, June 1953 and illustrated by Alex Toth, author unknown). The story is about Pris, a young woman torn between two lovers: Jim Foster who is a long time friend her own age and the much older Dan London, a distinguished gent and friend of her deceased father. Like the knights of old, Dan and Jim compete for Pris’s love by trying to best each other in an athletic competition. Take a look at the key climatic tier on the final page where Dan gallantly explains why he’s bowing out of the competition. “”There’s no compensation for real youth … or the complete sharing of the things you two alone can have!” Dan says in the last panel of the tier. Toth has carefully cropped the panel so that we don’t see Dan’s face, only his torso. He’s wearing a bathrobe with the cords dangling down. Off in the bottom right-hand corner of the panel we see the outline of Pris’s face with an eye lash, an eye brow and part of her hair and an earring. But we can’t see her eyes and have no sense of what she is thinking. Dan’s incompletely viewed body is contrasted with Pris’s incompletely viewed face. The discordance between body and face underscores the theme of sexual incompatibility. Is there any doubt that Toth is underscoring the point that as an older man Dan won’t be able to sexually satisfy Pris? Aside from this, the story is overloaded with phallic symbols: a cane, swords, tennis rackets, a long cigarette holder. The story is both post-Freud and pre-Viagra. Derik Badman offers another reading of the story and more excerpts here. The whole story was also reprinted in Alex Toth: Edge of Genius Vol. 2.

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